Thursday, February 23, 2012

Working Class Communities for Change!

Anti-Enbridge Protest, Prince Rupert BC this January 2012
My community likes to call itself the "Community with a Heart". People that do community activism (social justice work) refer to it as a Magpie community. One that gets excited about something shiny, but gets bored pretty quickly or doesn't have the motivation or means to ensure follow through. Pretty much, my community is a community that's always in survival mode. Agencies and Governance in town are chronically always too poor to hire more than one person to do everything and that person is always adding new ideas and community issues or coalitions to their long list of things that aren't getting done any time soon. There isn't often enough time for these people to get away from all that stuff that takes up their time to get together and talk about their intersections and how they can work together. They're often too worried about paying the bills or making ends meet in their own lives and jobs to step back for a breath of air and think strategically or about the whole community (or have the time to address their shit, like self decolonization for example).

The community gets money and support and creates official community plans for everything and then doesn't work together to address those plans together. Because once that process is over (a process that took time away from their day-to-day lives) there's all this other stuff they'd been ignoring that they have to catch up on.

The other side of the token is trying to accomplish everything knowing something has to be done. I'm in a working class family for sure. We're never sure how we're going to make it to the next pay check, we can't afford luxuries or even basic things sometimes, but we're living richer than we ever have in the past (financially and socially). Personally I focus on taking breaks when needed (and not being too apologetic about it), sharing work and meals in the community, and contributing to community coalitions and strategies, rather than trying to do something alone.

Are you in a Working Class Community? What does social activism in your community look like when everyone's starved for time and money?

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