Climate Chaos is happening. Adaptation and preparation are essential. Grassroots disaster response will be more and more necessary as we see more catastrophes – infrastructure, economic, and ecological collapses – and as corporations and governments seek only to capitalize on the crises.
That is why I am helping to grow Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR) – a new organization inspired by Common Ground, Occupy Sandy, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, and the long history of diverse grassroots direct actions seeking to make a better world possible. We are developing and training a standing network of community organizers and volunteer disaster responders, continually growing in size and efficacy, which will be at-the-ready to respond to natural and unnatural disasters – from hurricanes to hate rallies, from mudslides to mine waste spills – and to help survivors, especially those in marginalized communities, to stand up for themselves, to restore their homes, to build their power, and to vision a more sustainable future.
I am making plans with a founder of MADR to conduct a series of promotional tours, in which we will educate about how natural storms turn into unnatural disasters, and train affinity groups on subjects like “Solidarity Not Charity,” “Community Organizing as Disaster Preparedness,” and “Building Power in Collaboration.”
We are beginning to make plans for one tour in spring 2018, and another in fall 2018. We may also be available for a few visits in 2017, depending on location. We will choose our regions based on interest, but our strategy emphasizes covering as many locations as possible, and reaching a diverse mix of urban and rural communities.
A typical visit will span 2-3 days, initiated by an entertaining illustrated story-telling (using Beehive graphics, of course!) about corporate colonization, disaster capitalism, climate change, and the vibrant and diverse movements in resistance to these deadly forces (it will be similar to the innovative “ROCK BOTTOM in the Age of Extreme Resource Extraction” presentation I created in 2014, but using new custom illustrations!). This will be followed by intensive training in “Community Organizing as Disaster Preparedness” and the “Solidarity Not Charity” model, reinforced with a wide variety of skills. And this is just the beginning – new local branches of MADR will be supported by the growing network and future trainings.
Please contact me at tnorman000[at]gmail.com if you are interested in hosting a workshop. We can discuss possibilities, and then over the next few months we will develop plans based on where our work is most strategic. We may not be able to visit everyone in 2018, but we will continue trainings in many regions, so please do not hesitate to get in touch just to indicate your interest or to ask a question!
Please read and share some of my writings about Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, drawing the connections between corporate colonization and climate chaos, and celebrating mutual aid and direct action as the path toward empowered, cooperative, humane and holistic communities of the future. So far, there is a call-to-action regarding the need for Mutual Aid Disaster Relief after Hurricane Harvey, and another essay analyzing the forces that turn natural storms into unnatural disasters and how resistance movements embody alternative worlds. More in the works, you can check back at this blog over the next month.
Learn more about Mutual Aid Disaster Relief and allied groups at the website or facebook. And then, please join us as we create a new flood, one made of the overwhelming power of compassion and collaboration, of vision, inspiration, and possibility.