The Strategy of Mutual Aid

Paris under lockdown, March 2020 Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP

A moment of crisis where things are unfolding and changing is one where conventional wisdom and status-quo approaches may not best meet the needs of an unconventional time. Instead, a moment like this requires that we be adaptable and resilient so that we can support our communities to weather what’s to come. With the instability of global markets, business as usual approaches, and the government’s sporadic and uncoordinated responses — we need to be ready and create a response where we can be in solidarity with one another.

On Thursday, March 26th we did a webinar on The Strategy of Mutual Aid. We shared the importance of Mutual Aid as a strategic response to this crisis, which means orienting ourselves to new ways of engaging in organization and strategy. We explained the difference between Mutual Aid and services, and we shared some of the basics needed to start mutual aid networks for those that are interested in getting one started.

Below is the recording and links to various resources (for the most up to date information follow bit.ly/MutualAidResources). We hope you find them helpful in this time.

Mutual Aid Survey: We want to understand more what’s important to cover in the future and what educational resources are needed related to this topic. If you can, please fill it out by following this link: bit.ly/326survey

Presentation References

  1. Article: “Coronavirus is a historic trigger event — and it needs a movement to respond” in Waging Nonviolence by Paul Engler
  2. Long View: https://ayni.institute/memory
  3. Article:The case for just giving Americans money to help with coronavirus fallout” in The Washington Post by Amber Phillips
  4. Article:Love One Another or Die: Lessons for Coronavirus From the HIV/AIDS Crisis” in Common Dreams by Roger Lancaster
  5. Momentum Training: How to create social movements with shared identity and infrastructure www.momentumcommunity.org

Mutual Aid Resources

  1. U.S. Database: Localized Resources During COVID 19 Outbreak in collaboration with the Radical Communicators Network, which includes information and links to: Local mutual aid, National mutual aid support, Resources/relief funds, Organizing for specific demands, Elder support, Healthcare providers support, Trans/Queer support, Best practices, For kids/teens, Mental health/physical health, Messaging support, and From funders for funders
  2. List of Local Mutual Aid Efforts: You can start on this page to find an effort nearby, or to start your own by copying documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc.
  3. Map: Look up your Local Mutual Aid Network at www.mutualaidhub.org
  4. Organizing Resources: Resources for organizers, campaigners and digital strategists to respond to coronavirus by PowerLabs
  5. Connect: Join this Slack if you’re part of local mutual aid efforts and want to be connected to a network of folks across the country learning how to do this together.
  6. Article: Amid the coronavirus crisis, mutual aid networks erupt across the country” in Waging Nonviolence by Shane Burley
  7. Story: “Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid & How to Organize in the Age of Coronavirus” in Democracy Now’s show with Amy Goodman and guests Mariame Kaba & Dean Spade
  8. Website: Mutual Aid resource site bigdoorbrigade.com created by Dean Spade. It includes a Mutual Aid Toolbox that’s organized into helpful categories like Bail Funds, Food Distribution, Prisoner Support, etc.
  9. Directory List & Key Info: We Have To Take Care of Each Other: Mutual Aid for COVID-19 and Beyond in Autostraddle by Vanessa. Includes directory links in the US, UK, Copenhagen; “5 Small Things You Can Do With Minimal Effort To Help”; and templates and how to’s under “Facilitate Mutual Aid in Your Neighborhood or City”
  10. Website: Mutual Aid 101 Toolkit which includes a step-by-step process on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s website
  11. Website: Tool & Support for Gig Workers by Gig Workers Collective
  12. Spanish: East Boston website that has mutual aid info, docs & forms in Spanish.

We are honoring the ancestors by remembering the wisdom of life in order to build communities that can create an opening towards a reciprocal world.

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