After this, there can be no going back

26 March 2020 - 8:30am

We knew our system was broken. Yet the Covid-19 pandemic lays bare the cruelty of neoliberal capitalism in shocking new ways.

This crisis has ripped up the rule book. It must be a catalyst for systemic change, built on the principles of a safe, fair and just world.

Years of failed economic policies have decimated public services, privatised public wealth and impoverished working people, both in the UK and globally. This crisis calls for transformational change that prioritises our planet and the wellbeing of all people.

Health risks, unemployment and destitution are playing out along lines of wealth, gender, class and race inequalities across the world. In richer countries these crises are shifting onto workers and ordinary people. In poorer countries, billions living on less than $5 a day are already struggling with economic inequality and the impacts of the climate crisis.

Governments in the Global South already saddled with debt warn they can’t mitigate the oncoming disaster without radical change.

People fleeing conflict and living under occupation are some of the most vulnerable to the devastation this virus will cause. Refugees in occupied Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey are already denied their most basic rights, and are struggling to survive without access to adequate shelter, food, safe water and basic medical care.

People in detention, such as Palestinian political prisoners or people in immigration detention centres here in the UK, face overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, while being denied the agency to self-isolate.

Across the world, governments are using this crisis to increase powers to crack down on political dissenters, human rights defenders and migrants – people they consider ‘undesirable’.

In the UK, the government is using the crisis to implement a political agenda that would be otherwise met with opposition: rushing problematic trade legislation through parliament and massively expanding police powers.

Unless we make our voices heard, disaster capitalism will flourish, with airlines and fossil fuel companies already looking to be first in line for bailouts and protection.

Yet there is hope.

Movements, workers, communities and nations are acting together in solidarity to support vulnerable neighbours and to voice critical new demands.

In this moment, we must fight for free public healthcare and social protection for all, for everyone to receive the financial support they need to live, and to ensure that workers are not laid off.

In the coming weeks we will be:

  • Taking action to support people bearing the impact of the crisis

  • Building community by sharing resources to keep you and your loved ones engaged throughout this difficult time.

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