Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Austin, Texas

Thanks to Cory, who organized an amazing visit, cleared out of her own house so we had a place to stay, set up a day of skillshares with Skillshare Austin, and took us on a social justice tour of Austin, where we met the folks from Rhizome Collective, a housing collective that is also an Educational Center for Urban Sustainability and a Center for Community Organizing, and Ecology Action, a project that seeks to create a healthier environment through waste prevention and accessibility to recycling, that is also a worker-run collective, operated by a democratic, horizontal decision making process.

A high point of our visit was visiting Treasure City Thrift, another radical worker-run collective project! Treasure City started in 2006 as a project to raise money and material support for small, local grassroots community groups and projects that traditionally have difficulty with funding. Their main financial and material beneficiary is the Inside Books Project, which sends 18,000 free books a year to Texas prisoners.

We were told that, as a collective, Treasure City also believes that the struggles for social justice are not separate, but in fact all linked together in a broader struggle for liberation - an injustice against one is an injustice against all. From what we saw of Cory and the other collective members, this is definitely true!

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