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GAF Lockdown reading group discusses: mutual aid

4 June, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Our aim with these meetings is to discuss different subjects each time so it is not necessary to have joined a previous session to participate. Before each meeting we will share a variety of readings of different lengths to give some background information on the subject to be discussed. Participants are invited to pick and choose what they would like to read in preparation. No prior knowledge of any of the subjects is necessary as our aim is to make these events as inclusive and broad as possible.

In this reading group we will be discussing mutual aid, how we have experienced it during covid-19 and what opportunities and benefits it can offer.

Join us as we discuss the questions:

  1. What are the benefits of Mutual Aid? What examples of Mutual Aid have you seen?
  2. How has the COVID-19 Pandemic affected the prevalence of Mutual Aid and the ideas surrounding it? Do most COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups have a different conception of Mutual Aid?
  3. Can Mutual Aid help us in our struggle against the Climate Crisis and other ecological issues? How?
  4. Do you see more opportunities for furthering Mutual Aid in the future? What role could we play in furthering it?

We would like to remind you that you don’t need to do all the readings, just pick and choose the ones you want to do. We would recommend that you do at least some of the readings in preparation. We would also recommend picking from both the basic readings and the advanced readings sections.


Basic readings

  • VIDEO- ‘What is mutual aid? A quick explanation” by Cambridge Radical Education. YouTube
    • A quick explanation of the basic principles of Mutual Aid (3 minutes.).
  • VIDEO- ‘What is Mutual Aid?’ by Sub Media. Invidious.
    • An explanation of Mutual Aid and its history, arguing against the idea of an innately selfish humanity. (5 minutes).
  • TEXT– ‘Mutual Aid: An Essay’ by Errico Malatesta. (Text, Audio).
    • An essay explaining the benefits of Mutual Aid, and the naturally tendency of humanity to practice it.
  • VIDEO- ‘Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid & How to Organise in the Age of Coronavirus’ by Democracy Now! Invidious.
    • A news report explaining Mutual Aid and how it is being applied to help people in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. (13 minutes).
  • TEXT- ‘ ‘The way we get through this is together’: the rise of mutual aid under coronavirus’ by Rebecca Solnit (Text)
    • An article discussing examples of Mutual Aid during the COVID-19 Pandemic and explaining how these examples demonstrate how a better society could be orchestrated.
  • TEXT- ‘Insurrectionary Mutual Aid’ by the Curious George Brigade. (Text)
    • An extract from a zine, discussing Mutual Aid in the context of a crisis and how it can be applied to help in the process of a successful insurrection.

Further readings

  • VIDEO- ‘The Radical History of Mutual Aid’ by La Verda Planedo. YouTube
    • A history of Mutual Aid as a concept. (8 minutes)
  • TEXT- “This anarchist thinker helps explain why we feel so driven to help each other through the coronavirus crisis” by Ruth Kinna and Thomas Swann. (Text)
    • An article discussing Peter Kropotkin and his ideas on Mutual Aid, and why they are relevant today.
  • VIDEO- ‘Shit’s totally FUCKED! What can we do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer’ by Dean Spade and Ciro Carillo. YouTube
    • An explanation of Mutual Aid alongside various examples. (8 minutes)
  • VIDEO- ‘Organize: For Autonomy And Mutual Aid’ by Sub Media. Invidious
    • A short film exploring Mutual Aid and how it is being employed to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (35 minutes).
  • VIDEO- ‘Contracts and Mutual Aid’ by Non-Compete. Invidious
    • A video explaining how large-scale collaboration could function in an Anarchist society using contracts and Mutual Aid. (13 minutes)
  • TEXT- “Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution” by Peter Kropotkin (Text, Audio)
    • The book that established Mutual Aid as a concept. In it, Kropotkin explains how cooperation has played a larger role than competition in both evolution and human history.
  • FURTHER RESOURCES: http://bigdoorbrigade.com/

Join Zoom Meeting:

  • online:
    • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82121363533
    • Meeting ID: 821 2136 3533
  • by phone:

Event times are set at BST (British Summer Time), the time zone being UTC+1.


4 June, 2020
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Green Anticapitalist Front London

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