Mutual aid in a time of clusterf**ks and crises

Here’s some useful thinking on the importance of mutual aid projects and putting them in the context of the way society is structured and how power is exercised over us…

The multiple and overlapping crises in the UK point to a sustained need for mutual aid

Comment, Oct 1st – Jon Bigger

In the recent printed edition of Freedom, there was an article reflecting on Covid and the mutual aid groups that sprung up in the early days of the pandemic. It focused on some of the problems encountered by anarchists as the pandemic progressed such as the way mutual aid was assimilated into a sense of ‘Blitz spirit’, how it came to resemble a service and the inevitable interest and infiltration it gained from Labour Party councillors. However, the article also pointed to learning the lessons from this. It highlighted a need to politicise mutual aid groups, to have those difficult conversations with people in our communities about the structure of society and how mutual aid is a radical concept that can bind us together to create new and better possibilities.

You can read the rest of this piece here

Once you’ve read and digested the above, what we would love to hear about are examples of how this has been achieved and what lessons were/are still being learnt in the process. If you’re involved in a grassroots mutual aid project and want to share your experiences, please get in touch with us and we’ll sort out getting them published here on this blog. That includes the failures and lessons learned as well as the successes. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes at times – it’s helpful to have a few pointers from people who have gone through it on what to avoid doing!

Obviously we’re interested in the nuts and bolts side of getting a mutual aid project up and running. What we’re also interested in is how you managed to put what you’re doing with the project in the context of the way society is structured to get across the message that fundamental change is needed now more than ever. We’d also like your thoughts on how you think the mutual aid project you’re working with is setting an example of the kind of society we want to see. This is something we briefly covered a short while ago in this post: Prefigurative action.

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