For some of us, it's not hard to imagine a world that is so violent that the act of tending to wounds, filling stomachs, and caring for land is persecuted. That is our world. And amid the frenzy of State-sanctioned political repression and assassination in a world of clear threats from the outside, our impulses lead us to look without rather than within. But, as important as it is to watch our external assailants, I've become curious and vigilant enough to watch us, too. I now recognize that this is the way that people move when they are at war.

Many have noticed mutual aid organizing work coming under attack, given the latest RICO indictments against StopCopCity activists and organizers handed down in a collaboration between Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Attorney General Chris Carr. In a chorus of uproar, we witnessed many point to the clear threat of the State's criminalizing mutual aid—a practice of mutualistic and collectivist communal care posed to our movement and those beyond our city who stand in solidarity with us. It was immediately obvious to many that the State's treatment of mutual aid as a project that is counter to its goals illustrates the ways the State is not interested in meeting the needs of the community.

Well and good. But what does it mean for our movement to also treat mutual aid as a pariah in the project of community organizing?

Despite its popularity and use as of late, mutual aid is not unanimously valued among organizers.

In fact, during my stint organizing here in the city in the forest, I've heard assertions that "every organization doesn't need to be doing mutual aid" and questions like "You're doing mutual aid but what else are you doing?" As millions poured into organizations dedicated to "Black liberation," and they took exception to calls for mutual support, many rightfully interrogated this action: Why aren't y'all practicing economic solidarity with us?  Potentially, this comes as news to some of you. It's very likely those who have been organizing mutual aid collectives already know how people in the movement talk about your work, or at least how they used to.

Read the full article about mutual aid in Atlanta by Julian Rose at Scalawag Magazine.