Recap: Nov. 12 Mutual Aid Potluck

Mutual Aid NYC met for the seventh time at the Brooklyn Base in order to discuss economic alternatives to the capitalist system. People there discussed the future of Mutual Aid NYC and what the next steps going forward should be. An idea was proposed to create a sort of rolling solidarity network between various organizations and collectives in New York City that are already exploring alternatives to the current economic system, where we would help out these organizations in exchange for a pledge for assistance when we move on to the next organization. The idea was received positively. The specifics of this idea will be discussed tomorrow, 5:30 p.m. at 60 Wall Street in Manhattan. Please bring your ideas for what the future could hold for Mutual Aid NYC. In order to focus on this, however, the potlucks will be scaled back a bit. More information on the next one is forthcoming.

November 12 Mutual Aid Potluck at the Brooklyn Base

When: 7pm November 12thstaticmap
Where: The Base, 113 Stockholm Street (entrance on Myrtle)

Bring food, snacks, or desert!

RSVP on Facebook

Come to the 7th  Mutual Aid Potluck, where you can munch on delicious food and engage in great conversations about what it means to build a true capitalist alternative. This meeting will be devoted to larger questions about the group itself, including overall structure and purpose, as well as possibilities for future projects. Hope to see you there!

If you have any ideas for activities please leave them in the comments.

For more information, please read the recap from the previous meeting.

Recap: October 29 Potluck

Mutual Aid NYC met for the sixth time at the Brooklyn Base in order to discuss economic alternatives to the capitalist system. We discussed further possibilities for structure and roles within the group, including:

  • IT
  • Event Coordination
  • Outreach/PR
  • Project Coordination
  • Time Bank Liaison
  • Member Retention/Relations
  • Facilitation

Also discussed were the means by which the group can expand, open questions regarding the group’s identity and purpose (namely, the networking versus generative space and how the structure can accommodate both missions), and the role the potlucks play within the overall structure of Mutual Aid NYC. There was also a brief discussion on co-ops and worker-owned ventures and how they utilize mutual aid themselves.

Next potluck will be at the Brooklyn Base (113 Stockholm Street, entrance on Myrtle Ave.) on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there. Please RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends.

Recap: October 15 Potluck

Mutual Aid NYC met for the fifth time at the Brooklyn Base in order to discuss economic alternatives to the capitalist system. After eating some great food and meeting new people, we started the meeting with discussing a proposed list of basic roles and responsibilities within the group, including:

  • IT
  • Event Coordination
  • Outreach/PR
  • Project Coordination
  • Time Bank Liaison
  • Member Retention/Relations
  • Facilitation

While people thought on these roles, as well as other possible structure suggestions, the group moved onto discussion on ideas for new projects, given what we learned during the last meeting regarding mutual aid in the context of food. Some items that were brought up during the free-form discussion included:

  • Scouting locations for possible urban gardens, and performing soil remediation to make them suitable for food production
  • Overcoming legal barriers to rescuing food waste, possibly with legal assistance
  • Growing food in bales of hay, thus avoiding problems of contaminated soil
  • Saving compost over the winter, and plugging into already existing composting projects in the city
  • A barter/flea market for networking among various people with diverse skill sets
  • Large community cooking/preserving events (canning, pickling, etc.)
  • Seed bombing (dropping seeds of soil-remediating plans in various areas)

The group also discussed individuals’ needs regarding food. Some things brought up that affected people personally included:

  • Ability to buy affordable, quality food
  • Lack of space and resources to grow one’s own food
  • Knowledge of what is and is not seasonal
  • Getting groceries home, as people walk a lot in NYC and it can be difficult transporting more than a bag or two
  • Lead in the soil for people who garden; there was discussion as to why people are not informed of this, since they *are* informed of things like lead-based paint in apartments
  • Time for cooking – some people work a lot and want to cook meals but don’t have time and so rely heavily on processed convenience foods

With all these things in mind, the group in principle seemed receptive to the idea of starting a communal garden, something that grows food and everyone who takes part can get a share of it. This, it was felt, combined many of the things that had been talked about. It was brought up that the group 596 Acres would be a great resource, as well as city resources on brownfield management. It was mentioned that there are many such gardens in the city already, and perhaps there could be efforts towards supporting already existing projects, or finding a way to plug them into this one, thus creating a network effect.

The question of how best to communicate and coordinate on this led to a larger discussion on the group’s overall structure and purpose. It was decided that a larger discussion could take place both through email and in person at the next administrative meeting.

This discussion can be located in (where else?) the discussion forum which is located at this link. People are encouraged, too, to post other discussions and have a vigorous, civil dialogue with each other on what it means to build a mutual aid networking in NYC.

Next potluck will be at the Brooklyn Base (113 Stockholm Street, entrance on Myrtle Ave.) on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there. Please RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends.

October 29 Mutual Aid Potluck at the Brooklyn Base

When: 7pm October 29thstaticmap
Where: The Base, 113 Stockholm Street (entrance on Myrtle)

Bring food, snacks, or desert!

