WHO WE ARE
Lincoln Square Ravenswood Solidarity Network is a group of neighbors working together to help our community stay healthy, fed, and in their homes. LSRSN is part of a city-wide mutual aid network, organized into groups by area of the city. We all live in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood and we focus our efforts right here in our neighborhoods. We know that the pandemic and uprisings have sparked economic, health, and other hardships and we offer a variety of supports to help neighbors through this time.
We also understand that our neighborhoods have access to more resources than some more vulnerable areas of the city. Knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color—particularly Black communities—we redistribute supplies and a percentage of our donations to groups serving those neighborhoods.
We welcome you to get involved by requesting support or offering support.
WHAT IS MUTUAL AID?
Solidarity, not charity.
Mutual aid is powerful but simple. It seeks to meet the basic needs of every member of the community by matching those who need something with those who have something to contribute. In a mutual aid group, each person has a voice in decision-making and equal access to the resources and benefits available. Because of its hyper-local structure, mutual aid can respond quickly and directly to the needs of a community.
Everyone in the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Solidarity Network collectively shoulders the responsibility of caring for each other and our neighbors. Together, we can not only weather this storm but build a new system of support that is just, personal, and sustainable.
By sharing in the efforts and benefits of mutual aid through LSRSN, neighbors are agreeing to uphold the values of this group. Our guiding principles are:
We believe in voluntary cooperation to provide collective defense and support. We reject saviorism and practice solidarity, not charity. We believe these values are reflected in this document and invite others to read it: http://bigdoorbrigade.com/what-is-mutual-aid/
We support the abolition of all forms of incarceration and detention that are used to harm and oppress targeted communities. We support the decriminalization of migration and the liberation of all persons.
We seek to build a world without any form of hierarchy and therefore organize ourselves accordingly. We also oppose all systems that create hierarchical relationships such as capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.
While we do accept the sharing of outside resources, we are careful of whom we lend our name, labor, affiliation, or endorsement. We would rather be entirely self supporting than risk the common welfare of the group. There is no room for personal gain in mutual aid, and it should forever remain nonprofessional.
We believe in fostering autonomous mutual aid networks. The "autonomous" part indicates three shared commitments/tactics: 1) a focus on decentralized, local efforts forming a web of lasting community bonds without the need of politicians, corporation, or non-profit groups for mediation; 2) a resistance to hierarchical structures and organizing; and 3) a commitment to the idea that we build joy and power in forming bonds of solidarity with one another and organizing our lives in common while respecting personal autonomy.
We do not provide volunteer or aid-request information to politicians, political parties, or nonprofits. We may choose consensual and careful collaboration that does not threaten to co-opt our autonomy or release information of others.
We believe in building individual and collective power from below by achieving our goals without relying on governmental representatives, appealing to authorities, or cooperating with police.
Diversity of tactics
We believe individuals and groups should be able to determine actions that are appropriate for their context and will not condemn those who use tactics that are different from ours.