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Self-Organized Collectives

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A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective. Collectives can differ from cooperatives in that they are not necessarily focused upon an economic benefit or saving, but can be that as well.

The term "collective" is sometimes used to describe a species as a whole—for example, the human collective.

For political purposes, a collective is defined by decentralized, or "majority-rules" decision making styles.

Types of Groups

Collectives are sometimes characterised by attempts to share and exercise political and social power and to make decisions on a consensus-driven and egalitarian basis.

A commune or intentional community, which may also be known as a "collective household", is a group of people who live together in some kind of dwelling or residence, or in some other arrangement (e.g. sharing land). Collective households may be organized for a specific purpose (e.g. relating to business, parenting, or some other shared interest).

Artist collectives, including musical collectives, are typically a collection of individuals with similar interests in producing and documenting art as a group. These groups can range in size from a few people to thousands of members.[citation needed] The style of art produced can have vast differences. Motivations can be for a common cause or individually motivated purposes. Some collectives are simply people who enjoy painting with someone else and have no other goals or motivations for forming their collective.

A Worker cooperative is a type of horizontal collectivism wherein a business functions as a partnership of individual professionals, recognizing them as equals and rewarding them for their expertise. The working collective aims to reduce costs to clients while maintaining healthy rewards for participating partners. This is accomplished by eliminating the operating costs that are needed to support levels of management.

Some examples:

 the FANG Collective -- "In January 2014, a group of organizers and frontline community members fighting fracking and fracked gas infrastructure projects (pipelines, compressor stations, export terminals,) on the east coast participated in the first FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas Convergence. After a few days of discussing strategy, shared struggles, and campaign alignments, a group of convergence attendees decided to form a coalition called FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas Collective.

FANG is comprised of members from: RI, MA, NJ, ME, CT and MI. As the scope of our work grew, to reflect the inherent intersectional goals and identities of our leadership and membership, we formally changed our name to The FANG Collective in 2016, removing “Fighting Against Natural Gas” as the focus.

The FANG Collective currently supports two campaigns local to the Northeast: No New Power Plant and No LNG IN PVD. After the 2016 election, FANG helped to form a coalition of frontline community members and grassroots organizations called AMOR: Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia; where FANG serves as coordinators of the Community Response Team and Mental Health Team. More information about these movements and solidarity work can be found on the campaigns page."

 Tooth and Nail Collective -- "This year The FANG Collective launched our newest project, TOOTH & NAIL Community Support Collective- a group of mostly femmes, genderqueer, nonbinary and BIPOC folx working together to provide collaborative healing support to the frontlines and within our communities.

You may have seen us setting up kitchens and medic stations at resistance camps like L'eau Est La Vie Camp - No Bayou Bridge, cooking for volunteers at AMOR RI - Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia's Lobsterfest or PrYSM for the Southeast Asian Freedom Network - SEAFN Family Reunion, providing street medic - first aid - and healing justice trainings, or gathering and sending medical & herbal supplies to resistance camps and relief efforts across the so-called US.

Now we are asking for your support as we continue to expand our work in 2019. Please DONATE to support our work:
A month ago we leased an acre of land and have begun Tooth and Nail’s farm project with the hopes of being able to grow and harvest our own herbs (to make medicines to send away and distribute locally) and have a space for those who have not had access to land due to colonization & gentrification to reconnect with the earth and learn with / from each other. Your contributions will support us in getting gardening tools, construction materials, and herbal medicine making supplies --

It will also help us purchase supplies for two mobile kitchens --- We donated our kitchen to the L’eau Est La Vie camp when it first launched and have been slowly collecting items but have a few more pieces we could use to complete our kitchen. The second kitchen would be one we give to a group of Oglala Lakota women who host a young women’s cultural summer camp - for the past few years we have been invited to cook, but we would love to leave them their own equipment to cook year round for events, etc. when we are not there!
More information about us and the projects we are working on this year can be found in the link:

Thank you for your support!"

 Pots and Pans Kitchen Collective -- "We're a femme/women/trans*/queer collective that aims to provide nourishing & affordable food support to folks fighting for environmental & social justice."

 Peoples Kitchen Collective -- Oakland, CA -- "Food is where we meet, where we build, where we struggle, and where we survive. Collectively cooking and sharing food is sanctified and celebrated community work in many cultures. With the passage of time, systems of imperialism--including capitalism and gentrification--have turned cooking into an inaccessible burden. Systemic classism and racism have made liquor stores and fast food chains more abundant than grocery stores. It has become increasingly difficult to cook and share meals. This also restricts our ability to share cultures, space, struggles, and solidarity.

