What We Believe
Our members hold various political beliefs to the left of the neoliberal mainstream of American politics. Some of us identify as anarchist, communist, socialist, anti-colonial, or various combinations thereof. We work together under the common cause of our points of unity:
- We are anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-fascist, and anti-police.
- We recognize the intersectional nature of oppression.
We are committed to mutual aid, not charity. We do not provide aid based on moral judgment. We do not use aid to try to control people’s lives or behavior. We believe in self-determination and that people are the best judges of their own needs.
Mutual aid is a community relationship in which people freely share goods and skills without necessarily expecting to receive anything in return. Mutual aid is reciprocal, in that it seeks to build a mutual relationship of sharing between participants, but it is not transactional, in that participants should not expect an “even trade” for aid rendered. Unlike charity, which establishes an explicit separation (and implicit hierarchy) between giver and receiver, mutual aid brings a community together with each participant acting as giver and receiver alike: from each according to our ability, to each according to our need.
Our weekly distros are but one of many forms mutual aid can take. Mutual aid can also be:
- Connecting people in need of rides or moving assistance with those who have cars
- Sharing access to showers or laundry facilities
- Facilitating labor support such as childcare
- Sharing knowledge and skill training
- and more!
We build communication channels to connect community members with each other, to coordinate opportunities of mutual support for specific needs.
- Mutual Aid Toolbox
- Indigenous Anarchist Federation
- COVID-19 Mutual Aid resources
- Database of Mutual Aid Groups across the so-called United States
- Building a Midwest Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement
“We recognize that the system of policing is intertwined with the prison and military industrial complex, both here and abroad. In abolishing policing, we seek to abolish imperialist forms of police, such as militaries responsible for generations of violence against Black and brown people worldwide.
We believe in a world where there are zero police murders because there are zero police, not because police are better trained or better regulated—indeed, history has shown that ending police violence through more training or regulations is impossible.
We further believe that abolition necessitates decolonization. Settlers on this land have no right to build jails, confine, and terrorize people who have always been here. ” – #8toAbolition
- Prison Abolition Resource Guide
- Reformist Reforms vs Abolitionist Steps (simple graphic)
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis
- There Is No Queer Liberation Without Prison Abolition
- History of Abolition Movements
Anarchism is a political tendency that opposes all forms of hierarchy and domination. The most crucial hierarchies that anarchists seek to destroy are capitalism, an economic order typified by private control of the means of production and for-profit commodity production; and the state, a political organization that maintains power in a region by monopolizing the use of coercive violence. Anarchists also work towards the abolition of social hierarchies such as white supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, and ableism.
While not all SAFE members are anarchists, anarchist principles are foundational to the org. Our organizational structure is deliberately non-hierarchical, as we have no formal leadership roles and all members have equal decision-making power. Additionally, SAFE does not participate in electoralism, preferring to take action ourselves rather than elect representatives who fail to act on our behalf. While we criticize our governments for failing to provide for those they rule, and celebrate what scraps of welfare those governments deign to throw us, we ultimately seek to organize beyond these existing structures and build a better world fostered on community and solidarity.
- Intro to Anarchism (It’s Going Down)
- Intro to Anarchism (Teen Vogue)
- What is Black Anarchism by Saint Andrew
- To Change Everything, an anarchist appeal by CrimethInc
- Anarchy Works by Peter Gelderloos
Communism is a stateless, classless, currencyless society in which the means of production are collectively owned by the community and for-profit commodity production has been abolished in favor of production motivated directly by human need. Communists strive for a world without bosses, landlords, cops, or armies, where people work together to ensure the needs of all are met without exploitation or coercion. Many (though not all!) anarchists are also communists, distinguished from state communists by opposition to achieving communism via state power.
Communism is often used interchangeably with socialism, though people of different political tendencies use the terms differently. Both communism and socialism strive for a peaceful world beyond the violence of capitalism.
Like with anarchism, not all SAFE members are communists, but communist ideals are integral to what we do. It’s no accident that we paraphrased Marx’s famous maxim “from each according to [their] ability, to each according to [their] need” when describing mutual aid. For many SAFE members, our practice of mutual aid stems from a desire for a radically different world, where wealth is not hoarded by the few, but shared in common with all.
- Welcome to Socialism
- Libertarian Communism Introductory Guide
- Why Socialism? by Albert Einstein
- Black Marxism by Cedric Robinson
- The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin
- Every Single Person Has a Right to Housing