Tag Archives: covid-19

Mutual aid networks

Faced with the the coronavirus pandemic and a government characterised by a callous and sociopathic disregard for anyone but their friends in high places, the rapid growth and spread of mutual aid networks around the world has been nothing short of inspirational and the source of much hope. Self organised and community led, these networks have shown how willing and ready people are to break the individualist, isolated mindset fostered by capitalism and the state, to help each other out as equals without profit or reward but with plenty of human spirit and solidarity.


It’s worth reminding ourselves that the term mutual aid is one originally put forward in the 19th century by one of the original anarchist “old beards”, Peter Kropotkin, and we have been putting these principles into practice ever since, both in our daily lives and in times like these. It’s been shown so clearly time and time again and comes as no surprise that in times of crisis and disaster, it is always the people who come to each other’s aid first while governments at best drag their feet and usually leave us all for dead.

They have been totally shown up by our capacity for organising for ourselves, left looking redundant and quite simply, rubbish. So now we see councillors, wannabe politicians and others used to being in charge scrambling to do their best to delay, divert, co-opt and control the incredible efforts of ordinary people, desperate to be in charge of it all again. We see them predictably and arrogantly seeking to manouevre themselves into leading roles and leading genuine grassroots activity down the tired old institutional paths that have so consistently failed us. Let’s make sure we keep our mutual aid networks horizontally organised on principles of free exchange and solidarity without the need for leaders. It’s understandable why they see this as such a threat to their existing order. Who knows where it could all lead to…

Get involved if you can and get support if you need:



BASE cafe closed

BASE community co-operative has taken the decision to close Sunday cafes from now to help prevent the spread of the covid-19 virus. This will be reviewed every 2 weeks.

BASE kitchen is now closed. Anyone wanting to use the kitchen can request that and it will be discussed on a case by case basis.

Group meetings can go ahead in certain circumstances. Small groups of less than 10 can still meet as long as there is only 1 group in the building at a time and our stringent hygiene procedures are followed. (We can email the procedures on request, and they are on display in BASE). As with kitchen use, anyone wanting to use BASE for a larger event can request that on a case by case basis, and would need to explain why it would be worth the risks and how those risks would be managed.

The policy on groups using the space will be reviewed every 2 weeks or sooner if things change dramatically.

No one should attend BASE if they have any unexplained covid-19 symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing).

While we have not taken the decision lightly and are sad to close temporarily an important and much valued space for accessing cheap food, socialising and organising, in view of the pandemic it is clearly the most responsible course of action.

In the face of such tough times, we are encouraged and heartened by the impressive and rapid upsurge of mutual aid networks in Bristol and beyond. Many people involved with our social centre are actively involved in these self organised networks putting principles of community cooperation and solidarity into practice.

Like so many, we recognise that the government is not going to save us and has yet again shown nothing but callous disregard for our communities, our safety and our lives.

There’s a lot we can do to organise together and help each other out. Get involved with and if needed get support from your local mutual aid group. Below is the Bristol wide facebook group and you can access local postcode and street groups from there and from the Alternative Bristol article link.

Stay safe and look after each other.