HOW ACTIVISM LABOUR DEFIES CAPITALISM

It only takes one doom scroll through social media to see there is no shortage of injustice in the world. But there is also no shortage of people who have dedicated themselves to dismantle systems of violence and advance justice through activism.

With how deeply entrenched injustice is in our society, the work to dismantle injustice is a full-time job. Despite the hours put in, this job does not fit a capitalist and colonial view of labour.

HOW ACTIVISM LABOUR DEFIES CAPITALISM By Gabriela Calugay-Casuga, Rabble.ca., August 9, 2022

I’m intrigued to have come across the idea of Community Supported Organizer (CSO) this morning.

I’m so often impressed by the dedication, sacrifice and skills of my friends involved in activism. I learn about some of the things they are involved in when I’m at our (Des Moines Mutual Aid) weekly food giveaway. This networking is one of the advantages of being involved in this community. The following summary describes some of what has been accomplished by Des Moines Mutual Aid over the past two years.

Ronnie James

One of the basic principles of Mutual Aid is to replace the capitalist economic system. The following shows no money is involved in our food distribution project. Of course, someone pays to make the food that is donated. But this is food that would otherwise not be used. In a local community it is possible to have the food produced without money when the farmers are supported in nonmonetary ways by the community.



But as we work to replace capitalism, we remain in that economic system for the time being.

In this context of social isolation and forced dependency on hostile systems, mutual aid— where we choose to help each other out, share things, and put time and resources into caring for the most vulnerable— is a radical act.

Dean Spade. Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next) (Kindle Locations 119-120). Verso.

Mutual Aid Will Help Communities Thrive

Part of the answer is community care and mutual aid, according to Jones. She said that many mutual aid networks popped up during the pandemic, but this type of support can continue outside of COVID-19 lockdowns. She said that every person has different capacities and needs. Finding the ways those capacities and needs fit together will create a support system that can continue to dismantle cycles of injustice.

Grove said that if every community does work to identify its needs, then folks in positions of privilege can come together to support those who do unpaid but necessary work.

“A lot of forest defenders lost their cars, lost their homes, lost everything because they saw that this is a fight worth fighting,” Grove said. “The next task was figuring out what the needs are of people that come off these frontlines. Sometimes it’s financial, like you just need to get a roof over your head.”

Jones said that mutual aid work also reveals that activism is not some exclusive thing that only a few people can engage in. Anyone can support the struggle for justice, Jones said.

“There’s this idea that there’s a class of people that ‘do activism,’” Jones said, “but that’s not a mass movement. A mass movement is when everybody has the skills and capacity, everybody is called upon to do what they can, everybody gives what they can, everybody is empowered and given the ability and resources to do that.”

HOW ACTIVISM LABOUR DEFIES CAPITALISM By Gabriela Calugay-Casuga, Rabble.ca., August 9, 2022


CSO = A New Model for Supporting Autonomous Agents of Change

Backbone Campaign’s Community Supported Organizer (CSO) pilot program is a nascent but promising innovation in funding social change work. Backbone designed this model to work similarly to Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). CSAs create a stable funding source for local farmers through a synergistic relationship with community members who pledge support.  In return, the CSA member receive a share of the harvest and a deeper connection to the farm and the food they eat. We believe that the CSO model presents a new way to support our most talented change agents, establish meaningful connection to the work being done, and a deep pride in the harvest.

Being a CSO provides a way for a self-directed change agent to be innovative and responsive to emergent opportunities. They are not constrained by an organizational bureaucracy directed from afar.  They are not locked into an inflexible plan or narrow mission.  A CSO is accountable only to a diverse community of sustaining donors from whom they crowd source recurring donations. This community benefits from a CSO’s increased skill and capacity gained through their immersion in the work and their access to training, skill shares, reflection, mentorship and tactical tools that Backbone Campaign provides.  We all enjoy the harvest of accelerated positive change and mounting victories.

We believe that the CSO concept can help further empower autonomous activists and organizers around the country to dedicate themselves more fully to the work they are doing in their communities. This will help lead us faster to the positive and just changes we strive to see happen in our world.

Backbone Campaign


Patreon

I don’t know much about patreon, but have used it to support Matè Farrakhan Muhammad, co-founder of the Des Moines Black Liberation Movement.

TheBlackArtivist is the creative engine of Matè Farrakhan Muhammad, a Des Moines based activist and artist who co-founded the Des Moines Black Liberation Movement. TheBlackArtivist seeks to explore, educate, and radicalize us as human beings against the oppressive forces which seek to destroy our futures and steal our joy.

https://www.patreon.com/theblackartivist/posts


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