by Eleanor Goldfield
I’ve written a few articles in the past month about mutual aid as well as the ongoing systemic failures baked into this bitter loaf that is American capitalism.
I’m including brief excerpts at the links below.
To read the full articles, please click on the title of the article. It helps support these independent outlets by reading on their site!
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Mutual aid is the medicine that bodies respond well to, the antidote to capitalism, and the salve for those basic elements of humanity so ruthlessly shanked by our system: solidarity, community, sharing, and supporting. It’s not about charity. Charity pities. Mutual aid understands. Charity distances. Mutual aid connects.
DC is hardly alone in its deep deficiencies. The entire so-called “United” States is but a collection of deficient governments failing to work with and for the people, lorded over by the ultimate breakdown of common sense and care: the federal government.
At DC Mutual Aid, we would much rather see food enjoyed than destroyed. Thus, we are building relationships with local farmers in order to get fresh food to the people. This has the added benefit of supporting producers after a recent crackdown on farmers markets. We are also looking to connect folks who are financially more secure to those who need financial assistance so as to build more direct streams for sharing wealth.
As calls for a return to “normalcy” echo off the walls of our confinement, we must not lose sight of this work or of what their “normal” means. Their normal is our oppression, paid for by our own labor and complicity. But mutual aid is proof that when people show up and take hold of the power that is so clearly ours, we do exactly what the system is designed to avoid: work with and for the people. By showing up, working with and for our communities, we are taking hold of that power.
Millions of people in the U.S. fall through gaping cracks purposefully designed to oppress and marginalize the most vulnerable. The exclusion of workers such as undocumented folks, street vendors, domestic workers, and sex workers exemplifies the toxic mix of racism, sexism, imperialism and capitalism that the U.S. blends so well.
Above crowds of people huddled together in the midst of a pandemic, fighter jets seared the afternoon sky in a loud and masturbatory display all meant to honor healthcare workers. Because what says “thanks” to our medical professionals more than pedestaling the number one cause of global death and destruction while risking more mass infection in the midst of a pandemic? I feel all warm and cozy already – tho that could be a fever.