Sowing Struggle: Urban and rural social movements in Tlaxcala, Mexico


The Mexico-US Solidarity Network and Bloom present:
“Sowing Struggle: Urban and rural social movements in Tlaxcala, Mexico” featuring Luz Rivera Martinez of the Consejo National Urbano Campesino (CNUC)

April 17th (wed.) 7pm – Bloom Collective – 8 Jefferson ave. SE

Luz Rivera Martinez will speak about her 20 years of experience constructing autonomy, organizing outside the electoral system, and resisting free trade. Luz is an inspiring speaker and her talk will have important lessons for anyone interested in women’s, peasant, and labor movements.

During the Mexican Revolution support for Emiliano Zapata was strong in Tlaxcala, and under the slogan of “the land belongs to those who work it” many peasants occupied the plantations their families had labored on as serfs for generations.

Today, the Revolution lives on through the work of the Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino (CNUC). Luz established CNUC in the early 1990s to coordinate resistance to the impending North American Free Trade Agreement, especially regarding its dismemberment of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, which enshrined peasants’ right to communally own the ejido farm lands redistributed during the Revolution.

As CNUC’s lead organizer, Luz has worked tirelessly to demand government accountability, defend family farms, resist the use of GMO seeds, and build inspiring, community-based autonomous projects. CNUC has a long history of disposing of corrupt leaders, democratizing the budget, coordinating community-driven infrastructure projects, including peoples’ history in education, and expanding access to healthcare.

Luz and CNUC also work closely with the Apizaco merchants union, a bus-drivers’ cooperative, and the National Assembly of Braceros. CNUC is also a member of the Zapatistas’ Other Campaign, an international network of organizations struggling against neoliberalism and for autonomy from the grassroots.

*The Mexico Solidarity Network is an organization dedicated to popular education and autonomous community organizing. In addition to our community work in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood and speaking tours, MSN also administers a unique, social justice-oriented study abroad program that allows students to learn about grassroots movements in Mexico by living with the families that comprise them, including members of CNUC. For more information,


Hosted by The Bloom Collective ( at 8 Jefferson Ave. SE in Grand Rapids, MI. At 7pm.

Luz will also be bringing Zapatista Swag:

Videos of Luz speaking:

Invite your friends!

facebook event:


The Bloom Collective is an infoshop and lending library consisting of informative materials directed toward social justice. Collectively we strive to offer resources that cover issues which are often neglected in our society. We wish to both provide information for and accept information from our neighborhood and community, and hope to extend our efforts to those who share common ideas of global justice. We believe sharing our collection of resources locally is one of the many ways to inspire change and promote equality globally.

The Bloom Collective is located at 8 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI.


Open and Onward

Thank you to everyone who attended the Grand Opening party on Saturday. We were inspired by amount of support generated by our community (YOU), we had a wonderful turnout, lots of renewed memberships, and many donations. Thank you!

Now that the party’s over, we have no intention of things going “back to normal”. We’re re-imagining the Bloom Collective in a number of ways. The first, and perhaps most important, is our new hours:

The Bloom will be open Tuesday thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm.


Pretty cool, right? The thing is, we’re still completely volunteer run, so in order to maintain these sorts of hours, we’re going to need help from volunteers. Download our volunteer application to get started. You can turn it in at the space, or by email, and then you can help keep us open!

Please remember that if you have any Bloom materials out, we need all books back within 3 weeks, and DVDs within 2 weeks. If you have of our materials that are overdue, please return them!! We can only share our collection with the community if our resources come back. Thanks!

Don’t forget to check our website and our new community calendar in the infoshop for the latest upcoming events.

With that, we hope to see you all down at 8 Jefferson soon!!



After weeks of fundraising, moving, construction, design, radio interviews and press releases, it’s finally here:

grandopeningCome check out our new diggs at 8 Jefferson, and feel free to read a selection from our collection (rhymes!!) to inspire radical social change. Party starts at 6pm. Oh, and bring an appetite.

Fundraising Update!

Hello again Bloomers!

We’re writing first and foremost to say thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Since our last email just over a week ago we’ve already reached about 40% of our fundraising goal! Needless to say, you all have performed beautifully thus far. We reached out to our grass roots looking for help, and have been overwhelmed with the response. This has proved to us that you share our vision and are willing to do what it takes to make that a reality. Thank you. You will not be disappointed.

That said, we have another ‘fundraising announcement’, of sorts. We received a “matching donation” for up to $2,000 from an anonymous donor. This means that basically everything we raise in the next three weeks, and everything we’ve raised so far, double it (until we reach 2K).

Some organizations might take that info and slow down, take a break even. Not The Bloom. We’re calling on you to make sure we get every cent of this matching offer, not just half.

It’s time for us to finish this thing right. Again, we want at least a year’s rent in the bank by time we open our doors on Jefferson street. At first, we thought that goal was going to be nearly impossible (you’ve certainly proved us wrong there!). We’ve already started day dreaming about what extra funds could go towards (built-in book shelves to the ceiling, a rolling library ladder, a mounted projector and a drop down projection screen, a bar code scanner for books, a community zine making space! A phone line even!!).

How would your relationship with the infoshop change if it were downtown? What about if it had some of the “extras” we’ve been hoping for? How do you imagine The Bloom?

As you know, we hate that our capabilities are so tied to filthy, dirty capital, but we also recognize the difference between charging for services and suggesting a donation. We suggest a donation just as we suggest that another world is possible. When you choose to give (whatever you can), you choose to support a radically different project, a project that seeks societal change in favor of the oppressed. We always suggest a donation and never demand payment; no one is ever turned away, because that is the type of society we want to live in, and we believe this is one way to help us get there.

We typically suggest $15 a year for a membership, which includes full access to all of our materials, over 3000 books and 200 DVDs. We are doubling our efforts, and so we ask that you double your donations, whatever you can give. If we match this $2,000 offer to the fullest, we’ll have nearly two years worth of rent in the bank. In short, we’ll be financially stable.

Thank you for everything you’ve done so far. You are The Bloom Collective.

Love & Rage


Our spot on WTCE’ Catalyst Radio:

Our YouTube video:

Fundraising for the Bloom


Hi Friends, The Bloom is moving to anew location in downtown GR that will be a lot more visible and easier to find. We will keep you posted about when we’ll be open. We are doing a fundraiser to get together the rent and construction expenses for this new space, we need to raise $2100 to be set for the next year. As part of this fundraising project we’ve made this video:

We could really use your help, both with the donations and with helping us spread the word…

Continue reading

Infoshop Closed in December

We at the infoshop have decided to take the month of December off while we visit our families, regroup, reorganize, and reenergize ourselves for what is looking to be an extra special year for The Bloom. We plan to see you all in 2013 with new hours, new materials, and all kinds of other surprises that will surely peak your interest. There’s never been a better time to volunteer at the Bloom, as we’ve got lots of great projects in the works (see the Contribute page).

Lastly, we still have some 2013 Slingshot! Organizers available at the space for sale. However, unless you contact a Bloom core member personally, you’re probably gunna have to wait until 2013 is underway to get your hands on one.

Stay radical!

Love & Rage,


November film screening of The Canary Effect

Saturday, November 17, 2012, 2:00pm

The Bloom Collective will be hosting a screening of The Canary Effect, directed by Robin Davey and Yellow Thunder Woman. This film looks at the long reaching and devastating impact U.S. policy has had on the indigenous peoples of North America. Join us for a viewing and discussion of the film as we prepare to venture into the Thanksgiving season.