Co-op Organization (CO)

CO-OP WARRIORS SEEK RECONCILIATION AND UNDERSTANDING

CO-OP WARRIORS SEEK RECONCILIATION AND UNDERSTANDING

On Saturday, February 13, Roberta and Lynette Malles will be presenting “Co-op Warriors Honored: Revisiting the Co-op Wars of 1975-76,” a free workshop that seeks to better understand the Co-op Wars and to heal the wounds and broken relationships that persist from the conflict...

Echoes of the Co-op Wars in the Occupy Movement

Echoes of the Co-op Wars in the Occupy Movement

In this interview for Radical Roots from 2013, ex-Cooperative Organization (CO) member Lynette Malles reflects on the divisions within the Twin Cities Occupy movement that resemble those in the early co-op movement, and how Occupy Homes flirted with the techniques that did so much damage when practiced by the CO...

Another Side of the Peoples Warehouse Takeover

Another Side of the Peoples Warehouse Takeover

Earlier today we posted an excerpt of our interview with Gary Cunningham that included his description of what it was like to be part of the Co-op Organization’s (CO) takeover of the Peoples’ Warehouse in May of 1975. Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Ken Logsdon about what it was like to be one of the people that the CO kicked out.

Minneapolis Mayor's Husband Breaks Marxist's Arm Defending His Co-op in Street Brawl!

Minneapolis Mayor's Husband Breaks Marxist's Arm Defending His Co-op in Street Brawl!

Yes, it’s true, and yes, it happened in 1976, when Gary Cunningham was still a teenager. The Marxist in question was a member of the Co-op Organization (C.O.) who had come to attack Gary’s uncle Moe Burton and to take control of the Bryant-Central Co-op, which Moe had founded.

Co-op War I: Stalin vs. the Finnish-Americans

Co-op War I: Stalin vs. the Finnish-Americans

The “Co-op Wars” story which we are covering in Radical Roots had an interesting parallel in the 1920s among the first wave of food co-ops in Northern Minnesota, in which another Communist autocrat tried to take over the co-ops for his own purposes. Except this was no secret leader of a tiny sect, this was Joseph Stalin himself...

 

Mao in the Co-ops

Mao in the Co-ops

Interviewing many co-op founders, it has been striking that so many young radicals of the time were so inspired by Mao and the Chinese revolution. While the glum bureaucracy of the Soviet Union was hardly compelling, the apparent energy of the Chinese revolution, along with the Marxist revolutions throughout the Third World, seemed like a viable alternative to American capitalism and imperialism...

Food Wars and Co-op Wars

Food Wars and Co-op Wars

In 2013 TPT’s Daniel Pierce Bergin produced a companion program to Dave Kenney and Thomas Saylor’s book Minnesota in the 70s. It contained a six minute segment on the Co-op Wars, featuring some great film and photos of the co-ops in the mid-70s, including part of an interview with Annie Young (one of our interviewees)...

Ex-COers Host House Parties for Radical Roots

Ex-COers Host House Parties for Radical Roots

What a weekend! We were honored to have two events put on for Radical Roots, one by Roberta & Lynette Malles at their home and another by Rob Ramer at Pangea World Theater. Both featured very thoughtful discussions about the history and future of the food co-ops as well as insight about the Co-op Organization (CO) from people who had been part of it for many years. There are so many lessons to be learned from the "Co-op Wars" about how to be effective activists for justice.