Finding the Thread that Binds Us: 3 Mutual Aid Networks in New York City

As economies collapse and the institutions of state and capitalism fail to protect people’s health and livelihoods, communities have been left no choice but to rely on each other. This has led to a proliferation of spontaneous mutual aid networks in communities where none previously existed, often cohering around Facebook groups and Google documents.

The Free

Finding the Thread that Binds Us

Three Mutual Aid Networks in New York City

Fundamental social change involves two intertwined processes. On the one hand, it means shutting down the mechanisms that impose disparities in power and access to resources; on the other hand, it involves creating infrastructures that distribute resources and power according to a different logic, weaving a new social fabric.

While the movement for police abolition that burst into the public consciousness a month ago in Minneapolis has set new precedents for resistance, the mutual aid networks that have expanded around the world since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic point the way to a new model for social relations.

Food distribution at Woodbine, a social center in New York City.

The following report profiles three groups that coordinate mutual aid efforts in New York City—Woodbine, Take Back the Bronx, and…

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