Cooperation Birmingham recently featured in an article on mutual aid in Europe in the Green European Journal. Our member Sergio Ruiz Cayuela writes:
“Cooperation Birmingham was envisioned in late 2019 by a group of people involved in community groups and workers’ and housing cooperatives. Our ambition is to become an active partnership between cooperatives and commons, expanding autonomous commoning experiences in Birmingham while promoting local economic democracy.
We planned to build a network, develop our model in a participatory way, and gradually begin activities over 2020. But Covid-19 changed everything. Birmingham is a city chronically struck by food poverty. Seeing the upsurge of solidarity with the pandemic, we felt the urge to act. In March 2020, we started a solidarity kitchen, a self-organised effort to deliver healthy and hearty warm meals for people in need or self-isolation. Between March and August, we delivered over 20 000 meals, relying on donations, support from cooperatives, and the voluntary work of over 200 participants.”
The full article reflects on our success in developing a mutual aid model and outlines ways in which we can develop further. There are also several other case studies on building mutual aid efforts.
Read the full article: Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid in Europe by Chiara Milan, Dagmar Diesner, Mariema Faye, Sergio Ruiz Cayuela and Thorsten Mehnert