Social movements in and beyond the COVID-19 crisis: sharing stories of struggles
Friday May 8th
… on the 75th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in Europe …
We’re tired of hearing stories about the virus and the crisis that only feature governments and corporations, and where we only appear clapping or as corpses. So we’ve asked activists around the world to share stories of what movements are doing where they are.
Movements have been: pushing states to take action, fighting for the needs of marginalised groups, developing mutual aid, organising strikes and rent strikes – and fighting for a better world afterwards. This stuff matters!
We have a special issue coming up next month, so if you’d like to write something (short or longer form) for this, please email sutapajacob AT gmail.com, laurence.cox AT mu.ie and lesley.j.wood AT gmail.com. Details at the bottom of the page.
John Krinsky and Hillary Caldwell, New York City’s movement networks: resilience, reworking, and resistance in a time of distancing and brutality [via OpenMovements] (28 April)
Neto Holanda e Valesca Lima, Movimentos e ações político-culturais do Brasil em tempos de pandemia do Covid-19 (30 de abril)
Peterson Derolus, Coronavirus, mouvements sociaux populaires anti-exploitation minier en Haïti (18 avril)
Lesley Wood, We’re not all in this together
Jeremy Brecher: In coronavirus fight, workers are forging an emergency Green New Deal [Via Labor Network for Sustainability]
Roshanak Amini, Knowledge is power: virtual forms of everyday resistance and grassroots broadcasting in Iran (8 May)
Ayaz Ahmed Siddiqui, Aurat March, a threat to mainstream tribalism in Pakistan (25 April)
Lynn Ng Yu Ling, What does the COVID-19 pandemic mean for PinkDot Singapore? (21 April)
Sobhi Mohanty, From communal violence to lockdown hunger: emergency responses by civil society networks in Delhi, India (20 April)
Ashish Kothari, Corona can’t save the planet, but we can, if we learn from ordinary people (16 April)
Miguel A. Martínez, Mutating mobilisations during the pandemic crisis in Spain (27 April)
Sergio Ruiz Cayuela, Organising a solidarity kitchen: reflections from Cooperation Birmingham (28 April)
Dagmar Diesner, Self-governance food system before and during the Covid-crisis on the example of CampiAperti, Bologna, Italy (28 April)
Federico Venturini, Social movements’ powerlessness at the time of covid-19: a personal account (18 April)
Michael Zeller, Karlsruhe’s “giving fences”: mobilisation for the needy in times of COVID-19 (20 April)
Laurence Cox, Forms of social movements in the crisis: a view from Ireland (14 April)
Ben Duke, Gig economy workers’ movements (13 April)
Susan Paulson, Giacomo D’Alisa, Federico Demaria, and Giorgos Kallis with Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance, From pandemic towards care-full degrowth (30 April)
Roger Spear, Gulcin Erdi, Marla A. Parker, Maria Anastasiadis, Innovations in citizen response to crises: volunteerism & social mobilization during COVID-19 (30 April)
Yariv Mohar, Human rights amid covid-19: from struggle to orchestration of trade-offs (19 April)
Jeremy Brecher, Strike for your life! [Via Labor Network for Sustainability]
More still in the pipeline!
Other people doing similar things:
- Daraja Press blog “Organising in the times of Covid19” (video / audio interviews with activists)
- Abolition Journal blog space as a site of distributing information from the front lines of abolitionist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-colonial, and other pertinent struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic (link)
- Struggle in a pandemic e-book from the Workers’ Inquiry Network
- Global Tapestry of Alternatives – Dialogue on Alternatives in the Time of Global Crises (webinar series)
- OpenDemocracy OpenMovements series
- Covid-19 from the margins multilingual blog on civil society in the global South
- Oxfam From Poverty to Power blog
- The Left Berlin blog (activist responses to the crisis)
- RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements – Changing solidarities and collective action in times of pandemic webinar (video of the event)
if you know of more, please drop a line to laurence.cox AT mu.ie and we’ll put it up here!
Call for stories on struggles around the virus
The crisis provoked by the coronavirus (and then shaped by all the usual power structures, forms of inequality, cultural hierarchies etc. of our societies) landed in a world that was full of struggle, full of social movements, full of activism. In many different ways, activists have sought to shape how their societies and states respond, while top-down responses have created new problems and sites of struggle. And as many people have said, the future after the virus is still to be fought for. But what does that mean in practice?
Interface exists “from and for” movements, coming out of our own need to reflect more on what we’re doing but with the purpose of feeding back into movements in one form or another. In the present crisis, some movements and activists are running close to or past the point of burnout from having to fight too many fires at once, while others are stuck, trapped, repressed or unsure how to move, and others again are experiencing “just one more thing” to deal with – more death, more poverty, more fear, more repression, more everyday struggle to survive.
We decided that one thing we could contribute was to set up a space to talk about “what’s going on where we are” – specifically, what our movements and other movements are doing in our own country, city, region, neighbourhood… The idea is to share a bit of what’s happening across different spaces and across movements so we might find some ideas and inspiration in what each other is doing – and of course, as always, build connections and think forwards.
We’ve closed the call for blog pieces but we’re now working towards a special issue in June. We’re looking for shortish contributions (1500 – 2500 words, but we’re open to discussion!) focussed on what movements are doing where you are around the crisis. We’re also open to longer, more reflective pieces.
Send us a short paragraph outlining what you’d like to talk about and we can give you a quick yes / no answer! Please email laurence.cox AT mu.ie, lesley.j.wood AT gmail.com and sutapajacob AT gmail.com.
Tell us about the struggles where you are!
So please: send us an email with a one-paragraph pitch (sutapajacob AT gmail.com, lesley.j.wood AT gmail.com and laurence.cox AT mu.ie). Write us something short about movements where you are, using some or all of these headings:
- Movements already going on before the virus
- Lessons learned from previous collective actions that inform how activists respond to the crisis
- Civil society struggles to get states to take action
- Campaigning to get the specific needs of particular groups / communities taken into account
- Solidarity economy and mutual aid initiatives and their connections to other movements
- Struggles developing within the crisis
- Longer-term perspective: what might the crisis mean for movements and the possibility of a better world?
Looking forward to hearing from you!