By May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director, March 18, 2020.
With this new community organising guide for climate activists in the time of coronavirus, we offer creative online solutions and tactics to ensure we don’t deal with this crisis by making others worse.
The COVID-19 virus pandemic is now global and I’m feeling as anxious and worried as you all are for what this means for our loved ones and communities.
The whole 350.org team sends you strength and solidarity as we do all that’s necessary to get through this additional crisis together. We all deserve care, dignity, and protection in dealing with COVID-19 and we recognize that for the elderly, the immune-compromised, the undocumented, the incarcerated, the disabled, and low income communities, this coronavirus can be life-threatening.
A colleague of mine on lockdown in Manila, Philippines summed up best for me this week the truths we must hold dear together in this scary time, with an eye firmly on the climate crisis we know is also upon us.
Social solidarity is just as important as social distancing.
A culture of sharing is the best antidote to hoarding.
Our communities are stronger than the coronavirus.
How is 350.org responding?
350.org’s immediate focus is on sharing the resources and experience we have from organising with movements over the last decade. Above all, at this time, we want to help people find and share creative ways to organise, to protect each other and build resilient communities.
And we’re working with others to help ensure our governments don’t deal with this coronavirus crisis by making other crises worse. We don’t want to see corporate bailouts that will build inequity and climate breakdown.
Who could have imagined last week that things would stand as they do today? Everything is changing rapidly around us, in different ways and countries, but we are adapting as fast as we can.
At 350, we believe this is a moment to use all of our creative people power to fight for a just, people-centred transition away from the broken systems behind these crises. This is not the moment to protest in the streets, nor the time to gather in-person in large groups for actions and mobilisations.
There are so many ways to keep organising for a just world — find out more and share your own ideas here.
We’re delving into all the creativity and humanity on display right now around the world – and in the coming days and weeks we’ll be sharing with you ways to stay connected with each other, keep fighting for justice, and lift up the solutions we all desperately need in these turbulent times.
Now is the time for us to come together, to unite across our differences, and to protect one another in pursuit of the world we want and deserve.
So look after others, look after yourself, and stay resilient.
May and the whole 350.org team
P.s. What would happen if the world reacted as urgently to the climate crisis as we’re reacting to the coronavirus? What would a fast, coordinated, collective response to climate breakdown look like? These are questions I grapple with in this article.