Accidental Anarchist: Story ideas from the crowd (Responses)
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TimestampTitle of your storyCountrySummaryFeaturesContextFollow-up linkKey names/contacts
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9/12/2014 20:28:05Oaxaca 2006: Six-months without governmentMexicoFollowing a violent police attack against striking teachers in the state capital in June 2006, the people of the City of Oaxaca came out in the street and kicked-out the municipal and state governments, including the police force. For the next six-months, the city of 260,000 people was run via public assemblies in the town square. The corporate TV station, and 14 local radio stations were occupied and put to use as tools of the local movement. Crimes rates dropped during the time without police, as restorative justice practice came to replace a corrupt legal system. Barricades at over 250 entry points to the city became the sites of local democratic decision making amongst neighbours. Only when the federal army was sent in in late November/early December, did the state reassert formal control, through mass violence and disappearances. But the remnants of 2006 live on in the city’s vibrant radical street art, and in the artist and activist collectives that remain strong.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Community media, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Indigenous self-governanceCity/Town, Social movement, Neighbourhoodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA0Xk_2--f0Yeyo Beltran, Gustavo Esteva
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9/12/2014 20:32:51Recuperated workplaces: a network of hundreds of factories thriving without managementArgentinaAfter the crash of the Argentine economy in December 2000, the people of the country ousted 5 presidents. They also began to cut the locks off the factories which had closed down overnight, as foreign owners had fled with whatever money they had, and put them back into operation. In the coming years, hundreds of factories – and a range of other abandoned workplaces including hospitals, chocolate factories and print shops – were ‘recuperated’ by former staff. The vast majority of these were run non-hierarchically, via assembly, and were strongly involved in their surrounding communities. Some became leaders in their fields and many supported new workplaces that were looking to establish worker control, or fight off encroachment from police or former owners. Today there are over 350 worker-recuperated coops still operating around Argentina, and their actions have inspired similar movements in parts of Europe since the 2008 financial collapse.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time)Workplace, Social movementhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sug7bWxTuSoMarina Sitrin
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9/12/2014 20:35:21Marinaleda’s cooperative olive farm on the occupied land of an aristocratSpainIn 1979, as Spain transitioned beyond General Franco’s military dictatorship, the people of Marinaleda launched an occupation of an unused tract of land just outside of their town, owned by an Andalusian aristocrat. After 12 years of informal occupation, the land was officially turned over to the town for local use growing olives. During this time it has been farmed collectively, with the hours available for work each year (depending on crop yields) shared amongst the villagers who are in need of work. The community went on to found a cannery on the other side of town, cooperative offering further employment on a similarly shared basis. While unemployment is an issue in Marinaleda in 2014, it is significantly less dire than in much of Spain, where the financial collapse of 2008 has had devastating consequences for people’s livelihoods. Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Longevity (been around a long time)Workplace, City/Town, Communityhttp://newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2014/08/28/spain-marinaleda-utopia/TBC
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9/12/2014 20:38:50The Skills Network, BrixtonUKTired of the often-patronizing and dehumanizing nature of so many social services run for mothers in Brixton, South London, a group of women started the Skills Network as a means of supporting one another and sharing skills and resources, without traditional social services. The group is a cooperative, which employs consensus-based decision making processes, and is made up of women in Brixton who have been regularly cut-out of the decisions that affect their lives. The journey with the network is very much personal and political, building a sense of agency amongst those who are a part of it.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Participatory budgetingWorkplace, Communityhttp://theskillsnetwork.org/working-cooperativelyKiran Nihalani, Pero Ainsworth
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9/12/2014 22:15:48Loomio/Enspiral: Using the internet to reach consensusNew Zealand‘A “virtual and physical network of companies and professionals working together to create a thriving society,” Enspiral is a three-part collective consisting of a foundation; services including web design, communications, accounting and legal; and a startup support venture. Based in New Zealand, the collective has members around the world and operates on the principles of collaboration and decentralized decision-making. One of the coops standout projects is Loomio, a free, open source platform that enables people to collaborate in decision-making.’ [description via Shareable] The group is truly pushing the boundaries on open collaboration, in their collective decision making processes and their budgeting methods. The Loomio software is being used all around the world, including by Spanish political party, Podemos.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Participatory budgeting, Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Workplace, Organisation, Community, Onlinehttp://www.mixprize.org/story/collaborative-funding-dissolve-authority-empower-everyone-and-crowdsource-smarter-transparentBen Knight, Richard Bartlett, Alanna Krause
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9/12/2014 22:20:23People & Planet’s director-less organizationUKFinding themselves in the midst of a cash-flow crisis in 2011, the largest student activist network in the UK decided to make their director redundant to save money. At first this was a temporary move, but as the staff team began to work together collaboratively, absorbing the various roles the director had previously carried out, they realized they worked more effectively without a single boss. Within the next two years, the organization was in far better shape financially and many of the staff felt more invested in the organization as a whole, as opposed to simply the project or team they were a part of. While the move to lose the director was initially unexpected, P&P was and is very connected into wider grassroots activist networks, where non-hierarchical systems are the norm.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Workplace, Organisationhttp://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2013/aug/12/people-and-planet-staff-restructure-crisisJohn Clements, Liam Barrington-Bush
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9/12/2014 22:21:38Semco: participatory democracy at workBrazilAfter begrudgingly inheriting his father’s industrial company in the late 1970s, Ricardo Semler fired the whole board and began a process of decentralizing power amongst those doing the work. Over the course of the coming decades, the Semco factories became radically different workplaces, where teams organized themselves, decisions were made collectively amongst those affected and staff set their own salaries. Gradually, the company became an industry leader in its own right, winning both business awards, and acclaim from workers and even trade unions (a militant union leader once described Semler as ‘the only trustworthy boss in Brazil’). While a bit of a hero story, the company highlights what direct democracy can look like in the workplace better than most. Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time)Workplace, Organisationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG3HPX0D2mURicardo Semler
