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Articles tagged mutual aid

What Mutual Aid Looks Like

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 30, 2013, 12:30 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: food not bombs, mutual aid, long island

Exponentially growing income inequality has widened the gulf between the haves and have-nots in the United States, leaving too many hungry and disempowered.

A small group of caring individuals in Long Island, NY has taken matters into their own hands and organized a DIY network of food recovery and redistribution "food shares" across their community. This 7 minute video provides a cross-sectional view into 24 hours of their regular operations and details how in that short time frame 50,078 lbs of food was recovered and then shared in Hempstead, NY providing food to 2,500+ people in need.

24hrs with Long Island Food Not Bombs

Thank you, Food not Bombs!


Give Directly to #TyphoonHaiyan Victims (not the @RedCross)

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 12, 2013, 9:13 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: mutual aid, Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan, Occupy Philippines

Please take a moment to donate directly to on-the-ground organizations.

It's been nearly a week since Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest hurricane in a generation, battered the Philippines, leaving unimaginable devastation in its wake. According to initial estimates, over 10,000 people dead, millions more shelterless and struggling to survive, as other storms threaten to wreck havoc on the archipelago.

The hurricane comes just three weeks after a 7.2 earthquake brought down buildings and infrastructure in central Philippines. As the international aid industrial complex sluggishly awakens from its slumber, hundreds of on-the-ground grassroots organizations are doing much of the heavy lifting, providing aid to hardest hit areas, places in which the government and international relief organizations are visibly absent.

These organizations need support, not only because the storm has drastically strained their resources, but more importantly, because we recognize that for a relief effort to be effective it has to be led by the impacted communities. Help power the people lead recovery efforts currently happening on the ground by donating to National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). Besides doing valuable work to advance immigration reform in the United States and environmental justice, they work with a network of grassroots Philippine partners, to ensure that donations go directly to those most in need of help, information, and basic necessities. For years, NAFCON has carried out its overseas relief and rehabilitation efforts with partner organizations who maintain a proven track record of serving Filipinos communities with integrity and trust.

For more information check out Occupy Philippines:


Washington, D.C.: Mutual Aid in Mass Mobilizations

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 25, 2012, 3:44 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: mutual aid, washington dc, occupy dc

photo of occupy action in DC from Dec. 2011; aerial shot of protesters forming "99%" in formation inside a plaza with the washington monument in the distance -- via <http://uprisingradio.org/home/2011/12/09/take-back-the-capitol-occupy-dc-activists-get-busy-and-stay-strong/>

The District of Columbia is the nation’s Capital and therefore a lightning rod for national organizing, but it is also the home of 600,000 people who deal day-to-day with the consequences of many of the important issues that get protested downtown. Often, there is a great divide in DC between locally and nationally focused groups even though these groups encounter the same difficulties, require many of the same resources and often have similar goals. This leads to competing for attention, attendees, media and support while wasting that most valuable of resources, time, by duplicating efforts. Often times there are class and race divides between local and national organizers, adding to the power dynamics and complicated relationships.



Mutual Aid in the Face of the Storm

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 21, 2012, 4:14 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: mutual aid, tidal

via Tidal

People are not helpless against the storm. While the winds howl, the thunder rages, and the waters rise, people can find shelter when they act together in the face of collapsing economies and ecological crises. Shelter can take the form of robust mutual aid networks and solidarity economies by which people empower and support one another to sustain themselves outside the constraints of the capitalist system.

Those within the community can share their knowledge and talents, letting people know what they are willing and able to do, and what sorts of non-market goods and services they are willing to accept in exchange. Plumbing and repairs in a home reclaimed from a bank or a building liberated from a landlord; gleaning and sharing unsaleable goods cast off stores and markets. Learning to grow and distribute our own food as we traffic between the urban and the rural through community gardens, neighborhood potlucks, Occupy Farms. Legal and tactical skill-shares among those being hunted down by the debt-collectors and Repo Men. Forming industrial co-ops in which managerial decisions are made by workers in their own collective interest rather than for the profit of a Boss. Medical care provided to those who have put their body on the line in a protest or encampment. Self-generated energy-systems for those who want to opt out of the fossil-fuel economy that is destroying the very basis of life on earth.

The specifics of a solidarity economy vary based upon those participating and the resource-landscapes of particular areas. But the focus should always be on creating communities of sharing and mutuality. Such communities are not based in charity, or simply giving things away for free.

They present, rather, a way for people to use their talents and skills — regardless of economic worth — to build social bonds that subvert the way capitalism has warped and colonized our human relationships.

In constructing a solidarity economy, it is always prudent to reach out to local organizations and see what sort of meaningful work can be done for them in exchange for what they, in turn, can provide for you. Even people who have never heard of mutual aid will understand it on a fundamental level. Against private accumulation and self-interested gain, we advocate the communal support of life, the reciprocal donation of resources, and the passing-along of good will across space and time. Starting a conversation about mutual aid with friends and partners can create a space in which to challenge the relation of their work to the constraints of paternalistic State and well-meaning 1% donors.

The powers that be are counting on our efforts to construct alternative economies to founder, especially since the current system has made us feel isolated and alone in the face of crises. Debtors are encouraged to think that they failed, individually, to fulfill their promises, even though going into unpayable debt is a structural condition of life under capitalism. Tenants feel they must acquiesce to the negligence of the landlord. Consumers think they must buy into an endlessly developing energy economy based on the burning of fossil fuels. Workers imagine themselves in a perpetual competition to work harder and for less against their fellows at home and abroad in the name of economic growth.

As long as the system isolates and pits us against each other, successful strikes against capitalism are impossible. Thinking and acting alone, we suffer alone. But creating a unified front disrupts this ongoing pattern. We are forming debtors’ unions, energy coops, food networks, strike committees, and more. When we develop sustainable networks based on mutual aid and solidarity, we will realize that, as terrifying as the storm of the current system makes itself out to be, the power it wields is minuscule compared to the torrential deluge that we, the 99%, are capable of unleashing against capitalism itself.


Occupy and Sandy Storm Recovery Resources

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 30, 2012, 7:17 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: mutual aid, hurricane, sandy, solidarity, occupy, recovery

manhattan under water

Occupy Wall Street & 350.org have teamed up with Recovers.org – a people-powered disaster relief platform – to help coordinate response to Hurricane Sandy in NYC. At Recovers.org we are launching support pages where people can GIVE help or post a NEED. For ongoing updates and info about this evolving relief effort, and to find out how you can help, be sure to sign up and stay informed at the Occupy Sandy Hub!


Support Pages


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