“The Coronavirus pandemic is now plaguing every country in the world, but the 1.8 billion people living in abhorrent housing conditions and homelessness, sometimes lacking even water or a toilet, are primarily at risk. The International Alliance of Inhabitants calls for the mobilisation and local/global solidarity of grassroots organisations in support of zero evictions.”
In solidarity with the thousands of people self-organizing mutual aid networks (MAN) across the UK and the world to respond to the current crisis as governments stumble about ineffectually, there is one thing that needs saying: you can’t self-isolate if you have no home to live in.
This week the government is expected to announce new powers to detain and fine people ‘at risk of spreading the coronavirus’. But what if you have no home or space to self-isolate in? What if you live on the street, in temporary accommodation, in hostels, in tents or in other precarious housing situations? What if you are victim to one of the 250 evictions per day that happen across the UK?
The mutual aid networks are in a unique position to defend the homes – and the lives – of those facing eviction. At the same time, they have the strength and numbers to provide a radical housing alternative for those with no homes. There are growing calls for a different response to this crisis and how it intersects with housing, austerity and climate.
Beyond delivering food and medical supplies, the networks can go further, and provide a direct response to people’s housing needs. Facing this viral pandemic, we must take action to ensure no one is homeless, and that no-one loses their home due to the virus. The mutual aid networks can immediately open up empty buildings to house all the homeless and organise to ensure no evictions or repossession actions take place during this crisis.
Be warned: those in power do not like it when we organise ourselves and our communities autonomously. After this time of housing and health crisis, they are seeking only to strengthen their powers to oppress.
To all mutual aid networks, we urge you to join the call for zero evictions and directly defend people’s homes and their lives, and to open empty buildings to provide safe spaces for the homeless to shelter and self-isolate.
Ask nothing, demand nothing, occupy and resist.
George F. writes from London. You can read more of their work about anarchy and dystopia here.