In response to this inequality we have been creating accessible, healthy, and loving food spaces since 2007. Active in Oakland since 2011, we are committed to using local and organic ingredients whenever possible and sharing meals with as many people as we can. The goal of the People's Kitchen Collective is to not only fill our stomachs, but also nourish our souls, feed our minds, and fuel a movement.

We do this through:

Community Dining: We approach community dining as a social practice, creating meals in collaboration with artists, poets, researchers, and activists as multi-sensory productions of cultural resilience and joyous political critique.

Education: Through public speaking and workshops, we share our expertise and research of food and social movements to build solidarity across race, class, nationality, and gender.

Exhibitions and Programming: We create participatory projects with museums, galleries, and in public spaces that engage the social politic and potential of food."

 Books Through Bars -- "Books Through Bars is an all-volunteer non-profit organization. We believe systemic social, educational, and economic inequality leads to relentless cycles of crime and mass incarceration. Our work aims to reverse the devastating effects that injustice and incarceration has on individuals, families and communities.

Our work is three-fold:

Books: We distribute free books and educational materials to prisoners in seven states. We send them to anyone who asks, as long as their prison accepts books.

Knowledge: The educational materials we send—often to people who otherwise have little no access to them—support prisoner education. This leads to critical personal growth and promotes successful community re-integration. In addition, we conduct innovative programs that encourage the public to think critically and engage in creative dialogue about imprisonment and the criminal justice system.

Change: Our work fosters transformation within and outside prison walls. We receive hundreds of letters each year from prisoners telling us how the books they received changed them for the better. Program attendees tell us they walk away newly enlightened about the complexities of the issues we’re trying to address and the hurdles incarcerated people face. Volunteers say working at BTB changed their views about justice, equality, and incarcerated people."

 the Diggers -- "a radical community-action group of activists and Street Theatre actors operating from 1966 to 1968, based in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Their politics have been categorized as "left-wing"; more accurately, they were "community anarchists" who blended a desire for freedom with a consciousness of the community in which they lived. They were closely associated and shared a number of members with the guerrilla theater group San Francisco Mime Troupe. The Diggers took their name from the original English Diggers (1649–50) who had promulgated a vision of society free from buying, selling, and private property. During the mid- and late 1960s, the San Francisco Diggers organized free music concerts and works of political art, provided free food, medical care, transport, and temporary housing and opened stores that gave away stock. Some of their happenings included the Death of Money Parade, Intersection Game, Invisible Circus, and Death of Hippie/Birth of Free."

 Bikes Not Bombs -- "Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change. We reclaim thousands of bicycles each year. We create local and global programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation. Our programs mobilize youth and adults to be leaders in community transformation.

Each year we collect roughly 6,000 used bicycles and tons of used parts from our supporters around Greater Boston and New England. We ship most of these bikes overseas to economic development projects through our International Partners in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Bikes that don't get shipped often land in our Youth Programs where teens learn bicycle safety and mechanics skills in the process of earning bikes to keep for themselves. Our retail Bike Shop also reconditions and sells some of the donated bikes that we receive, employing many graduates of our programs. The Shop's profit from the bicycle sales, parts sales, and repairs goes towards funding our youth and international work.

The Bikes Not Bombs community:

Addresses the root causes of inequality, violence, and oppression

Supports the self-empowerment of individuals and communities as a means to achieve sustainable, effective social change.

Includes all people in the social change process in order to challenge the forces and effects of systemic oppression

Acts in solidarity with our local and international partners because this leads to collective understanding and strength

Commits to sustainable, equitable consumption of resources as critical to the health of our communities and our planet

Is courageous and bold in the face of injustice

Uses the bicycle as a powerful vehicle and tool for social change

Celebrates and builds upon the existing strengths of our partners and participants."

 Food Not Bombs -- "We recover food that would have been discarded and share it as a way of protesting war and poverty. With fifty cents of every U.S. federal tax dollar going to the military and forty percent of our food being discarded while so many people were struggling to feed their families that we could inspire the public to press for military spending to be redirected to human needs. We also reduce food waste and meet the direct need of our community by collecting discarded food, preparing vegan meals that we share with the hungry while providing literature about the need to change our society. Food Not Bombs also provides food to protesters and striking workers and organizes food relief after natural and political crisis."]