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What is mutual aid?
“In its proper sense, mutual aid does not describe a program that provides unidirectional assistance for others the way a charity organization does. Rather, it is the decentralized practice of reciprocal care via which participants in a network make sure that everyone gets what they need, so that everyone has reason to be invested in everyone else’s well-being.” – CrimethInc
“From continent to continent, people have innovated and navigated through information suppression, governmental inadequacy and unpreparedness as well as supply shortages in panic-economies with global financial markets plummeting.
Piecing together carefully constructed information on defending our communities, building bridges over access and info gaps for folks with differing vulnerabilities and sharing comprehensive information on harm reduction, DIY (Do-It-Yourself) resource building and responding with best practices is the radical solidarity being generated by folks across the world.” – Mutual Aid Disaster Relief
- Learn how to be part of a neighbourhood ‘pod’, a group of 5-30 people who coordinate to be able to support each other, from this guide: “How to start a neighbourhood pod (Canada)“.
- Or form an ‘affinity group’ as described by CrimethInc.
- This “Mutual Aid: How To Build a Network in Your Community” guide from a group in Massachusetts, USA, includes pods as one part of a larger structure, and explains how to go about bringing people together and organizing.
- This is a guide of some suggestions based on lessons from China: Useful Mutual-Aid Projects in Response to COVID-19: Experience from Chinese Volunteers in Response to Coronavirus Crisis
- This is a draft of some previous Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Lessons Learned
- This is a draft of Some Considerations for Coronavirus Mutual Aid Organizing
- This 41-page guide “Collective Care Is Our Best Weapon against COVID-19” has collected very many resources for mutual aid and DIY responses to this crisis. It also has a directory of many local mutual aid groups (mostly in the US but also elsewhere).
- Another very comprehensive guide with many tools and resources, is the Coronavirus Tech Handbook. Contrary to its name, it is not limited to tech things. It is in a ‘wiki’ format somewhat like Wikipedia.
- The website of COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK, an umbrella group for a local organized efforts across the UK, has Resources pages for Local Groups and for Community in general, and also a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. (There is now a COVID-19 Mutual Aid USA too, with similar pages)
- Two other compiled listings of various mutual aid groups:
Listings of #covid19mutualaid initiatives (crowd-sourced)
& Catalogue for Local Mutual Aid Communities Worldwide