On Thursday, Jan. 13, in celebration of our 50th anniversary, Seward Co-op hosted a virtual panel discussion about the original documentary film “The Co-op Wars.” “The Co-op Wars” tells the story of the idealistic youth who tried to build an alternative to corporate capitalism, the violent struggle that almost tore them apart, and their eventual success in ways they never foresaw. Watch “The Co-op Wars” here.
We were joined by Erik Esse and Deacon Warner, producer and director of “The Co-op Wars.” We also welcomed early co-op movement leaders Lori Zuidema, Gary Cunningham, and Leo Cashman. Read more about each of them here.
The discussion served as an unofficial reunion for both the subjects of the film and many long-time Seward Co-op owners who participated via Zoom. It was a fantastic opportunity to get an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at motivations behind the founding of numerous Twin Cities co-ops, as well as the philosophical turmoil that incited the Co-op Wars. The discussion also touched on some of the issues of inequity that are still relevant today in cooperatives.