The folks who wrote the Opinion article on the Park Slope Food Coop most likely are not members or have not been members for long (“Park Slope Coop Should Stick To Food, Not Politics”). The Coop in 1973 was founded by Park Slope residents who WERE political, and our newsletter, then a 8 ½-by-11-inch mimeographed document, contained many articles regarding political issues. In fact, the Coop boycotted grapes on behalf of California farm workers and is currently boycotting Coca-Cola products because of worldwide abuses (see www.KillerCoke.org).
And when there was a mass demonstration in Washington, D.C., we were all able to miss a shift and participate. Those who call for food, not politics, are missing what the Coop is about. It is more than a supermarket. We join together, work together and share food and ideas. The Coop is an extraordinary democratic organization, unlike most of what we have seen recently in the United States. Decisions are made at a monthly general meeting with discussion and votes. Those who are employees of the Coop don’t always like the decisions, but that’s what democracy is about.
Those who disrupted the meeting and were suspended were attempting to stop the Coop’s democratic process. Like flag burning, you may not like the act, but it’s important to allow the democratic process to work.