Today we find ourselves trying to influence our communities in the context of gentrification, continuous war, and environmental catastrophe, but also amid revolt from below across the globe.
The present wave of mutual aid work is at a crossroads. A solid foundation for future work has been established, but it is vital that groups avoid stagnant patterns, non-profit and electoral co-option, or settling into a wholly reactive pattern of responding only when attacks intensify.
This zine is the first in a series that will explore and critique the budding movement of mutual aid groups around the Pacific Northwest. Our own experiences, observations, and research are synthesized with accounts gained from networking with other groups near and far.
After examining the ideas behind mutual aid, this first volume explores the history and local context of survival and struggle on the streets. From potlatch to panther survival programs, needle exchanges to city-hall campouts, today’s mutual aid projects have a wealth of inspiration and warning from which to draw.