Rest assured, governments around the world will use/are using the current public health crisis as a pretext for a permanent power grab. Because that’s what governments do. We need to be prepared with a bottom-up response to ruling class shenanigans that are intended to strengthen class subjugation.
With the shutdown of businesses, schools and countless other institutions, millions of people are facing loss of income, housing and access to basic survival resources, including food. Confronted by popular pressure and the specter of civil unrest, states have begun to undertake a “disaster socialism” of uneven and often contradictory aid measures. Still, conditions of emergency are intensifying by the hour and the current biopolitical regime faces an existential crisis.
Under such circumstances, the need for self-organized infrastructures of mutual aid, care and resilience could not be clearer. In the coming weeks and months, rent strikes and other acts of collective refusal are on the horizon. How could these works of mutual aid flow into the construction of a dual power situation? As the system collapses, can physical bases of autonomy and solidarity transform our relationship to the state?
At Woodbine, an autonomous space and organizing framework maintained in New York City since 2014, this is what we have been preparing for — to mobilize our networks, skills, knowledges and energy to coordinate and provide for each other, while simultaneously building the longer-term capacity to face an uncertain future.