Our current economic system leaves much to be desired for anyone outside the 1%. However, in the internet/social media age, we have the technology in our pockets to organize across racial, gender, and class lines anywhere in the world, instantly. 

We need to take advantage of this to the fullest, and one way we can turn our ideology to practice is by getting involved, in person, at the local/community level. All across our “great” nation we have children going to bed hungry, seniors without access to proper healthcare, and millions of people in poverty – soon to be millions more.

What a mutual aid organization does is takes “surplus supplies” and redistributes them to the people who need it the most. Many of these organizations, including ours, also work to combat “food deserts” with community or guerrilla gardening. We have the power to elevate the average person’s material conditions directly, with the goal of effectively showing that a better world is possible.

Evolutionarily speaking, we are social apes. Nothing more, nothing less. Without a sense of community, we’d have never made it this far. We’d have been wiped out hundreds of thousands of years ago. The past several centuries of capitalist exploitation have turned us against this communal nature that has allowed us to survive as a species thus far. 

It’s time to rise above Capitalism – time to make sure our own people are clothed and housed with access to food and clean water. It’s in our nature to nurture one another, so why has that become such a rare trait? Let’s be better than this – together.

There is plenty of historical precedence for the success of Mutual Aid projects on the ground, even in the United States. Just for starters, there’s The Black Panther Party for Self Defense (or BPP, for short). Almost everything the BPP was doing in the 60s and 70s revolved around meeting the masses where they were at and solving the material crises their communities faced. 

The BPP had over 60 “Survival Programs” over the course of its existence ranging from self-defense and firearms training, police the police actions, free healthcare clinics, free store-type programs, and a whole lot more than I can cover in detail in this piece. One such example is probably their most well-known project: The “Free Breakfast for Children” program. This was adopted by the system as the “Free Breakfast/Lunch” program that many children of today have access to in their schools! Mutual Aid programs HAVE. AN. IMPACT. 

The BPP are far from the only organizations who have strived/are striving to make a difference, as we know. COVID-19 has made the failures and shortcomings of Capitalism as clear as day, and regular people are mobilizing all over with food programs, free stores, homeless supply drives, community gardens, and a whole bunch of other things.

Occupy Sandy was a more recent example of disaster response where a hurricane-turned-snowstorm pummeled the eastern seaboard (some of the offshoot groups of Occupy Sandy are still functioning in the New York area today!). The day the snow slowed, they were out in canoes and kayaks on flooded streets, rescuing stranded people. They were delivering hot, home-cooked meals, bottled water, blankets and a whole load of other necessities…. 

….It took FEMA over a week to respond.

While the need has never been greater, the capability to organize and mobilize rapidly has also never been greater.

“For We Are Many” is currently working on building a network of small mutual aid organizations on the ground anywhere we have viewers and/or supporters. We also hope to get already-established groups working with us as well, under one umbrella, so to speak. Fighting the good fight – together.

We’re all struggling. Let’s struggle together.


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