Saving Ourselves: Autonomous Disaster Relief in Texas and the Failure of the State

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with participants in autonomous groups across Texas, including Cooperation Denton, Stop the Sweeps in Austin, Mutual Aid Houston, Houston Tenants Union, and North Texas Rural Resilience.

The first in a two part series, this episode discusses the devastating storms which rocked Texas and the Southwest and the context that the “big freeze” happened within: from anti-Black police violence and attacks on the homeless community, to widespread neoliberal policies that left infrastructure and housing stock dilapidated and on the verge of collapse.

Our guests describe the tragic and deadly impact of the storms, which already have caused the deaths of at least 80 people, the broad failure of the State to respond, how lines of race and class impacted the outcome of the disaster, and how mutual aid projects and autonomous groups began to find each other and get organized.

Part testimonial to the massive catastrophe made possible by both climate change and racialized capitalism and part oral history of autonomous organizing in the face of the storm, we hope that this podcast serves to inspire as well as document.



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