Jail Support Project in Baltimore

Photo from Kate Drabinski’s site What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today (https://whatisawridingmybikearoundtoday.com)

Very excited to share information Sammy sent about the jail support project that got started in Baltimore after the Baltimore Uprising. About the project:

“First imagined in response to the mass arrest of protestors and community members during the Baltimore Uprising, the Baltimore Jail Support collective organizes recurring jail care at the city detention center to reframe all prisoners as political prisoners. Jail care is a commitment to be outside jail as much as possible to provide folks with transportation, food, water, and care as they are released. In addition to direct mutual support, the collective produces material to connect people to reentry resources and information about prison abolition. Currently, we organize 2-hour shifts with drivers for 6 hours twice a week. In addition we provide jail care after protest arrests and coordinate with another local organization Baltimore Action Legal Team to provide bail when possible and for actions like Black Mama’s Bail Out Day.”

I am so inspired by this mutual aid project because of how it resists deserving/undeserving dynamics by offering help to whoever comes out of the jail during the shifts when the project is working. So many services are limited to people who fit criteria determined within racialized, classed and gendered hierarchies–like projects that only serve people with certain charges or convictions or who will agree to certain conditions. This project is about how everyone who walks out of that jail deserves support. Thanks for sharing the information, Sammy!

Mural of Freddie Gray

Disaster Resources

Sarah and Natalie, readers of this site, wrote to share lists of resources she has found helpful in her own work to prepare her community for disasters. They are not mutual aid projects, but they are resources that might help people engaging with mutual aid work, so I am including them here. Thanks for the research, Sarah!

These resources are from mainstream sources like the US government and insurance and real estate companies, so people engaging in mutual aid for vulnerable communities may have to do a lot of reading between the lines to find what is most useful here. But in case any of it is useful, I’m posting it.

Highlighting two new tools

Thanks to everyone for helping spread the word about this toolkit and for sending in materials to be added to it. Please keep them coming!

Two new tools recently came out specifically addressed to this moment that we wanted to highlight:

  • Mijente just released this new Community Defense Zone Starter Guide. It is meant to be adaptable for small towns and big cities, relevant to red state and blue, meant to get us beyond our usual circles.
  • Gay Shame just released a new zine about how to do direct action that includes useful guidance about forming groups and initiating projects. You can also email gayshamesf at yahoo dot com and they can send you a lot of paper copies to distribute in your community.