The famous Liverpool venue The Blackie played host to the winter Radical Routes meeting during the weekend of 14th to the 16th of February.
By Rob Harrison
Formed in 1989 Radical Routes now has a network of co-ops across the country. The movement promotes housing and workers co-ops throughout the UK and has international exchanges with other like minded co-ops throughout Europe and the US.
The main aims of Radical Routes is to create a network of housing and workers co-ops practising what is termed Mutual Aid.That is one that is opposed to capitalism and its related ideas of exploitation, whether it be in your housing situation or in the workplace.
Most members are politically active in some way. So the original idea was to create affordable housing for those that where engaging in alternative political practices and alternative living situations, such as veganism, queer politics, and political activists.
Radical Routes also promotes workers co-ops, trading goods and products in an environmentally friendly way, paying the members a wage that reflects the time and energy put in to the product they have produced.
The philosophy is based on principles of anarchist self help groups. But membership contains many strands of the various shades of political belief that now holds sway in this country and, of course, Internationally.
This was the first time the Blackie had been used to host such an event and the size and space was well suited to accommodate such a large event such as this. A local housing co-op Rose Howey helped put the event together, managing the events which took place, cooking the food and helping accommodate some co-op members travelling a distance.
For more information on Radical Routes visit www.radicalroutes.org.uk