This is an update from the Students for Cooperation gathering held in Edinburgh from the 1st–3rd of April 2022. We had attendees from Leeds, Cork, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow and elsewhere.
After the first visitors began to arrive on Friday afternoon, welcomed in with a workshop on finances providing resources for co-ops and advice on bookkeeping, we rounded off the evening with a play performance by members of the hosting ESHC, a satire-comedy-horror play called ‘Eat The Rich!’. We then had a tasty communal meal and gathered in the courtyard for food, fire and friendliness.
We had a real mix of workshops and events on the Saturday, covering many different aspects of co-operative organising and activism, spanning the practicalities of finding housing, co-operative propaganda making, and reflecting on gendered experiences in co-ops. They were contemplative, informative and energising! Later in the evening we had more food and gathered for a shindig, with resident ESHC DJs on the decks and hand-printed t-shirts to fundraise for SFC.
We slowed down on the Sunday, with attendees beginning to peel away back to their home towns, and made space for more reflection on SfC as a structure and how we wanted to organise moving forward. In the morning there was a chance for caucuses to meet, and out of this time a newly developed disabled student caucus was established. In the afternoon, a large group gathered for an event facilitated by members of ESHC’s ‘Principle 6’ working group. The object of this workshop was to plan for regenerating and reviving SFC as an organisation which empowers and supports co-operatives and is self-run by a larger collective of co-operators across the land. The notes from the workshop can be found here by clicking here.
Out of this brainstorm, we formed new working groups for Students for Cooperation which attendees began to sign up for, and which remain open to more people joining! Please see the minutes from the workshop above for details on these working groups. Once everyone has a chance to read this email and sign up, ESHC will organise the first date for SFC working group meetings to get things kicked off, and from there, groups can start their own communication groups and organise future meetings.