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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

The Detroit Printing Co-op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing

Starting in 1970 and over the next ten years, Detroit Printing Co-op produced dozens of book titles and millions of pamphlets, journals and posters for diverse social and political currents in Detroit, the Great Lakes area and internationally. Legendary co-ops often have competing and murky origin stories. Danielle Aubert has interviewed some of the key participants, as well as going to secondary sources to show how the co-op stood in a tradition of propaganda, education and organising by anarchist and socialist printers in America going back to the early nineteenth century. Fredy Perlman wasn’t a tramp printer, but arrived in Detroit in 1969, having spent time in Yugoslavia and much of 1968 as a witness to the political upheavals in Europe:
“Detroit in 1969 held palpable revolutionary potential. Radicalized students were dropping out of college and moving to working class manufacturing cities where they saw possibility for enacting system change. Various leftist groups were active and labor unions were strong…the effects of the 1967 rebellion were felt widely. The League of Revolutionary Black Workers organized in auto factories. The Republic of New Afrika was founded in Detroit in 1968 and the city also had a vibrant chapter of the Black Panthers.”

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