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Radical Routes

A brief look at the UK's national network of radical housing co-ops.

Co-ops are not inherently revolutionary – they meet the needs of their members, whatever those needs might be. For those of us who consider ourselves revolutionary, co-ops are a good a vehicle in this capitalist world for creating stability, creating income, meeting the needs of ourselves & our communities and walking the walk of non-hierarchy, non-exploitation, collective action, self-reliance, common ownership and mutual aid.

Radical Routes is a federation of co-ops which serve this purpose – including housing co-ops, workers' co-ops and social centres. We facilitate radical activists to base their lives and their struggles on firm footings of common wealth, secure housing and social support.

Skill-sharing

Radical Routes publishes guides to setting up housing co-ops, workers' co-ops and social centres, which we sell mailorder and which are freely downloadable from our website. Every quarterly gathering offers workshops in 'how to set up a workers co-op', consensus decision-making, facilitation, financial literacy and introductory sessions to Radical Routes itself. Gatherings are open to all.

Rootstock Ethical Investment

We can lend money to our member co-ops for houses or equipment, because supporters invest in Rootstock, our investment arm. Rootstock is itself a co-op, with the investors being its members, but it exists solely to support Radical Routes. Every loan application is assessed not only by the RR Finance group, but also by every member co-op before being agreed. As a result Radical Routes (and therefore Rootstock) has never lost money on a loan. We now want more investment as several members can finally afford property, as prices are starting to come down.

The next gathering is in Leeds, 9-10 February 2013. www.radicalroutes.org.uk / 0845 330 4510. www.rootstock.org.uk / 0870 458 1132

Topics: Radical Living