In this time of the COVID-19, with all its uncertainty and fear, we offer solidarity — to you, to the afflicted, and to our partners around the world.
As we all know, crises like this one make existing inequalities worse. Many governments will put corporate bailouts first before assistance to people. Healthcare and other emergency measures will often leave out the most vulnerable. We are all affected, but certain communities, like those served by our partners in the Global South and on the frontlines in the U.S., are especially vulnerable.
This is the time for us to reaffirm our shared values and vision and to support those most affected — both in the U.S. and around the world. We are writing to you to share what we know from our partners and to ask you for your support to globally “flatten the curve” and raise the bar.
A Glimpse from Our Partners
Here is just a glimpse into what our partners are telling us, from Puerto Rico to Brazil, Haiti to Palestine:
- The vast majority of our partners depend on volunteers, many of whom have lost income and jobs. Small scale farmers, producers, and artists no longer have markets or access to other avenues to sell their products, threatening their livelihoods.
- With many communities heavily dependent on food imports from the U.S. and elsewhere, the threat of severe food shortages looms. Supporting food sovereignty is more important than ever.
- Prisoners, including children and elderly, have been denied basic healthcare and sanitation, risking infection.
- Indigenous Peoples in isolated areas or communities with next-to-no public health infrastructure, will contend with health inequalities, from testing to treatment.
- Movement partners that depend on mobilizing grassroots people power to hold governments accountable, to occupy land, worry about further repression and a rollback of past gains. Without computer equipment, they will not be able to safely organize or convene their leadership in the same way.
But there’s reason to hope. We also know that our partners are already responding — disseminating public health messages to hard-to-reach areas, organizing mutual aid and radical self-management, and providing healing justice. Instead of “disaster capitalism,” they offer a collective solution in the face of crisis.
You, me, our staff, board, volunteers and partners — together we are up to this challenge. We have been doing this work collectively for over 37 years and what we have built together is strong and capable. But we must respond urgently to support frontline grassroots and movement groups with additional resources right away, so that they can lead a community-based response to this global pandemic.