The Class Work Project is a workers’ co-operative developing theory, analysis, and practice around issues relating to class identity, oppression, and stigma in Britain and beyond.
We seek to centre the knowledge and experiences of poor and working-class people through writing, art, education and training. We publish and platform work in our publishing project… Lumpen: a journal for poor and working class writers. We run workshops and training sessions IRL and online called Exploring Class. We also work to create opportunities for the redistribution of resources within social movements.
In the autumn of 2021 we began the process of becoming a membership organisation. Its all very exciting, bewildering and to be honest we have zero idea what this will end up looking like. This is because we have no intention of holding a tight grip over the development of this project, we want it to go where others need it to go, to places we just don’t know about yet, but we need to do this slowly, respecting our paid workers’ and those who volunteer alike.
The Class Work Project (CWP) is the result of its members combining their respective experiences within the radical left with the shared desire to articulate and ease the struggles faced by poor and working-class participants in social movements. Our experience in the radical left spans from traveler solidarity to environmentalism, from prison solidarity to trans rights, from tenants unions to migrant justice and youth advocacy, meaning we hold identifications across a broad range of intersecting struggles.
The breadth of our collective interaction with the radical left means the project is connected to the rich tradition of radical left organising. This connection comes into contact with the variety of poor and working class contexts that we are both in now and have come from, creating a heady stew of political analysis, identities, aims, and objectives.
CWP is an attempt at pursuing a political home that, whilst rooted in the practices and sentiments of counterculture, resistance and direct action, strives to be sustainable beyond the burnout culture of leftist organising. Where resistance so often relies on the finite resources of marginalised individuals who are battling not only for their own survival but the survival of others.
We view it as vital that members and contributors have the opportunity to be paid so that they can do work within the radical left for better, anti-oppressive and equitable movement building. We know that those who struggle and organise against oppression out of necessity are left with little resources to do so, therefore it is essential for us to value and adequately renumerate this work. The project is also a registered cooperative, meaning all members have equal authority; however we are working towards being a members coop—which will fundamentally change the way we work. age is not conditional to top-down expectations of productivity and is based on the needs and capacities of each member. Though our members contribute their life long learned skills and wealth of experience, pre-existing skills aren’t essential for participation, but rather, a desire to learn is. Participation is not based on preexisting skills, but rather a desire to learn.