(I have been thinking more and more about self-care and co-care in the activist movement. I do feminism all day long - in my research work, in my activism (when I have time - oh, irony!), in my reading, in my TV viewing, in my frickin’ dreams, I think. The whole live-long day. It is exhausting and I am not sure that the movement and the people within it can sustain our work unless we start to take better care of ourselves as we protest and resist and, at the same time, exist within the sea of misogyny and violence. Community. Be well, Sisters.)
“People of all genders doing historically feminized support work, not just before and after clashes with fascists and white supremacists, but during—keeping count of their comrades, rinsing mace of their skin, keeping an eye on the cops and letting people know what may happen next—will never be glorified in glossy photos,” a member of an NYC anarchist feminist group told me. She’d been in Charlottesville too, and seen the real story unfold first-hand. “But antifascist actions literally can’t happen without them.”
Activism is a community effort. Before we take the streets, we hit the phones, email, Signal, and myriad other forms of communication to deal with the nitty-gritty organizing of mass mobilization: communicating with local groups to find out what kind of presence is requested and needed; sorting out rides; renting cars; securing housing; working out various self-defense and direct action strategies; organizing jail and court support; raising extra coin for the group bail fund; and making banners and signs for the day of—and that’s not even making sure everyone has enough water, sunscreen, and snacks. When one of us is arrested, the full force of the support network springs into action to provide support, therapy, care packages, healing herbal concoctions, job help, language classes, self-defense clubs, medical training, free food, dog walking, and other resources. Much of that labor is handled by people who rarely receive credit in the same the way the photogenic “white guy in a bandana” trope do.
Source/ rest: bitchmedia.org