Points of Unity

The second anniversary of my connections with Des Moines Mutual Aid is approaching. Our experiences together have literally changed my life. The Spirit led me to this and continues to do so. This can be a way to live through these increasingly uncertain times.

True security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity — in the recognition that we never really stand on solid ground, and never can.

– Oliver Burkeman –
May be an image of text that says 'POINTS OF UNITY DES MOINES MUTUAL AID'
May be an image of text that says '0. We believe in working shoulder to shoulder and standing in solidarity with all oppressed communities. We ourselves are oppressed, and our mutual aid work IS a fight for our collective liberation. We do not believe in a top-down model of charity. Instead we contrast our efforts at horizontal mutual aid, the fostering of mutually beneficial relationships and communities, to dehumanizing and colonizing charity.'
May be an image of text that says '1. We believe in community autonomy We believe that the communities we live and organize in have been largely excluded from state social services, but intensely surveilled and policed by the state repressive apparatus Capitalism is fundamentally unable to meet people's needs. We want to build self- sustaining communities that are independent of the capitalist state both materially and ideologically, and can resist its repression.'
May be an image of text that says '2. We are police and prison abolitionists. oractice Abolition and the mutual aid that we are inextricably linked. We dn' on capitalist institutions or the police to do our work. We believe in building strong and resilient communities which make police obsolete, including community systems of accountability and crisis intervention'
May be an image of text that says '3. We work to raise the political consciousness of our communities. Part of politica education is connecting people's lived experiences to a broader political perspective. Another component is working to ensure that people can meet their basic needs. It is difficult to organize for future liberation when someone is entrenched in day-to- day struggle.'
May be an image of text that says '4.We have open disagreements with each other about ideas and practices. We believe there is no formula for resolving our ideological differences other than working towards our common aims, engaging with each other in a comradely manner, and respecting one another, whether or not we can hash out isagreements in the process.'

The next American Revolution, at this stage in our history, is not principally about jobs or health insurance or making it possible for more people to realize the American Dream of upward mobility. It is about acknowledging that we Americans have enjoyed middle-class comforts at the expense of other peoples all over the world. It is about living the kind of lives that will not only slow down global warming but also end the galloping inequality both inside this country and between the Global North and the Global South. It is about creating a new American Dream whose goal is a higher Humanity instead of the higher standard of living dependent on Empire. It is about practicing a new, more active, global, and participatory concept of citizenship. It is about becoming the change we wish to see in the world.

The courage, commitment, and strategies required for this kind of revolution are very different from those required to storm the Winter Palace or the White House. Instead of viewing the U.S. people as masses to be mobilized in increasingly aggressive struggles for higher wages, better jobs, or guaranteed health care, we must have the courage to challenge ourselves to engage in activities that build a new and better world by improving the physical, psychological, political, and spiritual health of ourselves, our families, our communities, our cities, our world, and our planet.

Grace Lee Boggs,The Next American Revolution

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