We practice mutual aid within our YPC family. What is mutual aid? “Let’s Talk Mutual Aid” by Regan de Loggans explains.
Cover page of Let’s Talk Mutual Aid
The words “Let’s” and “Talk” are within two speech bubbles coming from the word “Mutual Aid” in large black letters.
Zine by: Regan De Loggans
Member of IKC
Mutual aid is simple, it’s the breaking of the binary of the “Haves and have nots” with the intention to re-allocate for equitable access to resources, education, and needs. Seems simple enough. However, Mutual Aid is also a legacy, and a practice. It is a commitment to anti capitalism. Capitalists cannot practice Mutual Aid; they can practice temporary reallocation (ie philanthropy) which is not the same. Charity is not Mutual Aid.
Mutual aid is a LONG TERM commitment to the community.
Mutual aid is based in community control, aiding one another to break free from capitalism and colonial authority. It can look different in different places. And it also demands that we use each other as responsible and meaningful contributions, so it also demands reciprocity and resource exchange (though not immediately or always).
We ask for folx to skill share as part of the practice. But we do not demand of them to contribute if they cannot in the moment, or force any ideologies of “owing” someone or something. You give an apple to a friend, and six months later they show you how to make bread. It wasn’t an immediate share, it was not an expectation, nor a transaction. But rather a skill share in response to your action of giving. Again, it is not necessary, but seeing one another as meaningful and able to share with one another is necessary. Whether all folx can exercise that same reciprocal practice is not necessary, but we should not assume that people do not have things to share.
Mutual aid is not done from the kindness of our hearts (though that helps), it is done because we respect people’s autonomous lives and want our communities to thrive. No one is expected to “pay” for anything, and there will be many unequal knowledge shares that are practiced, AND THAT’S OK. Stop viewing all actions as transactions or as tit for tat. We provide for the greater good and because we can and want to.
MUTUAL AID IS ABOUT COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE. Community knowledge is community strength; we do not withhold.
Mutual Aid is Indigneous lifeways and sovereignty; it is Black thrivance and power, which will outlive anarcho-communist theory. It is not a theory, it is a practice that most people of color have been practicing and predates colonialism and capitalism.
Mutual aid is a unifying term, putting a name to the practice that most of us (BIPOC) folx have been acting on all our lives. Mutual aid was not born out of survival, its proposed purpose is for communities to THRIVE. Yes, it has been used in times of crises to help the most targeted in our society so that they can survive, but that is not enough. We must be committed to seeing people thrive, not just scrape by.
BE WARY OF WHITE SAVIORS. In times of crisis, people who have access to money, stable jobs and housing (most likely white folx) will offer these under the guise of Mutual Aid. Unless they commit to a long-term Mutual Aid goal beyond crisis, then it is NOT Mutual Aid. It is CHARITY or WHITE SAVIOR COMPLEX. And we must hold them accountable for not exercising Mutual Aid beyond an emergency situation. Use their time, money, capital, and privilege to educate others on how and why Mutual Aid is community commitment. It is easier than just donating to someone’s gofundme. It is more than delivering groceries to the elderly once or twice during the convid-19 pandemic. IT IS A LONG TERM COMMITMENT BASED IN ACTIONABLE RESULTS THAT REMOVES COMMUNITY OUT OF THEIR DEPENDENCY ON THE CAPITALIST SETTLER STATE.
LOGGANS-mutual aid zine.pdf (290.5 KB)