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9/12/2014 22:23:04Quebec Cassaroles: pots-and-pans and neighbourhood assembliesCanadaFollowing the violent police crackdown on the Quebec Student movement in 2012, communities across the province converged, banging pots-and-pans in the streets to protest the silencing of dissent. Many of these ‘cassaroles’ (pots-and-pan protests) led to local neighbourhood assemblies, in which community members began to decide together what their local priorities were, and how to bring them into being, without relying on the state. These actions and the student strike they emerged from became known in Canada as the ‘Maple Spring.’ The student organization, ASSE, used directly democratic, autonomous organizing practices during the initial student strike and these principles carried on throughout later stages of the movement.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)City/Town, Social movement, Neighbourhoodhttp://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/ethan-cox/2012/05/it-starts-quebec-our-revolution-love-hope-and-communityEthan Cox, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois
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9/12/2014 22:25:17Occupy: An incubator for a thousand activist ‘start-ups’USAnother strong case against the mainstream argument that Occupy was ‘just another protest group,’ is the sheer number of projects – largely based on the same non-hierarchical and cooperative organizing principles as OWS – that emerged from the initial movement. I’ve compiled a very partial list to demonstrate the breadth of the projects that emerged from Occupy at the end of this article. The fact that the movement didn’t attempt to control those who got involved, allowed for both a depth and breadth of organizing projects and groups to emerge, that would likely have been stifled far sooner in any traditional NGO or trade union.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Community media, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Social movement, Neighbourhood, Community, Onlinehttps://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/liam-barringtonbush/mass-party-is-dying-and-it-wont-be-missedDavid Graeber
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9/12/2014 22:28:52Capulálpam de Méndez: kicking a multinational mining firm out of small Zapotec mountain townMexicoIn 2007, a Zapotec community in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, decided through their traditionally-used collective decision making processes – usos y costumbres – to evict a Canadian mining company from their land, due to its poisoning of their water. The community decided together – in spite of the financial cost – to evict the mine, which has both state and federal support for being there, though it was leaching chemicals into the town’s drinking water. The community physically blockaded the roads to the town to prevent the company from operating, eventually getting them to suspend operations indefinitely. Meanwhile, the town assembly decided together to invest in a range of alternative sources of income, including eco-tourism, locally-owned bottled water, and other more sustainable industries. Traditional governance practices are also used in neighbouring villages, several of whom have come together to declare a 100 year moratorium on extractive projects on their lands.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Indigenous self-governance, Longevity (been around a long time), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Town, Social movement, Communityhttp://thetyee.ca/News/2013/10/04/Mining-Resistance/Francisco García López, Juan Perez Santiago, Neftalí Reyes Méndez
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9/12/2014 22:34:19Balcombe: from anti-fracking protest camp to solar coopUKIn traditionally conservative West Sussex, an unexpected movement emerged in 2013 following plans to start fracking in the leafy countryside south of London. First, a local protest camp sprung up at the drilling site. Then a larger camp, organized by an established eco-activist network descended on the land, shutting down the test site and gaining international press coverage. Since then, the possible fracking site has been closed down and locals have come together in the first steps to create enough power to supply the village through sustainable, community-owned energy. While still a work in progress, it highlights the early stages of a transition from direct action protest, to community –based solution, which have emerged from one of the most-unlikely places in the country. While there are mixes of hierarchy, autonomy, community-control and relationship with existing institutions, there is enough anarchism, even in Tory heartland, to make this a powerful counter-narrative.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Bringing private property into the commons, Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Town, Social movement, Communityhttp://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/30/balcombe-energy-co-op-aim-take-power-corporationsLeo Murray, Charles Metcalf, Tom Parker
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9/13/2014 10:55:42Ner Group and Irizar self managed teamsSpain (Basque Country)Grupo NER (stands for New Style of Relationships) is a network of self-managaned organizations. Some are not for profit while others privately held firms or cooperatives. All together, there are 2.000 persons working within the network with (eur.) 330 millions in sales revenues and a profit of 41 millions. Top salaries only double those in the bottom with an average of 32.000 euros (gross, before taxes). There at least two books relating the experience and I think it's a model of demcracy and autonomous decision making at work which deserves to be knonw abroad Spain and much more inspiring than Mondragon. Regards. www.pnix.orgCollective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisationWorkplace, Organisationhttp://www.nergroup.org/Koldo Saratxaga
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9/13/2014 13:22:32Revolutionary Medicine - A Story of the First Garifuna HospitalHondurasA group of Honduran doctors, trained in Cuba, work in and with an Afro-Honduran community to build a free hospital that is run and owned by the people. It is neither public nor private, but a response of those living in the community to generations of systemic racism and poor health. There is a documentary about the story, of the same name. The trailer is here: http://vimeo.com/96340228For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Workplace, Organisation, Communityhttp://upsidedownworld.org/main/honduras-archives-46/5043-film-review-revolutionary-medicine-a-story-of-the-first-garifuna-hospitalDrs. Luther Harry Castillo, Wendy Lisseth, Perez Ventura
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9/13/2014 16:00:22Mud GirlsCanadaMud Girls are a building collective of women. They specialize in building with natural and local material. They originated on Lasquiti Island, British Columbia, but since then Mud Girl collectives have sprung up all over the province. Their specialty is cob building for houses, cabins, mud ovens and benches. They also teach these building practices.
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability), non-violenceWorkplace, Organisation, Communityhttp://mudgirls.wordpress.com/
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9/13/2014 18:41:11Waiter's Union - Dave AndrewsAustraliaThe Waiters Union is a network of residents in West End who are committed to developing a sense of community in the locality with our neighbours, including those who are marginalised, in the radical tradition of Jesus of Nazareth.

