I’ve been trying to integrate all that I’ve been learning about Mutual Aid, #LANDBACK, Abolition, Religious Socialism, Ecosocialism, photography, forced assimilation and Indigenous worldview. There are many intersections among these. This is stimulated in part as I reflect on yesterday. It was a spiritual time when I stopped at Easter Lake to take photos there, despite, or because of the bitter cold. Then continuing to be with my Mutual Aid friends as we filled boxes of food to distribute in the neighborhood. To witness people coming together to share stories. Each moving from one friend to another. This is part of the future we (I) want that exists now. That is the wonderful thing about Mutual Aid, as the focus is on addressing survival needs in the present. As my friend Ronnie says, you work intensely for an hour and a half, and when you’re done you feel sweaty, tired and good.
As I hear so many friends expressing feelings of hopelessness and despair, I feel fortunate to be involved in a community that gives us a sense of doing something good together. Which is one reason I’m trying to get more people involved in Mutual Aid.
I heard some of this discouragement when those in the Quakers for Abolition Network met via ZOOM yesterday.
I’ve been working on a new diagram to help me visualize the relationships between the concepts mentioned at the beginning. The root cause of so much suffering is the capitalist economic system. Socialism is an alternative to capitalism. Ecosocialism is about how environmental devastation will be the end of capitalism. Or faith communities can help bring about socialism as an alternative to capitalism from a moral lens. Or both.
Mutual Aid is a framework to replace vertical hierarchies and the unjust power structures they enforce. LANDBACK, returning to Indigenous relationships with the land, and abolition of police and prisons are part of building communities that represent the future we want.