Resist and Build, Fight and Build, Oppose and Propose, Resist and Insist – whatever the wording, there is great convergence about the need to connect these dimensions. Even if the lines are a bit blurry, we can broadly distinguish between resist work that seeks to fight back against an oppressive, unjust and unsustainable social/economic system, and the build work of the solidarity economy that seeks to build ‘another world’ beyond capitalism to one that puts people and planet, equity, justice and sustainability front and center. Resistance without knowing where you’re going is likely to lead only to reform of the current system. Building a solidarity economy without being grounded in grassroots organizing runs the risk of losing touch with the struggle that impels the need for a solidarity economy in the first place.
Kali Akuno brings a powerful vision and deep analysis that is changing the social and economic fabric of Jackson, Mississippi. Activists are bringing together resist and build through three spheres of organizing: 1) Cooperation Jackson is building the solidarity economy through cooperative and community controlled enterprises and initiatives, 2) People’s Assemblies are used to organize the community, as well as to 3) engage in a political/electoral strategy to take power through local government and grassroots organizing.