Dave Andrews is one of the founders of the group and has written a number of books including "Building a Better World" and "Christi-anarchy"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Andrews

http://www.waitersunion.org/
Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Participatory budgeting, Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Indigenous self-governance, Longevity (been around a long time), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability), Liberation Theology approach - Chritian but outside the church structures.Workplace, Neighbourhood, Communityhttp://www.waitersunion.org/Best to go through the website but Dave Andrews is a key contact.
http://www.waitersunion.org/
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9/13/2014 18:59:1612 Step MovementInternationalTradition Two
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

Tradition Four
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

Tradition Six
6. An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

Tradition 7
7. Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

Tradition Eight
8. Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Tradition Nine
9. A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time), non- Hierachical Recovery Movementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-step_programNo one will share there story at the level of press radio or film if they can be identified. This tradition was partly established so that no one could be seen as the leader. So have to find anonymous ways to convey the story through voice and other visuals.

This is a big story because the 12 steps is massive, especially in the US. It's gone way beyond AA to any addiction or struggle you could imagine. Many people have discovered the benefits of a non- hierarchical structure this way and this will have challenged them to imagine what could be possible in greater society.

Listen to the story of how it got started and how it works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlL6DWloEuI
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9/13/2014 20:24:09Enspiral/LoomioNZthe whole Enspiral thing seems like it could be worth a look for you, their management practices etc have already gotten quite a bit of press, as has their participatory budgeting etc ... (the Loomio people emerged from Enspiral) ... Cheers. BillyCollective decision making/Direct democracy, Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Participatory budgeting, Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone)Workplace, City/Town, Social movement, Organisationhttp://www.enspiral.com/Alanna would be the obvious person to talk to, and whoever you have made contact with at Loomio (Rich/Ben)... Josh Vial is the founder but I don't have solid connections with him.
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9/15/2014 5:57:29"Women Across"NorwayThis week-end will see the 21st annual gathering of "Women Across" (Norw. "Kvinner på tvers") - a network of women from all professions, bridging gaps across different organisations within the labour movement with other professional associations, social movements, NGOs, resarch institutions, political organisations, activists and independents. The annual conference is a debate and networking forum to further equality and equal pay for women. It has had a real influence, in particular as it has connected women in otherwise unrelated sectors and professions and enabled them to share experiences and further their demands. In its early years, the nework made active use of the internet and educated women in the labour movement to make and use websites. There is no formal organisation at all, and each year's conference is planned and enable by the women who participate at any point, which has varied considerably over the years. Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Longevity (been around a long time)Organisationhttp://kvinnerpatvers.no/I'll have to submit myself, as I haven't talked to any of the others yet, but can get more names after the event this week.
Maria Wattne
maria.wattne@fagforbundet.no

See also https://www.facebook.com/kvinnerpaatvers
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9/15/2014 9:13:20Vermont TIme BanksUnited StatesSeveral Vermont communities have launched Time Banks through the Onion River Exchange, essentially exchange systems for bartering skills and time. Purposes include community connections and sustainability. Members post offers and requests and log time earned using our online system to be used for future exchanges with any member. Every hour is equal. The exchange has over 500 members, 28 participating towns in Central Vermont, and over 30,000 hours exchanged since 2008.For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Townhttp://www.orexchange.org/Here's another link to a related story: http://digital.vpr.net/post/mnookin-time-trade
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9/15/2014 13:22:36Shack Dwellers Movement: Stopping Evictions; recreating the CommonsSouth AfricaLaunched in response to agressive slum clearance in Durban and Pinetown, Abahlali baseMjondolo is perhaps the largest shack dwellers movement in South Africa, with members numbering the tens of thousands, is avowedly anti-hierachical and anti-professionalisation and seeks to promote an approach of 'living communism' from the bottom up. It's lived example of resistance to neo-liberal privatisation of land, housing and public services in South Africa has brought it into direct conflict with the political and legal establishment but it has sustained and grown over the course of a decade and achieved a number of significant wins, always operating on the basis of mutual aid and of a lived politics based on real experiences and needs.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commonsCity/Town, Communehttp://abahlali.org/
Louisa Motha
Shamita Naidoo
Mnikelo Ndabankulu
Zodwa Nsibande
Mzonke Poni
S'bu Zikode
Philani Zungu
All listed on wikipedia. I have a couple of UK contacts who have engaged in solidarity work that may be useful. I could furnish these on request.
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9/15/2014 15:15:33Anarchists Against The Wall: Radical Israeli Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance Israel and PalestineFormed as an unnamed, decentralised collective engaging in Direct Action against the 'Separation Barrier' erected by the Israeli state across large swathes of the West Bank, IAW recieved a monicker and no little attention due to the serious persecution and repression it's members faced from the IDF and other Israeli security forces. The group; not exclusively Anarchist in composition and no limited to action against the wall but driven by values of autonomy and solidarity, maintains relations with Palestinan activists and communities to this day predicated not on assumptions of equality and demands for dialogue but on mutual aid and real physical action to directly confront the wall,the occupation and Zionism.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Community media, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Social movement, Organisation, Onlinehttp://www.awalls.org/Roy Waagner
Uri Gordon
Leehee Rothschild
Jonaton Pollak
Ronnie Baran
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9/15/2014 15:20:06Casa de Paz - Canticle FarmUSACasa de Paz and Canticle Farm are two houses next to each other in low-income neighborhood, Fruitvale, Oakland, California. The people living in them are guided by principles non-violence and self-determination. They are people choosing to live in a neighborhood generally characterized as violent, poor and run down. They live there as neighbors, not as project workers or community development professionals. They plan to stay there. They have been acting as catalysts for collective neighborhood action. Picking up trash in the streets, creating fruit and vegetable gardens in people's back yards as well as publicly owned empty lots, supporting undocumented migrants and their families, experimenting with giftivism. They never lock their front doors. They hold weekly open-house meditation and spiritual conversation sessions in English and Spanish.
See link below, which includes a short video about this community.
Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Cooperative organisation, Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), self-determinationCity/Town, Social movement, Neighbourhood, Communityhttps://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/michael-edwards/from-empire-to-earth-community-casa-de-pazPancho Ramos Stierle
Sam Bower

