Solidarity Economy Strategies for a New and Better World

A series of conversations with radical grass-roots solidarity economy organisations across the world who are breaking new ground in their own contexts while building power in their communities.

Hosted by Solidarity Economy Association and the Translation Commune, each webinar will include multilingual translation and interpretation, to share and internationalise local knowledge, experience and strategy.

These events took place monthly on the second Saturday of each month between 15:00-17:00 UTC on Zoom, with live simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, English, French, Kurdish (Kurmancî), Punjabi, Spanish and Turkish.

Our first event featured Cooperation Jackson, an emerging cooperative network situated firmly within the struggle for Black liberation and self determination. Its mission is to advance the development of economic democracy in Jackson, Mississippi, the poorest state in the union of the United States, whose majority Black population face chronic unemployment and impoverishment. Cooperation Jackson are building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other types of worker-owned and democratically self-managed enterprises that is rooted in social movements and people’s assemblies.

Our second event featured Aborîya Jin‘Women’s Economy’ – a democratic autonomous economic body that’s part of the women’s movement in North and East Syria. They are part of Kongra Star, a vast umbrella of the many organs of the women’s movement, from women’s committees at the commune (neighbourhood assembly) level, up through the autonomous self administration system which forms the new system of stateless radical democracy that is re-organising society from the ground up as part of the Rojava Revolution. Active right across the region and made up entirely of women, Aboriya Jin’s work is to strengthen the role of women in society by building up the women’s economy, empowering women to become self-reliant, and developing confidence and collective autonomy. They are the main women’s co-operative development body in the region and are also supporting the foundation of communities and agricultural projects for families who lost their main breadwinner in the war.

Our third event featured Grassroots Liberation, a movement of people organising in Nairobi’s informal settlements, where around 70% of the population live with intense state violence and repeated forced evictions, without access to clean water, basic infrastructure, or adequate housing. Building from below, Grassroots Liberation offer a radical, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist vision for self-determination and community empowerment with an internationalist perspective.

The Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee have been building a movement of Dalit (lower caste) landless farmers to reclaim access to land they are rightfully entitled to in the Punjab region of India. Their strategy, which involves a diversity of tactics, includes building community power and making demands on the government for the rightful share, while also developing collective forms of working the land and sharing the produce. The ZPSC were influential in the groundbreaking farmers protests which took place across India in 2020-2021.

Our final event was with Guerrilla Translation, an activist commons-oriented cooperative created to share ideas between communities and spread the word about things that matter. To help support activist translators and freelancers to use their skills for causes they care about while also making a living, Guerrilla Translation has developed a new kind of livelihood vehicle which combines two functions: a voluntary translation/media collective working for activist causes, and an income-generating cooperative agency providing translation and communication services. This as a form of “economic resistance”; a means of ethically coherent, sustainable livelihood for knowledge workers, and the creation of a multilingual knowledge commons that upholds open-source, global idea sharing.