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Autonomous Groups Are Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives To Combat The Coronavirus

While failures of capitalism are on full display, autonomous groups across the nation are working to ensure that the most vulnerable receive mutual aid.

This article is a cross-post from It’s Going Down — You can support and donate to them here.

In the span of just a few weeks, the coronavirus has completely changed life as we know it, while also exposing the vast array of contradictions firmly entrenched within capitalist society. America has been laid bare as to what it always has been, a settler-colonial project that is the sole property of those who own it, as John Jay, one of the ‘Foun ding Fathers’ once argued. In the face of this disaster, Trump has predictably doubled down on painting the pandemic with a xenophobic brush as his supporters use it as yet another excuse to push half-baked conspiracy theories in order to defend the dumpster fire that is his administration. Meanwhile, outside of the gaze of neoliberal TV pundits who now pander to studios with empty audiences, across the so-called United States, autonomous groups are mobilizing to provide mutual aid to their neighbors and those hit the hardest by the exploding virus.

From Pandemic To Class War

For millions of poor and working people, life in this country is going to change – and change very quickly. Already, many companies are starting to lay off workers as the economy slows and things begin to shut down. Low wage workers, many already living just on the edge of eviction and homelessness, now find themselves with even less money coming in and with young children, recently forced out of school, to watch and feed.

In many ways, the coronavirus has accelerated all of the trajectories of modern capitalism that have hurdled us towards our current position: rapidly gentrifying cities, automation and the gig economy displacing workers into precarious forms of employment, the rising cost of living, and lack of access to affordable healthcare, education, and daycare for children. To make matters worse, soon the US will be rocked by a flood of very sick people attempting to access a broken health care system that is unprepared to handle a wide-scale pandemic.

Already there are signs of growing anger. Students in Ohio rioted after police attempted to push them off the streets following a 24-hour eviction notice at their campus in Dayton and students at MIT protested when they were forced to leave as well; some with no idea as to where they would go. Fiat auto workers in Canada walked off the job over coronavirus concerns and fast-food workers across the US have picketed and demanded paid sick-leave.

In the face of this growing class anger which threatens to boil over into a potentially insurrectionary wave, elites have already begun to loosen a few chains out of fear. From talks of a stimulus package, to a moratorium on paying interest on student loanspolice suspending arrests for minor offenses and scaling back patrols in general, the push to release non-violent offendersAT&T ending the cap on data, the suspension of evictions in many cities, and Detroit turning water back on to residents who have unpaid bills. In short, poor and working people everywhere should recognize that those in power – are afraid.

Seize The Time

In this moment, everyday people have to seize the initiative and get organized; before a new normal takes hold and the State can re-solidify its authority. The Trump administration will try and do this through blunt violence and police orders, as already the national guard is streaming into various cities. Democrats and the neoliberal media, on the other hand, will push for the country to “come together” behind Joe Biden – assuming that the November 2020 elections even are held.

If poor and working people see within the coronavirus not only a pandemic that will possibly leave in its wake a massive death count, but also the very real crisis that is modern industrial capitalism, then we must mobilize for our own interests, push back, and actually fight. This means demanding not only bread and butter: free housing, access to food, an end to evictions, and clean water: but also building new human relationships, new forms of actual life. This means creating ways of meeting our needs, making decisions, and organizing ourselves and solving problems outside of the State structure and the capitalist system.

Towards this end, we are encouraged by the explosion of grassroots and autonomous mutual aid projects that are springing up across the US. Not since the early stages of the Occupy Movement have we seen this growth of spontaneous mobilization in the face of a crisis. These efforts must continue to organize themselves, grow, network, and deepen their connections within working-class and poor neighborhoods.

What follows is both a collection of resources and links, as well as a list of active mutual aid projects that are currently mobilizing in the face of the coronavirus. We are also including a short reading list, and information on how to participate in phone-zap campaigns in support of prisoners and migrant detainees.

