Feature: Mutual Aid in This Moment
by Gabby Miranda
When I was ten I spent the summer in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico with my grandparents and great uncle. All those old relatives had something memorable to share with me that summer, and for Abuelo, his words are the clearest part. I don’t know what brand of traumatized I fit into, but it’s the one where sometimes when I’m talking to people about our struggles, I feel no choice but to respond, “my grandpa told me all you need to sleep is to be tired; all you need to eat is to be hungry.” I think I’m saying, “shit’s hard, but we have to be okay,” and move the conversation along.
My grandpa’s point is in tune with the sway and verve of a crowd of voices alternating between - who keeps us safe? We keep us safe. There’s a certain irony to it - making survival sound simple - but if you take the facts into consideration, in the undeniable, breathable, everyday texture that is the lives violated by carceral-capitalism, survival is simple because it’s necessary. We must keep us safe. And because we have to, it’s aspirational. The instance of my actions is tied to what I must do, not what I could do. That we will be able to eat if we are hungry doesn’t literally put food on the table, but it does say to me that my need is enough. Anyone’s need is enough. In times of solitude, such as the current circumstance, I’m brought back to the feeling of Shakur - it is our duty to win - radiating through our chorus.
Read the full article on our website: https://www.abolitionaction.nyc/post/an-essay-on-mutual-aid-in-this-moment