Community sufficiency and mutual support also requires community defence.
New technologies are rapidly being deployed to monitor our every movement, every interaction, and every purchase. These include Internet of Things, digital currencies and digital identities, surveillance drones, facial recognition, and smartphone tracking apps.
Becoming dependent on digital technologies to meet our basic needs makes us incredibly vulnerable when they inevitably fail, and even a temporary disruption can be catastrophic for a lot of people.Keeping these technologies out of our homes and neighbourhoods is important to keeping us safe and able to take care of ourselves, and be prepared for disruptions to services and systems.We are also seeing increasingly heavy-handed policing of people doing everyday things like sitting on a park bench, or delivering food to neighbours. Military personnel are patrolling our neighbourhoods. For community support to work, we need to defend ourselves and our neighbours from these intrusions and unnecessary occupations that do not protect us, but cause us to live in fear and undermine our relationships. Many people in our community are regularly targeted by police because of their race or background.
Growing food in our own yards is illegal in some neighbourhoods, and growing food on public land is illegal in almost all jurisdictions. To defend our community requires breaking unjust laws, and being willing to stand up to authorities that enforce these laws. This doesn’t mean resorting to fighting, as negotiation can generally achieve a better outcome. It means not backing down when faced with injustice, and supporting our neighbours to do the same.
This level of community defence may not be necessary in all neighbourhoods, but it’s important to be aware of the challenges we may face as we organise to help each other through this crisis.