It's Going Down

Autonomous Groups Are Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives to Combat the Coronavirus

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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 loans, police suspending arrests for minor offenses and scaling back patrols in general, the push to release non-violent offenders, AT&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:

Idaho:

Oregon:

  1. Gateway/Hazelwood
  2. Southwest Hills
  3. Milwauke
  4. Alameda/Irvington
  5. Buckman/Berns
  6. Oak Grove

Bay Area & Northern California

Northern California:

Central California:

North Bay:

San Francisco:

East Bay:

South Bay:

Southwest

California:

Nevada:

Utah:

New Mexico:

Arizona:

Central

Nebraska:

Kansas:

Montana:

Colorado:

Oklahoma:

Texas:

Midwest

Iowa:

Ohio:

Illinois:

Indiana:

Michigan:

Minnesota:

Wisconsin:

Missouri:

Southeast

Tennessee:

North Carolina:

Georgia:

Washington DC:

Virginia:

Alabama:

Kentucky:

Arkansas:

Louisiana:

Florida:

Northeast

Maryland:

Pennsylvania:

 

Massachusetts:

Rhode Island:

New Jersey:

New York:

Connecticut:

Vermont:

New Hampshire:

Canada

Reading List