Antifascists and Antiracists Showed Us What Community Looks Like in 2020

Tis’ the season for giving, and with that comes countless hours from dedicated volunteers across the world. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-fascist and anti-racist groups have been out in the community and helping those hardest hit.

Hazel Woodrow

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network



Whether it’s been PopMob producing hand sanitizer for people in Portland, Colorado librarians putting together essentials for seniors, Londoners distributing food packages, and so much more. 

With the holidays upon us, we’d like to take a moment to give thanks for this integral labour. 

It’s not always as attention-grabbing as their other work, but these actions of community care and solidarity are perfect for what can be a hard time of year -- especially during 2020.

 

ShareMyCheque.org

This campaign, a collaboration between the Resource Movement and Mutual Aid Toronto/Tkaronto, “encourages people with financial security to share their excess income, savings or government benefits to people facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Rather than accepting donations itself, Share My Cheque provides an extensive list of peer-to-peer mutual aid projects and grassroots organizations in need of support, as well as a guide on the philosophy and vision of the campaign.

Currently sitting at over $55,000 in monthly redistribution, the group looks to get money where it’s needed the most. If you can spare it, share it.

 

“Caremongering” and Mutual Aid 

Originating from a mutual aid-oriented Toronto Facebook group, dozens of “Caremongering” groups have popped up over the last several months. 

Regionally specific, from Peggy’s Cove to the Big Smoke, the groups are made up of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of community members who have been supporting each others’ various needs throughout the pandemic -- such as getting groceries for people most at risk of contracting Covid. You can find a directory of local caremongering-style mutual aid groups here

Other groups have sprung up from the beginning of the pandemic to provide mutual aid support across Canada, such as Mutual Aid Society (MAS) in Winnipeg. Additional initiatives from MAS include manufacturing and distributing masks to the folks who need it the most and a meal service prepared by volunteers and used by 200-400 people and families each week in collaboration with Serve The People.

In Edmonton, Treaty 6 Community Outreach provides mutual aid support for the community. The group has also provided assistance to the Pekiwewin Camp — an Indigenous camp protesting police violence — by supporting a grocery registry, allowing donors to purchase items for the camp residents. They're currently looking for donations for winter clothing, check out their Instagram to find how to help.

You can find a directory of local mutual aid groups here.

Mutual Aid Society. Source: Instagram

 

BIPOC Mutual Aid

Mutual aid has been an intrinsic part of Black, Indigenous, and communities of colour for centuries, and now, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on these communities has made the practice more visible. 

Black in BC Aid “fundraises to provide emergency low-barrier micro-grants to Black people living on the unceded Coast Salish land now known as British Columbia, Canada,” and has advocated for the provincial government to collect and report on race-based pandemic data. The Winnipeg chapter of Bear Clan Patrol (an Indigenous-led community safety service active in about 50 regions across the country) will be distributing up to one million donated three-layer masks throughout the community.

 

Migrant Rights 

The Migrant Rights Network is made up of “self-organized groups of refugees and migrants and allies,” and fights for racial and migrant justice alongside climate, labour, and Indigenous movements. In response to COVID-19, they have coordinated emergency supports and advocated for full and permanent immigration status for all current and future migrants.

The migrant justice group No One Is Illegal - Halifax/K'jipuktuk launched The Migrant Solidarity Fund in October. A mutual aid advocacy and financial assistance initiative aimed at helping migrants overcome systemic barriers and hardships, the Fund helps to provide migrants with food, housing, and other necessities. 

No One Is Illegal - Halifax/K'jipuktuk. Source: Facebook

 

The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund 

Since June 2015 the International Anti-Fascist Defense Fund “provides emergency support to anti-fascists anywhere in the world, whenever they find themselves in a difficult situation as a result of their stand against hate.” Their efforts have contributed $75,000 USD to over 400 activists around the world facing hardships like medical bills, lack of a safe place to stay, and assisting their families.

This is what real community looks like. 

Related stories

Trump Has Left Office. Where Do We Go From Here?

Trump Has Left Office. Where Do We Go From Here?

After the insurrection in Washington DC, the inauguration was billed as a potential encore for the day's violence. With the ceremony come and gone without incident, what comes next is not completely clear.