To have your group or mutual aid project listed, email us at: info [at] itsgoingdown [dot] org

Prisoner And Migrant Detention Phone-Zaps
Organizing And DIY Resources
Mutual Aid Networks
Organizing Guides
Pacific Northwest

Washington:

  • Puget Sound COV-19 Mutual Aid: Seattle based collective well-being through class solidarity, disability justice, anti-racism, abolition. Resource guide hereDonate hereInstagram.
  • Lettered Streets Mutual Aid: Coordinating efforts including childcare, eldercare, housing, supplies, food, emotional support in the Lettered Streets neighborhood of Bellingham and beyond. We can also help connect you to other efforts happening in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Request supportOffer support.
  • Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective: Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective works in solidarity with Tacoma communities to support resource, knowledge, and skill sharing across our neighborhoods. Currently organizing free food programs for kids hit by school closures and beyond. Support via PayPalGrocery program sign-up form.
  • Olympia Mutual Aid: We are coordinating food and supply drop offs to people’s front doors. Please use this form if you would like to help make deliveries. Facebook.
  • Common Stash: Mutual Aid in So-Called Olympia: We are not afraid of sickness—many of us are already sick, and those of us who are not yet sick will one day become unwell. But we are afraid of not getting cared for, of not getting what we need and of those we love not getting what they need, so we are coming together, collecting and redistributing herbal remedies, over the counter cough medication, and other supplies to our friends and neighbors. Instagram.

Oregon:

  • Pandemic Mutual Aid Network: This is a hub for the growing Pandemic Neighborhood Mutual Aid network. Please find and connect with your neighborhood here! If you’re interested in starting one for your neighborhood, reach out and we will get you started! Includes the following neighborhoods:
  1. Gateway/Hazelwood
  2. Southwest Hills
  3. Milwauke
  4. Alameda/Irvington
  5. Buckman/Berns
  • PDX Mutual Aid Network: We are an all-volunteer grassroots group operating in the territories of the many tribes who have made their homes near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, including Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla.  Instagram and Facebook.
  • Portland Coronavirus Mutual Aid Fund: We are currently forming a coalition of groups to coordinate grassroots response to the coronavirus.
  • Yamhill County Oregon Mutual Aid Discord: Community group within Yamhill County Oregon regarding all mutual aid needs and localized information concerning COVID-19.
  • South Willamette Valley Mutual Aid NetworkAs things get harder, we show up for our neighbors. We advocate collective liberation through class solidarity, disability justice, anti-racism, abolition, and horizontal mutual aid as we reside on stolen Kalapuya land. We are trying to build a network of many neighborhood pods across Lane County. InstagramFacebook.
  • Coalition of Graduate Employees Local 6069 Mutual Aid CaucusThe Mutual Aid caucus is dedicated to using our combined talents and abilities to provide help to our fellow graduate students in times of material, emotional, and mental need.  We will collaborate with other caucuses to identify and address opportunities for aid.

Bay Area & Northern California

California:

  • West Oakland Punks With Lunch: Oakland based nonprofit, non religious, DIY organization that hands out lunches, harm reduction supplies, and more to our neighbors in West Oakland. Works largely with houseless community. Instagram.
  • People’s Breakfast Oakland: Free Breakfast and community outreach program in Oakland. Donate here.
  • South Bay Area Mutual Aid: We are coordinating food and supply drop offs to people’s front doors during the COVID-19 quarantine.
  • SF Bay Area: The idea behind this is to crowd source some mutual aid for folks in the SF Bay Area, who are affected by Covid-19 or the current situation.
  • East Bay Disabled Folks: Are you a disabled person (especially prioritizing BIPOC) in the East Bay needing extra support re COVID19?
  • Berkeley Mutual Aid Network: Board for people needing help and those in need.
  • Monterey Peninsula Aid: Please fill out this form if you live on the Monterey Peninsula and have specific needs due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also use this form to indicate that you can help provide for the needs of other people.
  • Pandemic Solidarity Support: Chico mutual aid coordination.
  • North Valley Mutual Aid: Mutual Aid organization in Chico, California. Spread sheet.
Southwest

