More Than Facebook: Mutual Aid Organizing in Ottawa During COVID-19

Thousands of people around Ottawa connected on social media to request help and offer assistance to strangers during the first spike of COVID-19 in March, 2020. They were forming COVID-19 support groups, mutual aid networks, and “caremongering” groups. Membership in these Facebook groups grew to over 4,000 within weeks, and they have remained active since then, with daily posts, comments, news, and updates. Read More …

Kingston: Account of Eviction of Belle Park Encampment

Today the City of Kingston carried out their threat of eviction at Belle Park.  By-law officers and the police taped off all entrances to the park, and initially wouldn’t let supporters or residents in to pack up or claim belongings. Due to pressure from community supporters and allies, residents were allowed into the park to pack their things.

The city has failed to address homelessness for generations, and this has gotten worse during covid. Read More …

Kingston: Update from Belle Park

On Monday June 29, 9 Belle Park campers, 3 city of Kingston staff, councillor Rob Hutchison and many community members met in the Belle Park parking lot. Mutual Aid Katarokwi-Kingston asked a few Belle Park Camp supporters to attend this meeting and about 25 people came on short notice.

Rob from the City of Kingston Communications Department attempted to start the meeting, when a member of MAKK pointed out that no camp residents were present and we should wait for them before we start (note: the same thing happened last week too when Joanne Boris from the Housing Department tried to start the meeting). Once campers were also present, Rob stated that the city’s goals were to provide updates, keep campers in the loop on the “transition plan”, and hear from campers about the current situation at the park. Read More …

Keep your Rent, Help Each Other: Roundup of rent refusal and mutual aid organizing

Across Ontario, many tenants across the region will withhold rent from their landlord. Even though we are constantly told we are all in this together, the social impact of the virus will be hugely uneven and intensify existing inequalities. Whether tenants still have the means to pay this month or not, this movement shows solidarity with those who can’t and recognizes that few people can last long without the income they’re counting on.

Alongside this, people across the region have organized to help out their neighbours autonomously.. We are highlighting mutual aid projects that try to go beyond a social media page to build lasting independent strength in their neighbourhoods. Read More …

Kingston: Really Really Free Market in Skeleton Park

On September 30th, 2018, members of AKA Autonomous Social Centre in Kingston hosted another Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) in our neighbourhood. Over the course of 3 hours, approximately 150 to 200 folks came by to share and take free things! For those who are not aware of RRFMs, they are events where folks give and take things with no money exchanged. They emerged as public events in direct opposition to so-called free trade negotiations. Read More …