Today, May Day, launches the beginning of an ongoing nationwide General Strike. Backbone projectionists went out this week to shine lights in solidarity with #GeneralStrike2020. Our volunteer video editor with Maya Media is creating a video of the 8-city projection, and we'll be sending that out this weekend. Stay tuned!
Strike organizers have identified 3 prongs: resistance through noncompliance (ie Don't Buy Anything; Refuse Rent to giant corporate landlords; Cancel Debt), mutual aid support networks, and building alternative systems in our communities rooted in cooperation, solidarity and participatory democracy. From growing food resilience to making masks for frontline workers to buying food from locally owned grocers, we have power when we work together.
Since the Stay at Home orders, Backbone has pivoted much of our work on keeping people connected, informed, and inspired for building resilience. We have hosted Conversations on how we remake our world, from philosophical perspectives to the practical. See below for links to watch the videos.
As part of our VashonResilience.org localization work, Backbone has provided over 250 hours of volunteer coordination, farm labor, and construction support to increase the capacity of a local nonprofit farm. Together with our community partners, we are working to increase local food security and expand the supply of fresh local food available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
If you appreciate the ways that Backbone Campaign is showing up in this moment, GiveBig/Giving Tuesday is a timely opportunity to grow this important work: https://www.givebigwa.org/backbonecampaign
And you can make a contribution anytime here (this also has a link to donate via Paypal, if you prefer that platform): https://www.backbonecampaign.org/donate
Solutionary Perspectives: #RemakeTheWorld
Public Banking and Progressive Taxation in Washington State - a Conversation with Seattle Senator Bob Hasegawa and Spokane Representative Timm Ormsby
Revenue is What We Need: CoViD-19 and the economic downturn make the proposal for a State Bank and yes - even an income tax on the wealthy - timely ideas for Washington State. Washington's tax system is already ranked the most regressive in the country. CoViD-19 is inevitably going to cause budget shortfalls and trigger further austerity measures. The time for trickle down is past. A state bank and a pivot to progressive taxation would make a material difference in people's lives and are essential elements for making the new normal more just and sustainable than the old one.
In Case You Missed It:
Here are some of the recent Solutionary Perspective Conversations we've had with movement and policy leaders and friends:
The Backbone Campaign Team and allies held a 1 hour conversation with Winona LaDuke and Bill McKibben on this CoViD-19 moment and its relevance for decarbonization, localization, and system transformation.
With Brexit and COVID-19 as the starting points, Jane seamlessly weaves together topics such as a sense of place, international airplane travel, unintended consequences of privilege and our collective dependence on fossil fuels, immigration, xenophobia, the role of the media, the impact of austerity measures, inadequate education, flawed elections, and the UK's National Health System.
As CoViD19 shows us the painful shortcomings of a globalized economy, local community economy is an important pillar of the #NewNormal we need to build. Judy Wicks is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor; in this Conversation she shares how we can build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable, and locally-based economy.
Backbone interviewed the Founder of Time Banking, Edgar Cahn and Christine Gray of TimeBanks USA. They were joined by Community Time Bank Leaders across the US on how to start a local Time Bank. Time Banking is a proven tool to build community connections and resilience, and Backbone is working to start a time bank in our local community.
Vashon friends Eunice Blundt and Alix Clarke were our guests for this fun Conversation on using nettles for food, tea, and more. While nettle season is coming to a close for the year, this is a great video to watch so you're ready early next spring to harvest this abundant and delicious treasure.
In this interview, Jim Diers inspires us with the power of social connection, especially during times of crisis. The pandemic puts everything and everyone on a precipice, with civil liberties, economies, and the very cohesion that binds us to one another under threat. Jim has a passion for getting people engaged with their communities and in the decisions that affect their lives.
Solutionary Rail allies joined Dr Viscelli for a discussion on public interests and the emergent freight transport system. Listen to understand the danger of leaving the decision-making up to corporations and elected officials unfamiliar with freight logistics or policymakers unconcerned with EJ, rural, climate or other community/public impacts, and take action by getting involved with the Solutionary Rail Team.
Backbone's work in the last 6 weeks has focused on overcoming isolation with communication and connection and on building resilience through information and community ties. We couldn't do this without you, and your support makes a huge difference in the extent we'll be able to continue.
Thank you - and special thanks to all our Lumbar Club members who are the backbone of the Backbone Campaign - keeping our (virtual) doors open with a monthly contribution.
And thanks to all for making the Backbone Campaign one of the ways you make a difference in this world.
- Bill, Amy, Phil, Roni, Laura