California:

  • Antelope Valley Mutual Aid: Comprised of AV residents interested in flattening the curve, limiting exposure, harm reduction, caring for the sick, and supporting those facing financial and any other hardship because of the COVID19 pandemic. Spread sheet.
  • Los Angeles Mutual Aid: Ground Game LA is an all-volunteer grassroots group operating in Los Angeles, connected with multiple coalition partners throughout LA. Mutual aid resources and links.
  • Mutual Aid Los Angeles Fundraiser: Mutual Aid Action Los Angeles (M.A.A.L.A.) would like your support to continue our work and keep growing. We are committed to providing a wide range of services and support to anyone who comes through our doors and beyond. We practice Mutual Aid to live our solidarity.
  • Los Angeles Mutual Aid Fund: Providing mutual aid to communities in need of supplies such as drinks, food, sanitary products, clothing, and other things needed. We feel it’s up to us to provide for our communities and we must come together in solidarity in times of crisis. Any amount of donations will help and we thank you for your support!
  • Mutual Aid San Diego: We will be sharing this list with trusted groups doing mutual aid in San Diego, county-wide, who are organizing mutual aid. We will not use or share the info you provide for any other purpose.
  • San Diego Mutual Aid Resources (DSA): Hub for DSA mutual aid initiatives.
  • DSA San Diego Libertarian Socialist Caucus COVID-19 Mutual Aid Grocery Run: Sign up to be a shopper or for shopping support.

Nevada:

  • Las Vegas Mutual Aid: Please fill out this form if you are in the Las Vegas area and are interested in offering support to people impacted by COVID-19 *OR* are requesting support for yourself/a family member.

Utah:

New Mexico:

  • Albuquerque Mutual Aid: In Response to COVID-19, we’re organizing mutual aid to respond to those that are often not included in conversations about public health.
  • Santa Fe Mutual Aid: Times seem really wild and unpredictable right now and we can isolate and hoard or possibly find a way to stay in community and help each other out. Safe distancing is important, but so is solidarity.

Arizona:

  • Tucson Mutual Aid: We are coordinating food and supply drop offs to people’s front doors. Please use this form if you would like to help make deliveries. Thank you!! This is a live document that will continue to change and update as we move forward.
Central

Nebraska:

  • Lincoln/Omaha Mutual Aid: This group is intended to be a forum for people to request and offer help specific to needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic in our area.
  • Midtown Mutual Aid Network: This group is organizing to create a mutual aid structure and tools for neighborhoods to replicate. We have compiled resources, forms, and documents to help organize Neighborhood Point People (NPPs) and volunteers offering support. Email: mutualaidnetworkomaha@gmail.com for more info. Hotline: (402) 807-3742‬. Spread sheet.

Montana:

  • Bozeman Solidarity: The volunteer will drop off the items outside of the residence, in an effort to reduce exposure.
  • Missoula Mutual Aid: In Missoula, we have created a COVID19 Community Organizing group, which aims to organize material support. Immediately we are providing grocery and supply deliveries. We are preparing to expand this to running errands, dog walking, childcare, caregiving, and mental/emotional support among people impacted by the pandemic. Donate here.

Colorado:

  • Front Range Mutual Aid: Front Range Mutual Aid Network is setting up a distribution network to get supplies to people who need them during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Northern Colorado Mutual Aid and Defense: Northern Colorado Community Mutual Aid and Defense is organizing a supplies distribution service and will get your overstock to people who need it in the Greeley/Evans area. FacebookDonate here.
  • Aurora Mutual Aid: A group of out of work librarians have come together to create an emergency supply kit distribution group for the elderly or families with children out of school. We have created kits that include: pasta, rice, sauce, seasonings, canned tuna, canned chicken, canned veggies, fruit cups, cookies, oatmeal, handsoap, bar soap, and toilet paper. We are targeting the North Aurora community which is our own community and are hoping to start distributing starting this morning. What we aim to do is we have set up a hotline number for those in need to call and we will drop off supply kits at the door step so they don’t have to leave the house. Call: 720-477-0406. Email: AllHandsOnDeckAurora@gmail.com
  • Denver Service Worker Solidarity: Many of us can not afford to miss a single shift, much less a month and a half of shifts. We need to demand an immediate moratorium on rent collection and evictions, city wide. Alone we are weak, but together we can stand strong and assure that we all make it through this difficult time, together. More details will follow, but it is important that we get our network started IMMEDIATELY. Please share this post far and wide. Bartenders, Servers, Chefs, everyone in this industry: Y’all are some of the baddest motherfuckers in the world. Let’s go!
Recommended: COVID-19, CELEBRITIES, AND A DYSTOPIAN PREVIEW OF THE FUTURE

