Building Survival Programs, Self-Defense, and Mutual Aid to Meet the Crisis of Capitalism
Along with our comrades from itsgoingdown.org, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and The Final Straw, we are calling for a week of action around the weekend of January 20, 2019. With the charges from January 20, 2017 dropped, we can focus on other forms of long-term solidarity and mutual aid, creating a fertile soil for future resistance and creativity.
Solidarity + Support = Survival
Two years ago, anarchists took the streets to open Trump’s presidency with a powerful act of defiance. January 20, 2017 was supposed to represent the dawn of a new authoritarian nationalism; instead, it marked the beginning of a new era of resistance. The actions around the US on J20 helped to catalyze a wave of direct action that prevented Trump from immediately implementing his agenda.
A year later, in response to the ensuing repression, we called for a nationwide day of solidarity on January 20, 2018 to support those facing charges and expand our capacity in the face of escalating far-right violence. Now, with the J20 charges dropped, we can focus on building capacity for the future. We’d like to see a nationwide week of action around January 20, 2019 to show that attempts to crush us only make us stronger.
This is a call to expand our movement and connect with everyone else who is being policed, automated, evicted, and displaced to the margins. The Great Recession never ended; despite “our” rulers trumpeting the success of the economy, most of us are working longer hours for less money, as everything from the gig economy to artificial intelligence renders us obsolete. Police, borders, and prisons kill, divide, and confine as hurricanes and wildfires rage outside our windows. Yet all of these crises offer us the opportunity to connect with others to create a better world.
We are calling for a week of action starting on the weekend of January 20 to promote survival programs, mutual aid initiatives, and other projects that meet the crisis of capitalism head on.
Many in our movement have already been engaged in this: confronting the opioid crisis, amassing supplies for the migrant caravans, mobilizing autonomous disaster relief, fighting gentrification and the housing crisis through community organizing, forming solidarity networks to take on bosses and landlords, building the capacity for self-defense through anti-fascist gyms, and coordinating health-care alternatives that don’t depend upon the caprices of the state.
This is a call to support and expand these projects—to experiment with new networks and forms of infrastructure—to increase our capacity to intervene in everyday life in ways that point the way to a better future and connect us with everyone else who needs one.
In that spirit, here are some ideas for the week of January 20, 2019:
Organize Survival Assemblies
- Bring together organizers from movements resisting deportation, police violence, climate-induced disasters, the destruction of the environment, and other matters of life and death. We have to understand all of these as interconnected; our survival is a single common struggle, not many different individual issues. Exchange experiences and coordinate to support each other in the coming year.
Support Survival Programs
Mobilize community grocery and food programs.
Organize Really Really Free Markets: bring people together to share resources, clothing, and household items.
Hold workshops addressing the opioid crisis.
Support needle exchange programs and other harm reduction work.
Offer self-defense classes, trainings, and skill shares.
Offer public herbal health and reproductive care.
Expand Hubs of Mutual Aid and Self-Defense
Expand existing infrastructure in our networks to support community mutual aid projects.
Hold a workday to clean or improve an existing social center.
Hold block parties, discussions, film showings, and speaking events about how to address the crises threatening our communities.
Host picnics or indoor collective meals.
Organize community gardening or guerrilla gardening events.
Support prisoner solidarity projects—for example, collect books to mail to prisoners or host a letter-writing night.
Organize discussions about supporting land defense struggles, pipeline blockades, and tree-sits in your region. Map out supply lines from hubs where comrades are concentrated to nodes of resistance on the front lines.
Meet the Crisis of Capitalism Head On
Discuss how to confront present and future crises of capitalism through self-organization, direct action, and mutual aid.
Respond to the water crisis with direct aid and by creating infrastructure.
Contribute to ongoing autonomous disaster relief in the wake of devastating fires and hurricanes.
Support emergent struggles—for example, by aiding and fighting alongside a homeless land occupation.
To have your event listed, email [email protected].
We recommend the Mutual Aid Toolbox courtesy of Big Door Brigade.
For Further Reference
Here are just a few examples of groups that are already doing this kind of solidarity and support work:
Mutual Aid Mondays in Olympia
Wallywood Encampment in Chico
North Valley Mutual Aid in Chico, California
Save the Mattole Anciet Forest in Humboldt County
The Village in Oakland
Anti-Gentrification Free Store in Los Angeles
No More Deaths in Tucson
Support Dine Comrades Resisting Relocation in Dinétah
Food Distribution and Opioid Prevention in Colorado Springs, Colorado courtesy of Front Range Redneck Revolt
Colorado Spring Supply Drive for the Caravan in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Teardown Community Free Food Program in Atlanta, Georgia
Really Really Free Market in Carrboro, North Carolina
John Brown Mobile Soup Kitchen in Columbia, Missouri
Gainesville Florida Movie Monthly Showings outside Prison—Gainesville IWOC
Support the Hellbender Autonomous Zone Tree-Sits—Appalachians Agianst Pipelines
Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement NYC – Book drive for Rikers Island
What Is Mutual Aid? courtesy of Big Door Brigade