I just caught the documentary The Take, a story about a group of workers’ struggle to take over their former work place. If you don’t know, Argentina has had a wild 21st century: protests, bank closures, disenfranchised middle class, many presidents (at least 5), massive layoffs and factory closures due to IMF restructuring, etc.
Some of the laid off workers went back to their closed factories and took them over as coops run by assemblies. The model differs according to the group who runs the different business, but they are all worker-owned.
For several years now, I have researched Argentina’s worker coop movement. There hasn’t been too much documentation in English until recently, and The Take is a great introduction for anyone who is interested in actual options other than the free market’s IMF/WTO, etc. model. There isn’t much else in English yet, but you could also scrape the Indymedia site for posts.
Author Marina Sitrin has published some of her research in The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest for an upcoming book about Argentina’s autonomous movement. AK Press has a video from Indymedia Argentina about the movement as well. It has English subtitles.
So I hope that you all try to catch The Take if it’s playing near you. I am blessed to be in a part of the world that has many forms of coops. Working for CELLspace has also been a huge experience on how to work with different systems. CELLspace has been a collective from the beginning.
I’ll probably touch on this form of organization again, because I hope to find more on the Argentina model. I also want to talk about the same model in reference to the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.