Texas:

Midwest

Iowa:

Ohio:

Illinois:

  • Chicago Mutual Aid Volunteers: This list is being compiled to share with groups that are doing mutual aid work around COVID-19 in Chicago.
  • Brave Space Alliance: Brave Space Alliance will be operating a crisis food pantry for queer and trans folks on the south side of Chicago during the pandemic.
  • University of Chicago Mutual Aid: UChicago Mutual Aid is not an organization, but an open space to reach out for support and care within the UChicago community.
  • Rockford Mutual Aid Volunteers: This is for members of the Rockford community to offer skills, resources, supplies, space and time to community members who are affected by COVID – 19 and those most vulnerable among us. Facebook.

Indiana:

  • Bloomington Mutual Aid: Are you homebound and in need of help getting access to groceries and other supplies? For your friends and neighbors who are homebound and quarantined, are you willing to help make grocery deliveries and supply runs? Spreadsheet.

Michigan:

  • North West Michigan Mutual Aid: In times of crisis, the communities that survive are those where people look out for each other — mutual aid.
  • Antrim County: Antrim County, Michigan, USA mutual aid and agency coordination support group.
  • Kalamazoo: This list is being compiled by Kzoo Covid-19 Mutual Aid to share with groups that are doing mutual aid work around COVID-19 in Kalamazoo.
  • Grand Rapids Mutual Aid: Grand Rapids Area Mutual Aid Network is a hub for folks to share resources to keep each other safe and healthy. Facebook.
  • Huron Valley Mutual Aid: This group is for the purposes of sharing resources, needs, and info about mutual aid work that people are doing at this time.
  • Lansing Mutual Aid: Online hub for various resources.
  • The Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti: We believe that as a community we are stronger when we work together to help each other out. Our purpose is to help facilitate as much cooperation and aid as possible. Particularly focusing on the most impacted and marginalized members of our community.

Minnesota:

  • Twin Cities Queer and Trans Mutual Aid: The idea behind this is to crowd source some mutual aid for queer/trans/nonbinary folks in the Twin Cities area, who are affected by Covid-19 or the current situation.
  • Twin Cities Mutual Aid: Add yourself to a list of people willing to help each other in case of quarantine or self isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This information will be used to reach out of interested individuals willing to provide assistance if needed.
  • Flatten the Curve Rochester: We are gathering Community Resources and Info into this one spot for ease of access. We are in this together! Spread sheet.

Wisconsin:

  • Milwaukee Mutual Aid: This form will help us provide support to each other!
  • Madison Mutual Aid: We are using the model of mutual aid practices- basically that we can help each other in times of crisis. Facebook.
  • Madison General Defense CommitteeResponding to COVID-19 by providing direct aid to people throughout the Madison Area. This grassroots effort is 100% volunteer-run and funded by the community and we need your support! Facebook.

