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Jun 24, 20

A Discussion with Kinłani Mutual Aid on Building Conflict Infrastructure in the Face of COVID-19

In this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with two members of Kinłani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid about the growing Indigenous Mutual Aid network, the devastating impact of COVID-19 within indigenous Diné and Hopi communities, and how people in Kinłani/Flagstaff have organized to provide material support across a vast land base.

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43,000 lbs of canned water going out to Dinétah and Hopi. Kinlani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid volunteers unloaded about 8 tons by hand today supporting the Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 relief efforts. Thanks to @candaid and everyone who worked super hard today. Ahe'hee'! Donate or volunteer at Check out Kinlani Mutual aid on FB. #indigenousmutualaid #mutualaid #havajohopirelief

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Kinłani/Flagstaff Mutual Aid describes itself as:

…an all-volunteer community response to the threat of Covid-19. We have organized a hub to coordinate volunteers to collect and distribute necessary resources to those most vulnerable in our community and support unsheltered relatives. This group is created for autonomous relief organizing based on the principles of mutual aid, solidarity, and direct action.

During our discussion, we touch on how people have utilized existing infrastructure, built upon relationships with the surrounding community, and have worked to build a network of autonomous pods that can respond to current conditions while tapping into various supply chains. We touch on the nuts and bolts of this organizing, how such efforts might be built upon, and the challenges of organizing in rural areas.

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Part 1. Kinlani Mutual Aid, @navajohopicovid19relief, Diné Land & Water, & Diné Healers Relief has been coordinating supply distribution for remote Black Mesa/HPL residents. 1. Boxes prepped. We follow stringent protocols to ensure the well-being of those were supporting and our volunteers. 2. 7am – @jamesqmartin truck packed with 42 boxes (including masks and had sanitizer), flour, and a few hand washing stations. 3. Ready for the road. Q and Alex! 4. One of the many very remote HPL residents delivered to today (photo by Mary Katherine Smith). 5. What a blessing to have a visit by @petesandsman this morning! He's doing great relief work in so-ed Utah area of Dinétah. Great to talk about longer term visions for our communities beyond this crisis. 6. About 500 hand sanitizers going out to Hopi for @navajohopicovid19relief distribution. 7. @shaanaanaa in her element with badass Kinlani Mutual Aid volunteers. Loading a flatbed with supplies for Hopi! 8 & 9. The elusive and solid Mercury! Diné Land and Water and Kinlani Mutual aid volunteers loading supplies for another @navajohopicovid19relief collaborative distro/delivery to Black Mesa. More than 50 boxes, flour, bleach, masks, and hand sanitizers going up in this load. "We're stronger when we work together." To be continued… #indigenousmutualaid #solidarityandceremonynotcharity #MutualAid #solidaritynotcharity #navajohopirelief #kinlanimutualaid #taalahooghaninfoshop #dinélandandwater

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Our discussion also centers the COVID-19 crisis within the context of ongoing settler-colonialism, resource extraction, and land theft, as our guests dive into how the outbreak has magnified the continuing onslaught against indigenous communities; some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

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Sanitizing a single Kinlani Mutual Aid no-contact delivery. We're usually sanitizing and packing over a hundred boxes at a time. With each step we take extreme care with our safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19. This fam now has supplies for an entire month. #solidarityandceremonynotcharity #indigenousmutualaid #MutualAid #solidaritynotcharity

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As coronavirus cases spike again and Trump moves to end federal support for existing testing sites and cut unemployment benefits, autonomous anti-colonial and anti-capitalist forces will once again need to strategize a response and take stock of existing projects. For those looking for inspiration among current models of mutual aid organizing, we hope that this episode provides key insights.

More Info: Indigenous Mutual Aid hub, Indigenous Action, Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief, Kinłani Mutual Aid on Facebook, and donate to Kinłani Mutual Aid here!

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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