RSVP on Facebook

We will be continuing on our discussion regarding food from the previous meeting, namely how we can use our collective resources to create new projects AND support existing ones.

If you have any ideas for activities please leave them in the comments.

For more information, please read the recap from the previous meeting.

Recap: October 1st Potluck

Mutual Aid NYC met for the fourth time at the Brooklyn Base in order to discuss economic alternatives to the capitalist system. As was decided at the last meeting, we introduced themed pot-lucks in order to focus on specific topics within the context of mutual aid. The first one would be devoted to the sharing of knowledge between us, the second to brainstorming ideas, given what it is we then know.

The first of these, discussed at the most recent pot-luck, was food. After the discussion began, one person first gave a talk about urban gardening and foraging, while the second discussed Food Not Bombs in NYC.

After the short talks, people began discussing what they knew in relation to food, including things that are already being done and areas that are ripe for further development along this line. Some things the group discussed included:

  • Urban farmers
  • Soil problems – and testing for them
  • Soil remediating plants
  • Roof gardens
  • CSAs
  • Freeganism
  • Food Not Bombs
  • Charity – food banks – soup kitchens
  • Fruit baring street trees
  • Foraging
  • Wild animals – geese and others
  • Share extra food
  • Cultivating community meals
  • Guerrilla grafting
  • Bees and other pollinators
  • Proclaim dumpstered food

The next meeting will be devoted to brainstorming ideas based on the previous pot luck’s discussion. Also discussed will be possibilities for further structure and organization. If you wish to participate in the discussion on this, please join the discussion google group: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/mutualaidnyc

Next potluck will be at the Brooklyn Base (113 Stockholm Street, entrance on Myrtle Ave.) on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there. Please RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends.

October 15th Mutual Aid Potluck at The Brooklyn Base

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=207297067941541284888.0004e33ca820ef3e08e43
Brooklyn Base, 113 Stockholm Street (entrance on Myrtle Ave.)

When: 7pm October 15th
Where: The Base, 113 Stockholm Street

Bring food, snacks, or desert!

RSVP on Facebook

This will be the second themed potluck. October’s theme is food. This time we will be talking about projects base on last potluck’s discussion.

If you have any ideas for activities please leave them in the comments.

For more information please read the recap from the October 1st potluck.

October 1st Mutual Aid Potluck at The Brooklyn Base

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=207297067941541284888.0004e33ca820ef3e08e43
Brooklyn Base, 113 Stockholm Street (entrance on Myrtle Ave.)

When: 7pm October 1st
Where: The Base, 113 Stockholm Street

Bring food, snacks, or desert!

RSVP on Facebook

This will be the first themed potluck. October’s theme is food, a fitting theme if you ask me.

If you have any ideas for activities please leave them in the comments. If you would like to lead a discussion or session please email chris@mutualaidnyc.org

For more information please read the recap from the September 18th potluck.

Recap: Sept. 18 Mutual Aid Potluck

The Brooklyn Base hosted the third Mutual Aid Potluck last week, where people once again gathered to discuss alternative economic structures in the service of promoting non-capitalist economies. After introductions were made, the topic of the group’s purpose and what we expect from it came up. Some things that were discussed included:

  • Better understanding local political entities
  • Skillshares
  • Using social media to promote awareness
  • Events that focus on specific issues

The final point eventually became a discussion on the idea of thematic months, run on a schedule. Before the potluck, people would research the topics within the context of mutual aid and come prepared to talk about what they learned. The second potluck, then, would include brainstorming ideas for new projects or workshopping existing ones, related to what was talked about previously.

Topics proposed by the group included:

  • Debt
  • Food
  • Housing
  • Tech literacy
  • home repair and maintenance
  • Clothing and sewing
  • Employment/Lack thereof
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Personal Finance
  • Child care
  • Media
  • Local politics
  • Safety/Know your rights/criminal justice
  • Education

It was decided that Food would be the upcoming theme. Chris, Steve and Maureen volunteered to facilitate this discussion. In addition to everyone coming in with research about mutual aid as it relates to food, people are also encouraged to bring recipe cards to share and swap.

Have ideas or links that relate to Food and Mutual aid? Leave us a comment.

Recap: September 3rd Potluck

We had another good turnout last week. About 16 people attended, some new, some returning. Good food was had and the following points were discussed and shared:

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE

  • Tool lending library
  • Bicycle repair
  • Classes – skills – politics
  • Total parallel structure to capitalism
  • Alternative form of exchange
  • Practical reliable way to do food – healthcare
  • Different groups to address different aspects
  • Narrative of our meetings
  • Spaces where people can meet locally
  • Long term plan
  • Block parties
  • Research on aspects of mutual aid
  • Strategy
  • Childcare
  • Bring something new to the next meeting
  • Working groups for each task
  • Directory of projects and skills
  • Develop the NYC mutual aid network web site
  • Trusted groups

WHAT IS GOING ON NOW