Blog /occupy. resist. produce.

October 26, 2004 04:29 +0000  |  Society & Culture Why I'm Here 2

well the premiere of the take was fabulous. both lewis and klien attended and did a q&a after the show. there was even a gettogether at a nearby bar afterword where i took some pictures. i wanted to get this down though before i went through them and posted what i found. maybe i'll edit this post later to put them in.

so what's this flick about? the take is about workers taking their jobs out of the hands of owners and stockholders and taking the responsibility on themselves. a documentary covering the cultural and economic revolution in argentina, this flick follows one group of workers after they were laid off due to lack of profitability, starting 3years later, they're still out of work as they band together and re-open the long closed factory. it has been done over and over across the country, and the authors follow it step by step. i'd go into detail but there's no need... because you should see this movie.

think of it like this: the corporation opens your eyes, and points to the problem, while the take points to a viable solution. imagine a company that works to produce a product that everyone can use and therefore maintains jobs, instead of lining owner's wallets. decisions are made democratically, one worker, one vote and all workers are paid well... in some cases even equally regardless of position. sounds crazy and even impossible, but it's being done.... all over the country and the world. as the saying goes: "those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it"

i also bought a tshirt there: "stop asking" it says -- a prelude to "just take", a reference to the way such victories often have to be appropriated rather than patiently waited for. i've added my name to a mailing list for local activists of this type and hope i'll be able to help them in the future. one of them i met is even from vancouver... no more than 4blocks from where i used to live... kinda cool. i hope i'll have more interesting things along this thread soon.

the movie starts in the following cities on the 29th
  • vancouver at tinseltown
  • toronto
    • varsity vip
    • the camera
    • carlton
  • montreal
    • excentris (french)
    • amc forum (english)
ottawa has one and only one week to see the show, november 5th at the bytowne.

as i understand it, whether or not the show gets another week is wholly dependent on the first week at the boxoffice. if it goes well, there's a second week, if not, "sorry, gotta make room for gili 2" so do go see this when it's in your town. it's an excellent film and a great way to learn about what's happening in other countries and economies. ...and i promise that it'll make great dinner conversation.

i'm available if you need someone to go with ;-)


27 Oct 2004, 8:24 a.m.  | 

I can't tell you how many bloody times that this sort of thing was proposed for the Mines and the Plant back home. The government had their claws into both as "Crown Corporations" (you know anything with "Crown" in front of it is either doomed to failure or is going to f**k the workers over).

DEVCO took over the mines. SYSCO took over the plant. The Federal Government gave away the fisheries. Big Business took the farms. Now the plant, fisheries and mines are gone and the farmland tended by machines; the average unemployment rate in is now around 28% and spikes at over 60% in some areas.

All this despite dozens of proposals from the workers to take over the mines and the plant. Despite business plans that demonstrated that they could make a tidy profit if run by the workers. Despite the fact that leading economists thought it was a good idea. Despite the fact that thousands of workers would still have good paying jobs.

The workers lost; the government won and no doubt the politicians and their fat fair weather friends won - and no doubt lined their pockets in the process. The age old story repeats itself. The rich win, the poor struggle and middle class gets trod on. Sigh - if only the workers had the gumption to stop asking and just take - so much for Cape Breton moxy...

27 Oct 2004, 1:37 p.m.  | 

at the after party, i asked avi & naomi: "how bad does it have to get before people stop asking?" their response wasn't encouraging. they said "the shrug" is a big enemy to anything like this and the only way to beat it is slow but confident moves in the right direction.

the biggest problem with this idea is that it's essentially sheep tending the flock themselves... sheep tend to like being sheep and are often terrified by the idea of being their own boss and being in control. and anyone who takes offense with this comment, i challenge you to find me one group (yes, it has to be a group) of workers for any company here in north america that has the will to do what these people have done.

unfortunately, to teach sheep to be self-sufficient, it's going to take a very, very long time.

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