I've visited Casa De Paz-Canticle Farm and I'm happy to put you in touch with these folks if you decide to include them in the film.
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9/15/2014 15:27:30Creating a weapons free zone South SudanSouth Sudan, affected by decades of post colonial violence and a bloody liberation struggle against the government of Sudan, has a very high per capita level of arms ownership. Traditional decision making and conflict resolution structures have been undermined by the development and extension of state structures and power, violence and displacement. Communities in Yirol West, an area beset by patterns of revenge violence, tapped into traditional means to establish a safe 'weapons free zone' in a built up urban area where violence often occured between people from different areas and cattle camps. Despite civil war around the country this zone still holds to date.Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Indigenous self-governanceCity/Town, Communityhttp://www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/creating-weapons-free-zone
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9/15/2014 16:35:12Vio.Me – practical resistance to austerity in a building material factory in ThessalonikiGreeceIn May 2011, the owners of a Greek building material factory stopped paying their employees. Following patterns from Brazil and Argentina, on February 13, 2013, the workers put the factory back into production, without the bosses who had disappeared without paying them for their work. Now all the workers make decisions together via assembly, with no managers or separate administration of the factory. What began as a very practical effort by the workers to continue to feed their families, gradually became a conscious resistance to capitalism and a solution to mass unemployment, aiming to "…[build] a network of occupied-factories in different countries, [and] agricultural co-operatives where we will be able to support each other." Networks have since begun to emerge between European and Latin American worker-occupied factories.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Workplace, Organisationhttp://www.truth-out.org/news/item/17375-an-autogestion-alternative-to-austerity-occupy-resist-produceMarina Sitrin, James Anderson [TruthOut]
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9/15/2014 16:59:44Occupy: consensus decisions with thousandsUSWhile often written-off as ‘another protest group,’ Occupy Wall Street demonstrated a proof-of-concept for a profound idea: hundreds, and even at times thousands, of people can come together and make political decisions via consensus. While there was nothing perfect about the methodologies used, the demonstration that this was possible, alongside the variations on consensus processes that emerged in New York and elsewhere offer proof that large groups of people didn’t need single leaders, or even to vote to make decisions together that worked for everyone.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Participatory budgeting, Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)City/Town, Social movementhttp://occupywallst.org/article/enacting-the-impossible/Charles Lenchner, David Graeber, Ravi Ahmad, Marina Sitrin, Carne Ross
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9/15/2014 18:18:21From Indignados to Podemos: Spainish street movement explores formal politicsSpainOn May 15, 2011, 50,000 people descended on Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, joining tens of thousands more around the country who had come out as a result of online and network-based organizing, to demand ‘real democracy.’ The group deliberately organized with non-hierarchical, consensus-based methods, and according to some estimates involved millions of Spaniards in activities that are still ongoing today. This year saw the founding of ‘Podemos’ – a political party which won 5 seats in the May European elections, receiving 1.2 million votes. This demonstrates an interesting example, of bridging a movement that entirely rejected representative politics, with the existing political system. Podemos lacks any traditional party infrastructure and has used many of the participatory methods pioneered by the Indignados to develop platforms and find representatives. The impact of Podemos is unclear, but appears to offer aspects of a bridge between direct and representative democracy.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Social movement, Community, Political partyhttp://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/27/podemos-citizen-politics-spain-elections-indignados-movementPablo Iglesias, party leader
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9/15/2014 18:30:19Occupy Sandy: Relieving the disasters of Hurricane Sandy and capitalismUSAs traditional state and charitable relief agencies sat on their hands, a spin-off of the Occupy Wall Street movement began to organize in communities around New York, as Hurricane Sandy was still hitting the city in October 2012. Several independent commentators described Occupy Sandy as the most effective disaster response to the Hurricane, which eschewed hierarchy and enabled tens of thousands of New Yorkers to give whatever they could to help one another during a time of need. Further, the network saw two disasters in the storm; the initial environmental disaster, and the ongoing disaster of capitalism, which meant poorer communities were more adversely affected, for longer, than wealthier ones. Occupy Sandy responded to both disasters, offering immediate relief, as well as supporting longer term community organizing efforts to rebuild affected communities.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Social movement, Communityhttp://rabble.ca/news/2013/06/occupy-sandy-horizontal-lessons-community-based-disaster-recoveryMichael Premo, Tammy Shapiro
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9/15/2014 18:46:03UKUncut: Taxing those the government won’tUKShortly after the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat government announced its ‘emergency budget’ in June 2010, slashing public spending, the Treasury decided to forgive Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile phone providers, the vast majority of a backlogged tax bill totalling roughly six billion pounds. A loose network of activists responded, deciding that if the public were going to be made to pay for the bank-led financial crisis, while companies like Vodafone were free to profit endlessly, then the people would get in the way of Vodafone’s profits. So they began occupying companies’ premises, sitting down in stores of companies found to have been avoiding paying their taxes. Saturday after Saturday, angry Brits shut down Vodafones, TopShops, RBS’, Fortnum & Mason’s and more, spawning sister movements in several countries and providing the public support for a legal case against the Treasury, based on its support for corporate tax avoidance.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Social movement, Onlinehttp://www.ukuncut.org.uk/Rosie Rogers, Chris Coltrane
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9/16/2014 15:38:17From economic crisis to participatory budgeting in Porto AlegreBrazilSince 1989, the 1.5 million citizens of Porto Allegre, Brazil, have been doing democracy themselves. While still existing in the shell of a representational democracy, the city is divided into 24 neighbourhoods where decisions are made via assemblies of those in the local area, and budgets are allocated via collective decision making processes. What began as a series of assemblies by a progressive government with almost no spending power, gradually grew to take on the vast majority of local powers in the city. For many years, Porto Alegre has been doing better than most of the country in regards to countless social indicators, offering hope, but not a blueprint, as it is more homogenous than other parts of the country. Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Participatory budgeting, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Town, Neighbourhood, Community, Political partyhttp://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/archives/archives/chavez/portoalegre.pdfTBC
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9/16/2014 16:19:41Interpares: 30 years of international development without hierarchyCanada“Internally, full-time staff are co-managers, managing the institution through consensus-based decision making. Though everyone plays a different role, they share equal responsibilities, equal participation in decision making and an equal base salary.
All full-time staff collaborate in raising funds and are involved in the programming and financial management of the organization, assuring a high degree of transparency, cohesion and rigour.” [via interpares.ca] Interpares describe their approach as ‘feminist’ and ground non-hierarchical methods within a wider anti-oppressive framework. Feminism frames their relationships to both one another, as colleagues, and to the partners they work with in the global south.
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Participatory budgeting, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time)Workplace, Organisationhttp://interpares.ca/sites/default/files/resources/2011-03DoesItWork-FeministAnalysisAndPracticeAtInterPares.pdfRita Morbia, Jack Hui-Lister
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9/16/2014 16:53:26Valve’s ‘anarcho-syndicalist’ video game companyUSThree hundred or so people in the State of Washington making video games worth billions of dollars have no semblance of a management structure in place to coordinate their work. Founder Gabe Newell describes their structure as ‘anarcho-syndicalist,’ with every member of staff encouraged to find the things they’re passionate about and make them happen. Conversely, ex-Valve employees have sometimes criticized the ‘soft hierarchies’ of Valve, the clique-driven decision making, and the ways peer review encourage a popularity contest, rather than deep exploration of different staff’ needs and strengths. DJ Powers, of Valve describes an adaptive flexibility and personal autonomy not present in most institutions: “We form into teams based on need to complete a feature or complete a game, and then we disperse into new teams.”Collective decision making/Direct democracy, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Participatory budgeting, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Workplacehttp://www.bbc.com/news/technology-24205497Gabe Newell (founder), DJ Powers
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9/16/2014 17:21:29Grow Heathrow: community garden blocks airport expansionUK“On March 1st 2010 Transition Heathrow members swooped on an abandoned market garden site in Sipson; one of the villages to be completely tarmaced to make way for a third runway at Heathrow.
30 tonnes of rubbish were cleared and over two years later the site has been transformed from a derelict mess into a beacon of community strength and a great example of how to live sustainably on this planet.
...The project aims to return the Berkeley Nurseries site back to its intended purpose – a thriving market garden that will provide our community with locally produced, organic fruit and veg as well as a venue for new and interesting projects and workshops.” [from transitionheathrow.com]
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Longevity (been around a long time), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Town, Community, squathttp://www.transitionheathrow.com/grow-heathrow/TBD
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9/16/2014 18:20:06Detroit Water Brigade: Taking our water back from the free marketUSWhen state-imposed administrator Kevyn Orr took over municipal management of the poverty-stricken City of Detroit in June 2014, he announced plans to shut-off the water of those who had fallen behind on their bills. In a city with a 40% unemployment rate, and steadily rising water rates, plans to cut off water to 120,000 account holders meant that hundreds of thousands of poor, and Black citizens were likely to lose their water supply. The Detroit Water Brigade emerged as a response, organizing alternative peer-to-peer water distribution, direct action against water shut-offs, and lobbying for wider shifts away from market-based water ownership.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)City/Town, Social movementhttp://detroitwaterbrigade.org/Demeeko Williams
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9/17/2014 6:59:53Festival Música en las MontañasSpain12 years ago Cat Jary a young British cellist, arrived in la Alpujarra, Andalucia, and was inspired to start a music festival run altruistically offering free concerts, initiating a culture of sharing, generosity and sustainability. Revitalising the local economy was also a priority. Local and provincial politicians abused the project, diverted 'secret' public funds and in 2011 threatened Cat with legal action if she carried on. Cat defended her dream and stood up to the corrupt bullies. Summer 2011 the newly elected mayor cancelled legal action against Cat. Together they are now investigating a 2 million euro fraud involving the town hall and bank in Granada. The Festival now runs like an enormous orchestra. In 2014, the X Anniversary, 200 musicians, local businesses, villagers, clergy, some mayors, farmers and tourists are all working together as a huge team to make it happen and have fun in the process. Cat is frequently described as being an accidental anarchist.



Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Cooperative organisation, Overlap with formal government (stories that are not totally independent of the state), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Participatory budgeting, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Indigenous self-governance, Empowering the individualsSocial movement, Neighbourhood, Community, Online, very specific mountain region in Andalucia linked to supporters worldwidehttp://alpujarrahoy.blogspot.com.es/2013/08/musica-en-las-montanas-hallelujah-chorus.htmlMarcelo Avilés Gómez....current mayor of la Taha, investigating 2 million euro fraud.
Pablo Martos.....violinist, Granada.
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9/17/2014 10:14:22Quebec Student StrikeQuebec/CanadaThe Quebec student strike is an example of radical democracy in action on a large scale. Students held, in many cases, weekly open assemblies where they would pass resolutions, debate their status within the strike, and coordinate pickets. In universities, assemblies were organized by faculty, rather than on a school-wide basis, making the scale more relatable. The small scale also allowed schools to build momentum, with a few faculties passing one-day strike resolutions, which gave students a taste of their power. A critical mass of the Quebec student movement was organized on a radically democratic basis, with "leaders" actually being spokespeople mandated to explain the democratically-decided positions of the CLASSE to the media and the public. The assembly structure inspired people outside of the movement as well; many neighbourhood assemblies popped up during the height of the conflagration with the government, and some still exist.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Cooperative organisationNeighbourhoodhttp://www.newsocialist.org/711-building-a-movement-reflections-from-the-quebec-student-strike
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9/18/2014 18:10:11Take Back the Land: Housing for people, not for profitUSSince the US housing bubble burst in 2008, millions of Americans – predominantly from non-white communities – have been evicted from their homes, many on illegal pretexts. There are currently 4 empty homes for every homeless person in the US, yet property laws keep people and families homeless. Take Back the Land is a national network that combines direct action for housing, with wider advocacy for those facing threat of eviction and homelessness. It is led by people facing evictions and has established local and international mutual aid networks, which help communities come together to keep evictions from taking place, and helping homeless people take over abandoned bank-owned properties. Communities also come together to challenge banks and speculators to turn empty properties over to cooperatively-owned community land trusts to address local needs.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Autonomy (for individuals or groups)City/Town, Social movement, Neighbourhoodhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0UEhK2feNUMax Rameau, Monica Adams, Martha Biggs, J.R. Fleming
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9/18/2014 20:53:24The Cochabamba Water WarsBoliviaIn 2000 Bolivia found itself on the receiving end of World Bank plans to package up and privatize publicly owned water systems. Once Cochabamba's water was in the hands of US based Bechtel, the company heavily restricted access to water and hiked up prices. A Coordinadora formed to respond. Students joined with farmers to hold ongoing blockades and occupations, bringing the city to a complete standstill. Resistance was met by violent repression at the hands of government forces. A showdown in the city's central square culminated in the killing of a teenager, strengthening further the will of the people to reclaim their water. President Banzer was eventually forced to relinquish and cancel the contract with Bechtel. When the corporation hit back with a $50 lawsuit against Bolivia for lost profits, the struggle went international. A series of protests in Bolivia, Europe and North America that publicly targeted Bechtel's CEO finally resulted in a settlement for around 20 cents.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Community media, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Indigenous self-governance, Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability)City/Townhttp://democracyctr.org/bolivia/investigations/bolivia-investigations-the-water-revolt/Oscar Olivera is not a personal contact but a good friend of some of my colleagues. I reckon it would be easy enough to put you in contact. They might also be able to recommend other people for you to follow up with.
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9/19/2014 10:19:22Crazy idealistsWalesThe birth of alternative technology in the early 1970s signalled a remarkable shift in humanity’s relationship with science and technology. In 1973 Gerard Morgan-Grenville signed a lease on a disused slate quarry in mid Wales to begin The Village of the Future: powered by renewable energy, fed with organic produce and run under cooperative principles. The following spring, the first wave of young idealists arrived, inspired by the notion of building a living, working community to test these emerging alternatives, to find out which ones worked and which ones didn’t.

