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Earthworker Newsletter June 2020

Earthworker Cooperative are a member of Friends of the Earth Australia.

Sign up to receive Earthworker Cooperative's newsletter via email here. Earthworker Cooperative are a member of Friends of the Earth Australia.

There are two great online events coming up that we would like to invite you to! Dave Kerin and Dan Musil are speaking on panels tonight and next week respectively. The details for each event are below, we hope to see you there!

Working With Workers, Blockades Supporting a Transition

In search of change, blockades often find themselves at odds with the industry they seek to change. This can feel like they're at odds with the workers in that industry. And confrontations with and between workers are commonplace when ideologies clash. We are facilitating this discussion because we want to talk about whether blockades have a role in supporting the community around them to transition.

During this session we will hear from Miranda Gibson, an experienced forest blockader who spent 449 days in a tree in Tassy and Dave Kerin, who continues to work on transitioning the coal communities of the Latrobe Valley.

Both have vast experience in interacting with workers on the frontlines of environmental change. This session will raise a lot of questions for us all. I hope you can make it!
  • When: Thursday 25 June (tonight!), 7pm - 8:30pm
  • Where: Online via webinar link
  • Tickets: free, rsvp here
  • Facebook Event 

Cooperatives As A Path To Democratic Economic Recovery

The Coronavirus pandemic both lays bare deep and ongoing injustices in our society and provides a moment to re-evaluate and reset our political conversation. What does that mean for Scott Morrison’s “laser-like focus on jobs”, and the planned economic recovery being driven by a corporate agenda? Can we, at a moment like this, begin to plan a democratic economic recovery?

At the heart of this idea are cooperatives, a powerful model of economic democracy in which workers and users own and manage business for their own common benefit.

How might cooperatives, and other models of community economic organising, be mobilised to make the post-Covid economic recovery more equitable and more ecologically sensitive? What policies could we introduce to support them? How can communities move ahead with creating coops without more policy support? Instead of a recovery based on handing over billions to capitalists to create jobs for grateful workers, could we cultivate one where the workers themselves, and the communities they live in, build and control their own recovery?

We’re excited to bring you this webinar featuring world-renowned expert in post-capitalist economic organising, Professor Katherine Gibson, and one of Australia’s leading voices in green cooperatives, Dan Musil, from the Earthworker Coop.

Working with her long-time collaborator, the late Professor Julie Graham, as J.K. Gibson-Graham, Professor Gibson established the Community Economies Collective, a group of academics, activists and practitioners across the globe working towards new, ecologically sensitive, feminist, post-capitalist economic practices. Alongside numerous academic publications, their book Take Back The Economy, a very practical guide to Commons-based organising, has become a much-used classic.

Dan Musil is currently working towards a PhD with Professor Gibson and others at Western Sydney University, researching economic democracy and just transitions surrounding his work for years as Secretary of the Earthworker Cooperative. Earthworker set up Australia’s first worker-owned renewable energy factory, manufacturing solar water heaters, in the Latrobe Valley as a way of simultaneously addressing economic and environmental justice challenges. More recently, they’ve established the Redgum Cleaning Cooperative, and aim to establish a network of worker-owned cooperatives committed to sustainable enterprise. Dan (also a wonderful musician) is a powerful advocate for addressing ecological and economic issues together through democratic solutions.

If you’re interested in cooperatives and keen to find out more, or exploring ways of how to ensure that our economic recovery is both green and democratic, this is a conversation not to be missed!

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