Missouri:

  • St. Louis Mutual Aid: Communities are safer and stronger when its members check in on one another and pitch in in whatever ways they can. This concept is called mutual aid.
Southeast

Tennessee:

Link

North Carolina:

  • Chapel Hill Food Not Bombs: Offering to-go food on Saturdays at Nightlight in Chapel Hill. 430-530pm.
    Along with hygiene products, cleaning supplies, harm reduction. Offering delivery & drive up service. Everything is free. No questions asked. Email: foodnotbombs919@gmail.com. Instagram.
Link
  • Mutual Aid CarrboroIn the coming weeks, potentially millions of workers will be sent home without pay. For the most precarious, that could mean evictions, utility shut-offs, missed payments, and other economic catastrophes. That’s why Mutual Aid Carrboro is partnering with NC Piedmont DSA to create the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Relief Fund. Donate here.
  • Durham Mutual Aid: This is a space for sharing resources, guidance, and organizing for mutual aid in Durham, NC during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Surry County Mutual Aid Network: Our goal is to help get needed supplies to people to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 into Surry County NC.
  • Asheville Survival Program: In any kind of crisis we are always strongest when we work together. We can overcome our fears and the urge to isolate and hoard, to instead be part of a meaningful community wide response. Information sharing is a critical first step, from there we can work together as neighbors and friends to ensure everyone has what we need.

Georgia:

  • Food 4 Life: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, we are operating a grocery delivery program in Atlanta, Georgia to ensure that those impacted by the virus will not be forced to choose between decent food and their health. Food is a human right, we must help each other! Donate hereWebsite.
  • Atlanta Mutual Aid: Students at Emory, Morehouse, Spelman, and Georgia State are facing removal and even eviction from their dorms in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many students, such as international, LGBTQIA+, and out-of-state students do not have an immediate place to move to or store their belongings. Tens of thousands of students are being displaced and are in immediate need of resources and support.
  • Athens Mutual Aid: Mutual aid hub for the own of Athens, Georgia.

Washington DC:

Recommended: PRISONS ARE ALWAYS IMMORAL, THEY ARE MORE SO DURING A PANDEMIC

Virginia:

  • Northern Virginia COVID-19 Supply Exchange: This group is for people located in Northern Virginia to join and post if they are in need of supplies or food. anything from diapers to soap to bread and milk… some of us may have more than we need of something and be running out of other things.
  • COVID-19 Emergency Relief: Mutual aid supply drive in Richmond. More info here.

Alabama:

  • Birmingham Mutual Aid: In these fast moving and uncertain times, it’s important to show up for each other and remember that we are not alone. Mutual aid is a powerful way to build strong connections – we all have something to offer and we all have something we need.

Kentucky:

  • Lexington Mutual Aid: We are building a network of people who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Louisville Mutual Aid: We are building a network of people who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Kentucky Mutual Aid: With the current uncertainty, it’s important that no one falls through the cracks. Facebook.
  • Youth Mutual Aid Fund: For young folks in Kentucky and Appalachia experiencing income loss or food and housing insecurity due to COVID-19. We’re also providing social events and general trainings to keep folks busy via video and phone calls and are available to chat with folks who are looking for social connection and need help finding resources. In the next few weeks, we’ll be expanding to ensure young folks get fair treatment from universities. Donate here.

Arkansas:

  • Mutual Aid Northwest Arkansas: We are building a network of folks who can support their neighbors through mutual aid in Northwest Arkansas.
  • Free Store Pantry in Fayetteville, Arkansas: A working food bank at 647 W. Dickson St. in Fayetteville AR. as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis continues. All donations will be to help those who do not have the means or access to food.

Louisiana:

  • New Orleans Mutual Aid: As the city and country shuts down over the coming days and weeks, it is crucial that we build robust mutual aid networks that can support the elderly, the immunocompromised and the vast group of hospitality workers who have no safety net. Instagram.
  • Bvlbancha Collective: If you are local to the Bvlbancha area and you or a neighbor could benefit from fresh garden herbs, or plant medicines, pls contact us through email or the contact us portion of our page!!! We have herbs for immune-boosting, respiratory health, lymphatic support & working with fevers. Fresh & dried herbs for teas & steams, syrups, & some tinctures on hand. We also have a limited supply of stress relief herbs/elixirs. And more brewing right now. Plus, everything in stock from our website. No one will be declined due to lack of funds as long as we have supplies on hand. We are happy to do porch/mailbox drops as time allows. Also, we have homemade hand sanitizer! Pls, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re in this together!