The BBC pulled together the early pioneers for Radio 4’s The Reunion, available via the BBC website. An oral history project has interviewed over 80 staff, trustees, members and local residents, and the research papers, diaries, photos & film are archived in the National Library of Wales. 40 years on CAT has inspired, informed & enabled hundreds of thousands of people, hugely impacting on environmental thinking.
Cooperative organisation, Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability), also educational charityWorkplace, Organisation, Communityhttp://www.resurgence.org/magazine/article4188-we-made-a-cultural-shift.htmlPeter Harper
Gerard Morgan Grenville
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9/25/2014 18:45:31FocusE15 mums make their own social housing in East LondonUKIn Newham, East London, 29 mums who had been kicked-out of social housing and were being told to move to Birmingham to find affordable rentals, took over a vacant, 600 unit housing estate, which the Council had left vacant, in hopes of selling it off. Rather than letting them and their kids become homeless, these mums organized themselves to turn unused housing into places to live again, ignoring the dictates of the property market and laws which deem homeless and empty homes as compatible. Their action began on Sunday, September 21st, though it is unknown how long it will last for.Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Bringing private property into the commons, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)Communityhttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/23/real-politics-empty-london-housing-estateTBD
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10/1/2014 9:13:03Música en las MontañasSpainHi, a couple of weeks ago I sent information regarding what is happening in this small mountain area of Andalucia, showing how corruption is threatening society and people's lives at every level of politics and village life. I failed to mention that there are many newspaper articles that have been published in the newspapers El Mundo, and Ideal, Granada, both relating to the large bank/political fraud we are investigating, and also how the Festival was under threat.
An article was also published in the professional European String Teacher's Association quarterly magazine, giving a humourous account of some of the dramas and intrigues we experienced with the Festival and ex-mayoress.
If you're interested, I could send you scanned copies.
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10/7/2014 12:03:14jasecon.orgusaJASecon = Just Alternative Sustainable economy, 2009
Oakland CA endeavor to bring together worker co-ops, housing collaboratives, non-profits, individuals, media, etc. in the manner of the old SF Mechanics Fairs where wares where displayed and discussions/lectures occurred. (That's why almost all the spaces below are checked.)

