Mutual aid is where people in an area, or a community, come together to support one another, collectively meeting each other’s needs without the help of official bodies like the state or NGOs. It often arises due to neglect of government provision for certain classes of people.
Mutual aid, in simpler words, is cooperation for the common good.
Mutual aid is a horizontal mode of organisation, aiming to break down hierarchies and practice collective decision making. However, the concept of mutual aid encompasses a wide variety of practices – there is no one-catch-all term or definition, it is a universal practice rather than a singular concept. All the examples listed on this site attempt to speak to the universality of this practice, but by no means aim to define them rigidly.
The idea of solidarity, rather than charity, underpins mutual aid. Resources are unconditionally shared, as opposed to charity which is often conditional and means tested.
On 13th May 2021, two men were detained by the Home Office for alleged immigration violations. In response, people from various backgrounds and communities spontaneously came together to surround the […]
Occupy Sandy was a grassroots relief effort that emerged in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which struck the northeastern United States in October 2012. This superstorm caused widespread devastation, particularly […]
Launched on 1 May 2014, Cooperation Jackson is a libertarian-ecosocialist and predominantly Black-led network of worker cooperatives in Jackson, Mississippi. “The broad mission of Cooperation Jackson is to advance the […]
In Rojava, and Bakur a model based on a matrix of autonomous neighbourhood assemblies (or ‘communes’), civil society organisations, political parties, unions, co-operatives has been built up. It works from […]
In 2011, the P’urhépecha town of Cherán (in Mexico) kicked out police, politicians, cartels, and unauthorized loggers. Since then, residents have horizontally self-governed while protecting their community and forest based […]
Strike funds are an essential component of trade union operations, designed to mitigate the financial hardships that members may face when engaging in labor strikes. These funds are typically built […]
In Venezuela, hundreds of thousands of people live in (as of 2016) more than 1,500 participatory communes. The communes’ locally-managed workplaces produce “millions of tons of coffee, corn, plantains, and bananas […]
Letter writing to prisoners is a poignant example of a mutual aid practice that offers support and connection to incarcerated individuals. This practice involves individuals or groups corresponding with prisoners […]