By: Safehouse Infoshop/Etniko Bandido Infoshop
Pandemics and natural calamities only highlight the inequalities in society. With four typhoons hitting the archipelago within less than a month, floodings, landslides, water and power outages across provinces made the pandemic even worse. The climate and health crises drown the poorest in the poor countries to the bottom of economic hierarchy, while state-backed corporations take the profit. To show support to these vulnerable sectors, direct-action groups organized themselves in different provinces and cities like Bicol and Cagayan, sending food and clothing , setting up solar techpacks, and even hitch-hiking to typhoon-stricken areas.
Solar techpak project initiated by 350.org assemble by volunteers like people from Etniko Bandido Infoshop. It was meant to be deploy in Catanduanes, one of the devastated region hit by super typhoon Rolly.
One of these initiatives was done in Barangay Nangka in Marikina city, an urban settlement along the dreaded Marikina. Almost a decade after typhoon Ondoy which claimed the lives of thousands, the same community faced the same onslaught despite disaster risk-reductions. One of the volunteers who live near the site recalls the flood which was knee-deep on the second level of their house.With the collaboration of different Food Not Bombs chapters (from Marikina, Cainta, and Lucena), infoshops, and individual volunteers, a food and clothing- drive was successfully accomplished on November 22, 2020.
Another initiative of food and water distribution made by Food Not Bombs Albay happened in November 14, 2020. There are 50 families or 200 individuals benefited on this. The goods composed of 5 kilos of rice, 4 canned goods and 2 liters of water gallon.
The action was organized in a horizontal, transparent manner, without any need for leaders. Hundreds of clothes were distributed. Two cauldrons of hot soup, two giant-woks of pansit, and yummy Laing and rice meal were distributed to a number of streets near the river. There were also other relief drives in the area. But according to a resident, none of these relief drives bothered to go to their community by the river. This community was what our drive consciously targeted to accommodate. Lunch and dinner were served with love. Fliers and zines were also distributed, demonstrating how similar horizontal and transparent mutual aid activities can be done by just about anyone, be it by small groups or individual, with or without money and permission from authorities.
For the success of the activity, we would like to thank first the community in Balubad, Baranggay Nangka for letting us into their community. We also thank all those who helped in asking for food donations from marketplaces, those who gathered clothing from friends, those who helped prepare and cook the food, friends who provided transportation, and those who contributed financially.
For mutual-aid and solidarity!