<http://reimaginerpe.org/rpe/greeneconomics/grassroots>
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Autonomous neighbourhood assemblies, Community media, Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Ongoing impact (Even if short-term, the story is still having an impact), For Us By Us (Those impacted doing the work), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Bringing private property into the commons, Cooperative organisation, Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Online/digital (using new technology to organise), Participatory budgeting, Open Source everything (tools are made freely available to anyone), Transitioning from hierarchy (shows a step in the right direction, if not totally autonomous), Building bridges between activist networks and formal institutions, Autonomy (for individuals or groups), Eco-democracy (democracy grounded in sustainability), see the video + search jaseconWorkplace, City/Town, Social movement, Neighbourhood, Commune, Organisation, Community, Online<http://p2pfoundation.net/JASecon>"Axel Ztangi" <ztangi@gmail.com>
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1/1/2015 4:24:35Video games developer ValveUnited States
During the production of the video game "Half-Life" (regarded as being one of the best games ever made), developer Valve instituted an organisation method that they called "the Cabal system".

Video games development is a very complex affair requring the collective efforts of designers, artists, animators, sound designers, composers, writers and of course programmers. Each of these fields are very specialist and all have to interact effectively with one another in order to create an enjoyable (and hence, profitable) gaming experience.

Eventually the Cabal system grew so that anyone could form a cabal for the purposes of implementing a new idea into the game. The only rule was that the people most directly affected by the idea had to take part in the cabal, since they were the ones who would have to do the work of implementing the idea.
Collective decision making/Direct democracy, Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Cooperative organisation, Autonomy (for individuals or groups)
Workplace
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131815/the_cabal_valves_design_process_.php
Ken Birdwell (programmer at Valve and author of the linked article).
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9/29/2015 12:42:07Pay no more than 50puk
Please include the independent record labels that appeared in the early 80's in response to the record label EMI who profited from artists without fair return. The emerging culture produced record labels such as Spiderleg Records who advertised across their front covers slogans such as 'Pay no more than 50p for this record.' This obviously boosted sales for the artists and enabled the consumers to not only buy more records but feel they were part of a social movement outside of the capitalist system.
Direct action vs state and/or corporations, Creative resistance (Art and culture-driven practice), Solidarity/mutual aid networks (groups connected with other groups to meet shared needs), Managing without managers (workplaces without bosses), Actively anti-oppressive practice (working to correct ongoing injustices), Indigenous self-governance
music industry
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