It is our responsibility to come together to protect the lives of those around us by limiting the spread of this disease as much as possible. 

It’s a scary and uncertain time for all of us. We wanted to let you know the actions we’ve taken as an organisation to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus.

We have cancelled or postponed in-person actions, meetings, trainings and tactics until further notice.

Our staff and grassroots leaders are doing their 350 work from home and having meetings online, and we’ve put a freeze on all non-essential travel. 

You can do your part by washing your hands, practising physical distancing, and offering support to those in your community who might need help. 

We know that there may  be those who will try to seize such a crisis to further entrench their own interests and divide us. There is a risk that those benefiting from unjust systems in society will leave those most vulnerable behind, and try to harness panic to crack down on borders, scapegoat people of colour, grant huge tax breaks to corporations rather than invest in public health, and limit our rights to vote and dissent. They will not keep us healthy and they want us to operate from a place of fear. But, our fates are tied. Only by working together will we defeat this outbreak.

This moment is really scary and seems daunting, but we’ve been here before, like when Act Up and LGBTQ activists united to confront the HIV/AIDS crisis in spite of corrupt CEOs and irresponsible politicians. We are all better off when each and every one of us is treated with dignity and respect. The things that will help us fight coronavirus are also good for our long-term common well being and will model the cooperation we need to address other global challenges like climate change. Now is the time for us to come together, to unite across our differences, and to protect one another in pursuit of a better brighter tomorrow.  

Solidarity and community care:

This is a time to come together and act in solidarity and love by caring for our communities. If you have the ability and the resources, we encourage you to reach out to your neighbours and offer help with groceries, chores, cleaning or babysitting. Get involved and offer support on local community Facebook groups, check in on grandparents, people who are socially isolated, and support artists and other industries who’ve been hit hard by cancellations.

Here’s a great resource for actions you can take in your community, including template letters to give to your neighbours, lists of chores you can offer to help with and reminders for how to keep people safe.

Learning and creating at home:

With many people home-bound over the next few months, why not use this strange time to educate yourself and others further about climate science, justice and action; about campaigning tactics; how to talk to the media; or learn more about social movements? There are a number of helpful online trainings available to get you started. 

Create art: Using whatever medium you choose, you can make #Art4Climate and share it online using social media, or physically fasten your creations to your front door or in your windows. 

Grounded on science and justice, we must face tomorrow with a renewed commitment to face the coming days with hope and resistance.

We’ll be in touch in the next few weeks with actions you can take safely from home to continue our campaign  to call on companies and politicians to Cut All Ties with the coal lobby. But for now, rest up, stay connected and be brave.

* cover art by Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho (@hurianakt.a)

Additional Readings and Resources:

5 Things To Know About Coronavirus And People With Disabilities

People Are Fighting the Coronavirus With Mutual Aid Efforts to Help Each Other

Solidarity amidst the pandemic

COVID-19: Common questions and Community Care for the Vulnerable  by Tori Hobbs (RN, Co-Founder and Head of Projects at The Vermilion Project)

Rebecca Solnit: How to Survive a Disaster (2016)

Coronavirus and Capitalism with Naomi Klein

COVID-19 Pandemic Resources for Progressives