This is a great in-depth interview on grassroots organizing, the growing resistance movement, the importance of policy work (which I think too many market leaders avoid) and most importantly, economic democracy. Ed’s work is so expansive that to talk of only one campaign would be too limited, but in does include food system work which is partly why it is posted here.
Our recent work has been around economic democracy. In 2010 and 2011, we asked ourselves how is it that we can focus our work more sharply? We wanted to know how to help people have opportunities to be productive for themselves and their community. We ended up pretty quickly deciding that cooperative solutions would be among the best solutions to those economic questions. They are rooted in that spirit of self-reliance. It wasn’t honest for us to say that if you have a giant jobs march that the federal government will do something good. We wanted to be as up front and honest as possible. We talked about the fact that, yes, there is resistance work that is needed. There are powerful people, places and forces where you can be crushed if you don’t. Advocacy is needed because you need to steer resources. But in the final analysis, you need to build community power so communities can be self-reliant and do things for themselves. That is the fundamental insight.