We feel this is the time to go into the community with the combination of material aid and political education for building a people's program for survival and power.
"To reduce the threat of both the coronavirus and the martial law response that is coming from the government, it is essential that we build our own grassroots healthcare programs, food production and distribution programs, and conflict resolution processes."
COVID-19 Exposes The Limits of Capitalism
The new coronavirus pandemic, which causes the COVID-19 disease, was discovered in December 2019 and has since spread across the world at a stunning speed. The coronavirus grew from an epidemic (the highly excessive occurrence of a disease within a community or region) into a pandemic (the worldwide spread of a new disease) within 3 months. The coronavirus is spread from person to person through direct touching or bodily fluids (saliva, sweat, etc) left on surfaces.
Social distancing are the actions designed to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease by reducing the likelihood of contact between people carrying it and those who are not. So people are staying home and away from crowds.
However, taxi and Uber drivers, grocery store, restaurant, fast food, and all low-wage workers with little to no medical coverage cannot afford to take days off from work. Most do not have paid sick leave and benefits packages, so if they do not work, they are not paid. Small businesses are laying off workers. This is the way capitalism works.
However, most of the solutions to this crisis- free healthcare for anyone sick, provide housing for the homeless, no evictions, no rent/mortgage, money from the government, etc.- go against capitalism! Capitalism endangers us even without this virus.
So, when they offer us these benefits, we must understand that they are not trying to protect or help us- because they could give us money anytime- they are really doing this to protect rich white people, not poor Black or Brown people.
Organization Is Our Only Lifeline
To reduce the threat of both the coronavirus and the martial law response that is coming from the government, it is essential that we build our own grassroots healthcare programs, food production and distribution programs, and conflict resolution processes. These can be organized like the many free health clinics organized by the Black Panther Party, the detox center organized by Dr. Mutulu Shakur, or the Health Missions organized by the Cuban government as part of their mutual aid and solidarity.
We will not be saved by the same government that keeps us poor and arrests us. We will only be saved by fighting for POWER and community control.
PACA Doing Our Part - The Survival Program
Pan-African Community Action (PACA) is trying to make our contribution by building a survival program FOR and WITH the African/Black working class community. In other words we are organizing for community self-reliance and control. We are organizing for POWER.
PACA is identifying resources needed the most in our community and pooling those resources to maximize advantages and minimizing risks for the Black community. For this program to be complete, African/Black people must participate in collective political education. So, in compliance with social distancing, we will continue our community education program- the Assata Shakur Study Group- using the internet and telephone conferencing until we can meet in person.
What is PACA?
PACA is a grassroots group of African/Black people organizing for community-led power through political education and participatory programs of action.
We stand for full community access to the resources necessary for a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of individuals and families, including: food, clothing, housing, medical care, and necessary social services. We also believe that all people have the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond one’s control.
Join the Fight
We’re calling on African/Black working class people to join our efforts. Our problem is not only the coronavirus. Once this pandemic is under control, we still face poverty, other diseases, intra-community violence, and police brutality. Our only hope is through organizing for our total liberation through community control. Become a PACA member. Help us build for our survival and for a better life beyond COVID-19.