Florida:

  • Tampa Mutual Aid: In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Tampa Dream Defenders and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief are partnering to support the most vulnerable in our community.
  • Gainesville Mutual Aid: A group where people can offer help or ask for help during this pandemic. Specific to Gainesville, Florida.
  • Tallahassee Community Assistance Network: This is an ad-hoc group/space for Tallahassee and Leon County residents to discuss and plan community assistance and mutual aid efforts to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northeast

Maryland:

  • Mutual Aid and Emergency Relief Fund: Food, Clothing & Resistance Collective – Maroon Movement is doing a mutual aid & emergency relief fundraising drive, and pop-up distributions, for anyone who may need some “extra assistance” to stock up food, toiletries and medical supplies in Baltimore during this still very early stage of an emerging pandemic (Covid-19), in the middle of another pandemic (Influenza). Twitter.
  • Baltimore Mutual Aid: Spreadsheet hub for mutual aid in Baltimore, Maryland.

Pennsylvania:

  • Pitt Mutual Aid: We‘re a team of student leaders dedicated to providing up-to-date information and resources for the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out our resource guide here.
  • Neighbors Helping NeighborsWe are simply neighbors helping neighbors. The aid provided comes from community support and solidarity thus we cannot guarantee to meet each request but we will be trying our best to do so . We are not funded, we are not a government or medical agency, we are simply neighbors connecting neighbors to neighbors who can help (and we happen to be organizers). Facebook.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Philadelphia

Massachusetts:

  • Western Massachusetts Community Mutual Aid Network: We are a network of volunteers seeking to build community, help people, and opt for a different kind of culture. In this time of crisis and beyond, we must be there for each other.
  • Mutual Aid Medford and SomervilleIn these fast moving and uncertain times, it’s important that we show up for each other and remember that we are not alone. Facebook.
  • Charles River Mutual Aid: We will be pooling funds in a Mutual Aid Fund to purchase food, medical supplies, and other necessities, and organizing to provide these resources to the community.
  • Tufts Mutual AidTufts is closing due to COVID-19, and are compiling resources for students who need it. Fill out the form if you have resources to give, and reach out to those who have resources you need!
  • Solidarity Supply Distro: Solidarity Supply Distro is a coalition of leftist and anti-capitalist organizers in Boston who are building community resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. Donate hereFacebook.
  • Lexington Mutual Aid: In these chaotic and uncertain times, we need to show up for one another and remember that we are not alone.

Rhode Island:

New Jersey:

  • Central New Jersey: This form originally was asking for volunteers too, but we have enough for now! We’ll ask for more as requests come in.
  • North New Jersey Mutual Aid: This group is for the purposes of sharing resources, needs, and info about mutual aid work that people are doing at this time. Facebook.

New York:

  • Abolitionist Mutual Aid Fund for Incarcerated Comrades: With visits suspended in many locations and package rooms becoming more restrictive, it’s more important than ever to support our comrades inside with commissary funds. Spread sheetPayPal.
  • Friends of Westcott Mutual Aid Group: Many of us in Westcott (Syracuse, NY) are looking for ways to help those in our neighborhood who may be affected by Covid-19. Some people in our community may have health risks. Others may be financially affected due to social distancing. This includes employees at the several businesses in our neighborhood that rely on people going out to eat and drink.
  • NYC United Against the Coronavirus: Massive collection of mutual aid projects and resources throughout the New York area. Includes many localized mutual aid groups.
  • NYC Mutual Aid Network: Mutual aid is a powerful way to build strong connections – we all have something to offer and we all have something we need.

Vermont:

  • Mutual Aid Hubs in VermontThese Mutual Aid links each consist of a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for different categories of need (food, transportation, housing, emotional support, etc) and are specific to different regions of Vermont.

New Hampshire:

Canada
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This article is a cross-post from It’s Going Down — You can support and donate to them here.

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