As the UK enters lockdown and introduces social distancing measures to combat the spread of covid19, we’re asking local groups and campaigners to take their work online, and to cancel or postpone meetings and events. This is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice to the public to practise good hygiene, frequent hand washing, and social distancing. You can read more about what this means on the WHO website.
These are uncertain times, and the focus now should be on collective care and building networks of solidarity. Stay safe, and do what you can to stay grounded. The podcast Irresistible (formerly Healing Justice) has some great resources and perspectives on the current crisis, as well as practical tips on supporting yourself and others. It draws on the perspectives and wisdom of chronically ill and disabled people, many of whom have experienced self-isolation. This episode is a great starting point for exploration.
Isolation is a real issue, and the strong relationships of our local networks can help us to feel supported at this difficult time. If your group has a meeting or event planned, please consider taking it online and giving space on the agenda for people to connect with each other. You can use online platforms like Skype, Zoom, Google hangouts, Facetime, Whatsapp, Signal, and a multitude of other programs to host meetings and discussions, broadcast talks and webinars, or to hold group calls online.
We will be sharing advice, tips and some resource suggestions for taking your work online, as well as practical tips for running meetings online, soon.
Things are difficult right now, but alongside the anxiety and fear there are local and national networks of people connecting, supporting and caring for each other. Meaningful change needs strong communities, and a crisis calls for all of us to act to protect each other. Connect with your neighbours and friends, and, if you can, use your organising skills to support the mutual aid networks which are developing all over the UK to help deliver food and medicines to people in isolation or quarantine. You can find your local organising group here.
Finally, Campaign Against Arms Trade staff have been working from home since Monday 16th March. At this time, we are working out how to shift all of our staff to remote working and we will be slower to reply to enquiries. Please note that we are no longer reachable on the office phone number. You can see a list of our staff members and find contact details here, so please get in touch with the relevant person if you have questions.