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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Alfredo Lopez on May First Movement Technology

You know, the basic human need that’s answered by mass movements is the need to communicate, but also to validate your own existence, your own story, every human being has a story. And part of the motor of oppression is to deny that your story is important. Deny your importance as a human being. When you become able to share your story with people all over the world, and listen to their story, there is a fundamental kind of power that emanates from those kinds of connections and those conversations or that kind of sharing.

When you’re able also to talk about the oppression in your own story and to share how you’re dealing with that. In other words, hear from all these people. All over the world, how they’re struggling against the oppressions and difficulties of their daily lives. And you get ideas as to how to do that in the one hand. And the stuff that you’re doing is validated massively. And that’s what I found fascinating about the internet. And I got involved in the internet as an internet activist. The Left’s involvement with the internet is as old as the worldwide web. The Left has been involved heavily, heavily, heavily with the worldwide web since its inception, since the creation of the early browsers and all of that.

So you know, getting involved in that started the thinking and, you know, working. I launched a thing called People Link, which was a provider of internet services that tried to specialize in left-wing people. It was a small provider, but we functioned for several years. And in the process, I got to know some people from something called the May First Technology Collective, who were techies, technologist s who did progressive work, work with progressive movements, nonprofit movements. And they went out of business, and we weren’t doing that well. And we proposed that we get together and start this internet provider. Because we didn’t have any other kind of name we called it May First / People Link. And that’s how it got started.

Listen to the episode or read the transcript at Real Co-op Stories


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