An anarchist community bookstore had the best response to getting robbed

Firestorm Bookstore Co-op is a collectively-owned radical bookstore and community event space in Asheville, North Carolina that describes itself as an essentially anti-capitalist business, in as much as they can be.

And on May 7, someone smashed their through their window and robbed the cash register. (They also behind a live bird, although it's possible the bird also entered later.)

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Well, someone did a crime. 🤔 This morning our co-operative was robbed. Someone smashed in the front door, emptied the register, and left behind a live bird (also totally possible that the bird came in separately). Hopefully they also took a good book, because they definitely didn't leave with a lot of money. Y'all, the anarchist bookstore is not sitting on piles of cash. 🙄 Crime elsewhere! . This is not a great time to take a financial hit, but we're OK. We got a lot of text messages from folks who saw the mess and were concerned <3. If anyone wants to help us cover the losses (looks like about $150 in cash plus $450 in physical damage) now would be a cool time to buy a book or five. . Also, no, we didn't call the police. There really isn't anything that law enforcement could do for us that we can't do for ourselves and if someone is desperate enough to risk their freedom for $150, maybe we've all failed them. It's tough feeling vulnerable, and seeing our storefront broken open brought up a lot of emotions, including anger—but incarceration isn't justice and punishment can only multiply harm.

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Electrification 2.0: Rural broadband co-ops are filling the void left by indifferent monopolists

Writing in Wired, frequent Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson praises the rise of rural broadband co-operatives that are springing up to provide internet access to their far-flung, widespread communities, comparing them to the rural electrification co-ops that sprang up to provide power to farmers neglected by the monopolistic Edison trusts. Read the rest

Proposal: turn Twitter into a user-owned co-op

Though Twitter brings in a hell of a lot of money, it's not enough to satisfy the company's investors, who are said to be contemplating a sale to Google or Salesforce; in The Guardian, Nathan Schneider moots the possibility of turning Twitter into a co-operative platform. Read the rest

Profile of People's Ride: a co-operative, driver-owned alternative to Uber

People's Ride is a co-op ride-hailing company in Grand Rapids, Michigan: drivers own the service in common and collectively decide how to spend its profits (for example, on deploying an app to go with its website); for-profit competitors like Uber take 30% commissions from their drivers and deliver them to investors, while People's Ride spends all the revenue paying drivers and improving the service. Read the rest

Fighting Uber's Death Star with a Rebel Alliance of co-op platforms

As Mark Andreessen noted, software is eating the world because once it's developed, it scales to infinity. That means that once a worker's co-op of drivers clones Uber's platform in free/open code, drivers in every city in the world can disrupt the company, throw off its rent-seeking, and fill their pockets with the money the company siphons off for providing very little at the margins. Read the rest