Thursday, 7 February 2019

We Can Do It Ourselves.

      In most emergencies, "natural" or otherwise, the state never seems to step up to the line. It gets bogged down in legislation and concern for costs and a bias to protect property. It always falls to the communities to step forward and organise in a hands on and unstinting manner. Yes charities do step in but the are always dependent on the money factor, communities use mutual aid and utilise what is available, cost is seldom a factor.
    The following article shows this coming into play in the recent brutal cold spell to hit the Chicago area, if only the communities would hold onto this strategy after the crisis has passed, then perhaps we would see a more rapid collapse of the failed system of capitalism.  
This extract from Its Going Down:
Street Team Response

---------Several teams sprung up and mobilized quickly from a coalition of anarchist groups which included Little Village Solidarity Network, Haymaker, Tenants United Hyde Park Woodlawn, Blood Fruit Anarchist Library, Chicago Recovery Alliance, Lucy Parsons Labs, Four Red Stars, Chicago General Defense Committee, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, and Chicago Black Rose/Rosa Negra Anarchist Federation, among others. Raising funds from family, friends, and allies, they were able to immediately put together a plan to track temporary warming shelters and open spaces that were available like Haymaker gym.
     Teams fanned out to purchase supplies and deliver them to whichever neighborhoods they knew best, giving rides to shelter where needed and checking in on people in encampments who were less mobile or didn’t want to leave. While hitting the streets other individuals were encountered who had the same idea, and some independent groups like ChiRides. As well, a warming school bus was making rounds and giving rides. Trinity Lutheran Church in Bridgeport was passing out socks that the teams were able to take with them, and shelters like Flood’s Hall in Hyde Park were looking for help with the early morning shifts, being especially busy at night. Provided by Chicago Recovery Alliance, narcan was available and distributed to whoever was in need.
     The city has a long history of criminalizing homelessness and prioritizing the needs of developers and landlords over tenants and people without housing, while hundreds of houses sit empty or foreclosed across Chicago. Though we don’t depend on the City of Chicago to come through in times like this, we used whatever tools we had to keep people safe tonight. A lot of the warming shelters that would be open during the day on Wednesday weren’t open at night, but the trains that were running 24/7 weren’t charging readmission. Passing out single ride ventra cards downtown and elsewhere has already kept a lot of people out of the cold, and then we have teams going in and out of train cards offering food and supplies through the night and all day today.
      We’re not here to be thanked or anything, but mutual aid and direct action are what’s going to save us from capitalism and that’s something that doesn’t just come about when you need it–it’s something that requires organizing now and practicing community care all the time.--------
Read the full article HERE: 
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