Another Hyde Park institution has succumbed to foul play on the part of profit-seeking capitalists. The Herald has learned that the Board of Directors will recommend that the Hyde Park Co-Op cave in to pressure from its landlord (boo, hiss) and pursue a "debt-workout" option that will mean the closing of the Co-Op. This option will mean that the Co-Op will be replaced by, horror of horrors, a store managed by those who seek to maximize profits.
Where is our community cooperative spirit? In past years, we have stood firm by our principles that we must endure low-quality produce, bad service, and high prices. Occasionally, the Co-Op sponsored worker solidarity events such as the shutting down of all cash registers for several months. We made our Soviet brothers, who suffered through the siege of Leningrad, proud.
We at the Herald are loath to point fingers, but there is a malaise in community cooperative spirit. We need to stand fast and cling to unrealistic goals. We hope to see a revival of our Quixotic spirit at the community meeting to be held this Sunday. Go forth and demand that we vote FOR keeping the Co-Op, whatever the financial reality is.
These capitalist stooges insist that the Co-Op doesn't have enough funds to continue in operation. This is silly; only last week we started a fundraising drive that has collected several old CTA bus tokens and campus bus tickets. Where is the Co-Op hiding all of the money they have extracted from the working class, the poor, and the elderly with their high prices?
The Board of the Co-Op insists that this is a meeting only for "members" of the Co-Op. Nonsense, the Co-Op is a community institution that we all have a stake in. Just make up a membership number, they have lost their membership records anyway.
We should be deeply suspicious of the machinations of the University of Chicago. This institution is not well-managed with any sense of fiscal responsibility. Who else would front our Co-Op 1.2 million? This is all a part of a secret plan to rob our community of the existential support that the Co-Op has given so generously over the years.
We should be prepared for the worst. The Forces of the Market are very powerful and we must prepare for the closing of our beloved Co-Op. No longer will small groups of community residents be allowed to control our grocery store. The new profit-hungry store will have to cater to ALL of its customers.
We must hold the community hostage and force the capitalists to beg for our precious store location. Let's wire up the old Co-Op and threaten to blow it up if we don't get a hand in selecting the new store owner. We can easily pile old, dry produce in aisle 8 and soak it with wine that has gone bad. A simple detonator based on friction generated by local activists would work nicely. Once the Co-Op is damaged by fire, we will have another trophy of community activism to add to the abandoned St. Stephen's church, shuttered Doctors Hospital, and crumbling Point revetment.
Comrades, spread the word. Only a few gifted thinkers and activists deserve to run our community.
This post is based on an editorial that appeared in the November 14, 2007 edition of the Herald. We at HPP are sorry to report that there are only minor differences between our spoof above and the actual editorial.