The 1st gathering of Solidarity Economy and Integral Cooperativism in Greece was a powerful experience and a promising start at the same time. About 40 participants gathered in Mouzaki-Karditsa, where in four days tried to analyze our common expectations, to find ways of cooperation between us and to lay the foundations for projects and actions which we aim to implement. Together, although carrying quite different backgrounds and interests, having or not a prior experience of solidarity economy or other cooperative projects, we were able to shape a common place. Participants came from various parts of Greece, except the two central cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, like Corfu, Heraklion and of course the region of Trikala and Karditsa. Besides, one of the reasons for the choice of this event’s location was the wide variety of collaborative projects existed, of which several had the opportunity to visit and get to know up close during the last day.
Special mention should be given to those who participated, carrying with them the heavy burden of refugee and the anxiety to build their lives again. Their contribution to the process under these conditions definitely weights more, as is our responsibility to integrate and manage with sensitivity and solidarity issues affecting them, being along in a hostile European-political environment.
As was stated preliminarily, our goal was to outline the path which will, step by step, move us away from the current undemocratic and highly competitive reality, trying in the long term to switch over an equitable and cooperative society of free people. Thus, the main part of the meeting focused on a methodical negotiation of 9 thematics that are essentially related to our lives, aiming to explore and to plan transition projects towards an integral post-capitalist reality. We believe that the connective ring of all these thematics is the building of a people-oriented alternative economy, which will work under direct-democratic conditions, empowering our horizontal and grass-roots organization and networking. For these reasons, the structure of the event which we proposed and implemented, had focused on cooperation, teamwork and inclusiveness at all levels. This clearly reflected both in the practical application of thematic discussions and plenary sessions, and final proposals co-decided which we now are going to realise together.
The overall priorities that were decided to be implemented are here:
While at the main cooperative pad, you can find all the notes relating to the plenary sessions, as well as to the individual thematic discussions.
All the above are certainly a good start and a good first framework, of people eager to build this new reality. But the call for participation and co-shaping is continuous and open to everybody who feels trapped in this modern reality, realizing the cruel and inhumane face of authoritarian mechanisms leading this way and create economic crises that assimilate our labor. Our answer should be funded on cooperation of people who want to take thier lives into their hands and put self-management on the front line in order to make this grand transition, both at a personal and a broader social level.
We consider that a first step has been made; a first cell of the integral ecosystem we want to create. Come along to walk the path of Integral Revolution and create together the world we all want to live in.
Our communication will be kept alive through the Local Nodes of FairCoop or the initiatives for Integral Cooperatives around Greece, as well as through so many other new actions that are going to emerge along the way. To promote and network between all those we have already created a website http://cooperativas.gr/ where we can post our news and be informed of any developments.
In addition, our participation in this vibrant and growing community can become more direct, even remotely, via the on-line application of Telegram (http://telegram.org/ ). There is already a group named FairCoop Greece, with which you can make your first contact. Alternatively, e-mail us for more info using info at cooperativas.gr
Until we meet again!