In a battle between the forces of repression and the forces of resilience, a swat team raided the Mutual Aid Disaster Relief base of operations in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico in the early hours before dawn of October 16th, 2017. Citing absurd and patently false contentions such as “kidnapping” “bombs” and “guns” and after aggressively questioning relief workers about their political affiliations, they were forced out of the hub at gunpoint and the threat of arrest. Despite the efforts of the state to intimidate us into paralysis and passivity, and running on no sleep, we decided the best way to cope and to fight back against the repression was to be back in the streets, contributing to people’s survival and self-determination by continuing to acquire needed resources and hand them over to the people. Watch video coverage of the incident here.
Other recent media coverage of mutual aid disaster relief can be accessed here:
Scalawag Magazine: Imagining another world in post-Irma Florida
KBOO: Mutual Aid Disaster Relief: Houston, Mexico and Puerto Rico
Barricade News: Volunteer Disaster Responders Fundraise For Puerto Rico
Wildhunt: Column: California Wildfires
Imagine a Puerto Rico Recovery Designed by Puerto Ricans
Past media coverage of mutual aid disaster relief efforts, can be found on our website: https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/media/
After distributing more than 120,000 pounds of food, water, water purification tablets, batteries, and other much needed supplies to the people in the heretofore “inaccessible” mountain terrain of Puerto Rico, our initial teams of relief workers have made it home. The supplies and people-connections we established were turned over to grassroots Puerto Rican organizers to continue the work. Another medical team and a sustainable and autonomous infrastructure team will be arriving in Puerto Rico in November. If you are interested in joining it, fill out this volunteer form.
In a different type of disaster, every bit as threatening to our collective survival as mudslides, fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes, neonazis assembled in Gainesville, Florida recently and created a hit-list of Gainesville establishments to target including a synagogue. Thankfully, a repeat of Charlottesville did not happen. And the University of Florida and Gainesville community unequivocally sent a message to Richard Spencer and the far-right that fascist organizing will now be met by bold, popular, mass anti-fascist organizing.
Today marks the Indigenous led Mazaska Talks “Divest the Globe” campaign, with global actions against the banks that fund pipelines and tar sands. If you still have your money in a bank that finances attacks on people’s water and indigenous sovereignty, now is the time to take it out.
A year ago, as the American Red Cross reportedly denied humanitarian aid to water protectors at Standing Rock at the behest of Morton County Sheriff, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief brought several caravans full of food, water, propane, medical supplies, cold weather gear, additional water protectors, and dozens of respirators and other personal protective equipment to guard against the harsh North Dakota winter and even harsher police violence. Read more about our solidarity with Standing Rock here. We are committed to continuing to prevent future cataclysmic disasters from occurring by supporting and amplifying the Indigenous-led resistance to intensive resource extraction.
Also on this day one of our core volunteers is kicking off a crowd-funding campaign to get our Mutual Aid Disaster Relief Training Tour on the road. After you have checked out Mazaska Talks, help our team to do the essential base-building work that will connect grassroots direct action networks and increase skills for community resilience, collaborative power, and inspirational vision in diverse communities all over the US and beyond. Although this crowd-funding campaign isn’t technically a Mutual Aid Disaster Relief fundraising effort (because we promise that all donations to MADR support volunteer programs in solidarity with communities in recovery), it will go a long way towards building bridges between vulnerable and disempowered communities, increase our ability to work as hard and as smart as we can to facilitate countless nodes of people power, infinite overlapping communities of resistance and resilience, and strengthen a strategy that maximizes the effectiveness of all of our collective actions.
For additional ways to financially support the movement for mutual aid and solidarity-based, decentralized, and liberatory disaster relief, go to MutualAidDisasterRelief.org/donate
There are cracks that open up when disasters happen, and we can see each other through those cracks. Finding, recognizing, respecting, and listening to each other are all revolutionary acts. We expect push-back from the forces of white-supremacy and the state. We know that we cannot depend on the powerful to save us. We have to save ourselves; we all have to play our part. And with the economic, political, ecological and other storm clouds that are moving closer by the hour, we have come to understand that humanity’s best chance at survival is through mutual aid survival programs, pooling our skills, networks, and resources together and meeting immediate needs while simultaneously raising consciousness. Hope is not naïve optimism. It is envisioning a future into being, against all odds, making a better world more probable through small, everyday actions.
All power to the imagination
for a revolution of everyday life
-Mutual Aid Disaster Relief