Some pointers on neighbourhood solidarity

Never mind the games that are going on in Parliament undertaken by puffed up, ill informed MPs who think they can do what King Canute failed to do…turn back the inevitable tide of a no deal Brexit. The mood music from an increasingly fed up off Brussels is that MPs have a stark choice of either approving the Withdrawal Agreement given to Theresa May or the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal at 11pm on March 29th. As we’ve written a few times on here and on our sister blog, the Heckler, we’ve stated that the consequences of crashing out without a deal will be disruption at best, chaos at the worst and a breakdown of social cohesion.

As community activists, our concern is the maintenance of social cohesion at the neighbourhood level and the development of enough solidarity to ensure everyone gets through what’s coming. If we can get through this and build solidarity in the process, we’ll be in a better position to build the movement that’s needed to sweep away the dysfunctional system that dropped us in this mess in the first place.

What do we mean by solidarity

  • Everyone looking out for the people on either side of them and those people responding in kind.
  • To keep things manageable, the ideal area for this is a street, close or block – this was learnt from the experience of some of the grassroots campaigns who fought the Poll Tax.
  • Take particular care to look out for the more vulnerable members of your community such as the elderly and the long term sick.

Zero tolerance for divide and rule

  • Regardless of who they are or where they came from, when crisis hits, everyone is in it together and everyone has their own contribution to make in working together to make sure the neighbourhood pulls through and stays united.
  • The divide and rule merchants are dying to use the chaos of a no deal Brexit to force who they don’t like out of our neighbourhoods by trying to muscle in on the control of scarce resources – tell the divide and rule merchants where to go in no uncertain terms!

Be prepared and dig in for the long term

  • If you haven’t already done so, talk to your neighbours about stockpiling tinned and dried foods plus other essentials to be shared equally with all of those in need if there are food shortages (see Resources below).
  • Anyone on medication should be asking their doctor or pharmacist about post no deal Brexit availability – please ensure that vulnerable people in your neighbourhood get all the assistance they need with this.
  • If disruption to food supplies looks as though it will go on throughout this year, while it’s not a short term fix, give serious consideration to starting your own community garden to provide some of your vegetable and fruit requirements.
  • That may well mean guerilla gardening – here are a few tips: Guerilla gardening… Just do it!
    As for the security of your community garden, if pretty much everyone in the neighbourhood is buying into and contributing to the project, that in and of itself should provide a degree of protection from freeloaders.

As and when we find more comprehensive sources of advice, we’ll post them up here. If anyone thinks we’re engaging in ‘Project Fear’, this is our (a pox on all their houses) position: Brexit…some clarifications…

Resources

Getting Ready Together – James Patrick
What (And Why) I’m Stockpiling For Brexit – Jack Monroe – 15.11.18

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