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Public Panel
We’ve Always Supported Each Other:
Mutual Aid in the UK

The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent failure of the state to adequately respond has seen a proliferation of local mutual aid networks around the country: people and communities are starting to look out for each other. When thinking about this difficult but powerful work, it is vital to include and prioritise marginalised, stigmatised and excluded communities.

At this event, we move the conversation beyond focusing on specific projects, towards an engagement with the perspectives of those for whom mutual aid is an ongoing practice. Communities such as sex workers, migrants, people with experience of homelessness, LGBTQ+ people, prisoners and their families, and drug users have been doing the essential work of community care and collective support for decades. In this discussion we aim to prioritise these perspectives, what they demonstrate for wider movements, and how we can learn from them.

Speaking on this panel will be Juno Mac, a sex worker and activist with the Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) and co-author of Revolting Prostitutes; Juan Fernandez Ochoa, who works with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) as the global coordinator of the Support Don’t Punish campaign, a decentralised social mobilisation initiative to end the “war on drugs” and promote harm reduction responses to drug[policy]-related challenges; Dania Thomas, a first generation immigrant from Mumbai, law researcher and a Ubuntu Women Shelter trustee; Jodie Beck, a prison abolitionist and campaigner involved with the grassroots collective Our Empty Chair. The panel will be hosted by Tobi Adebajo (Purple Rain Collective, Femmes of Colour UK, Open Barbers), an anti-disciplinary creator whose practice draws from all the senses and relies upon meaningful collaboration to create work that centralises diasporic experiences whilst honouring the power of identity.

We are offering 50% off Juno Mac and Molly Smith’s book Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights to all guests. We’ll send you a link to activate the discount once you register.