It is encouraging to see that across the planet people are on the street protesting against the brutality of the state apparatus, through its front line of defence, the police. Black Lives Matter, has been the spearhead, but these protests have encompassed many more grievances that have brought global anger at the entire system to the surface. Before this outburst of justified anger there was a lot of action on, and talk of, the many mutual aid projects that had mushroomed across the world since the start of the covid19 pandemic. While the protests might be getting all the attention, we should never forget that it is with the mutual aid groups in our communities that we can change the way we live our lives and help to bring down this festering unjust and brutal system.
Mutual aid groups take many shapes and forms and we must learn from each other, what is the best way to circumvent and undermine the economic system that has us tied to its yoke. It is a new world for many, many who have never before thought of mutual aid, but now see it as the way forward. Let's discuss it, exchange ideas, and link up from community to community, and encourage more to get involved. The street is where the battles may take place, but we need the back up of those mutual aid groups to cement any progress we make.
The following is an interesting article on Mutual aid from Crimethinc:
Finding the Thread that Binds Us
Three Mutual Aid Networks in New York City
Fundamental social change involves two intertwined processes. On the one hand, it means shutting down the mechanisms that impose disparities in power and access to resources; on the other hand, it involves creating infrastructures that distribute resources and power according to a different logic, weaving a new social fabric. While the movement for police abolition that burst into the public consciousness a month ago in Minneapolis has set new precedents for resistance, the mutual aid networks that have expanded around the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic point the way to a new model for social relations. The following report profiles three groups that coordinate mutual aid efforts in New York City—Woodbine, Take Back the Bronx, and Milk Crate Gardens—exploring their motivations and aspirations as well as the resources and forms of care they circulate.
This is the first installment in a series exploring mutual aid projects across the globe.
Food distribution at Woodbine, a social center in New York City.
With politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for the people to engage in mutual aid in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis, those not previously familiar with the term might never guess it was coined by an anarchist scientist who advocated against central government. As economies collapse and the institutions of state and capitalism fail to protect people’s health and livelihoods, communities have been left no choice but to rely on each other. This has led to a proliferation of spontaneous mutual aid networks in communities where none previously existed, often cohering around Facebook groups and Google documents.
Many communities, particularly those of poor and working class people, have long understood that we cannot rely on governments to meet our needs and have been providing for each other through autonomous grassroots collectives since well before anyone heard of the coronavirus. Now, the question is how to use the momentum of mutual aid’s recent popularity to transform the status quo and make these principles the basis for a new way of living together. An important first step will be to establish a clear distinction in the public consciousness between real mutual aid projects, which are founded on the principles of autonomy, horizontality, and solidarity, and initiatives that promote mutual aid in name only—those based more on a charity model, which serve to supplement and stabilize, rather than disrupt, state and capital.
Read the full article HERE: