Who We Are: Collective Statement
When the pandemic set us all physically apart, a group of people from around the globe gathered in an online meeting to create genuine connections and to overcome feelings of isolation and individual helplessness, to share our experiences and ideas, to inspire and care, to build community and grow. And we have grown into the COVID-19 Global Solidarity Coalition.
We are a multi-national group of individuals of diverse backgrounds with no collective affiliation to any political party. Our sense of humanity helps us defy perceivable barriers across nationality, color, gender, age, language, geographic location, and histories of activism. We share a commitment to envision and create a world of social and economic equality, peace, and environmental sustainability—together, and through both small everyday acts and large structural changes.
Our manifesto articulates our holistic vision of genuine co-operation across nations towards building a safe global community of thriving human beings. It is the first step of long-term commitments to hope, empowerment, and action. We invite all who are similarly minded to join us in pursuing and expanding our vision.
Join us by signing the manifesto here: https://diy.rootsaction.org/p/covid
A Sample of Our Members Include...
Cintia Aparecida de Godoy, PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies of Gender/Interspecies Ethics & Justice, Brazil
Sarah Block, Brooklyn, New York
Harry Cason, Lecturer, City University of New York/College of Staten Island, NY
Enzo Ciscato, Vicenza, Italy
Rachel Clark, Interpreter, Global Coordinator, Weehawken, NJ
Francesca Emanuele, Activist/PhD Student, Ica, Peru
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University, Washington, DC
Sunshine Chie Miyagi, Interpreter/Artist, Okinawa, Japan
Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Director, Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Annetta Marie Reams, Vicenza, Italy
Randa Serhan, Political Sociologist, Palestinian residing in Washington, DC
Shenée Simon, Researcher/Advocate, Memphis, TN, USA
Mauricio Alexander Tscherny, Artivist/MA Student, Brooklyn, NY
David Vine, Professor, American University, Washington, DC
Eirene Visvardi, Associate Professor of Classics, Wesleyan University, CT/Greece
Laura Zanardi, Activist, Genoa, Italy
Other members come from Bolivia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Liberia, Lithuania, Okinawa, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, USA, and beyond.
“Living in a country fueled by capitalism and led by narcissism (at this time) and partisanship, I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by gloom and hopelessness about the possibility of meaningful change. Having a positive vision for the future, a manifesto, a new and more equitable "normal" to work towards is clarifying and turns my attention and energy towards what I want rather than what I don't want. As a social worker and a therapist I hear with frequency about the psychological stress caused by the existential crisis of climate change, the oppression of the most vulnerable, the ways in which our capitalist economy drives productivity and unreasonable expectations for those employed by it (and the subsequent impact to those who aren't employed by it), and the tremendous consequences of lack of access to health care or sufficient health care. Each day I support individuals in accessing basic emotional needs as well as helping them to find regulation, satisfaction, and joy despite, or perhaps even woven throughout, these tremendous hardships and inequalities”. Lindsay Davison
“When I heard David's initiative, I felt enlightened and empowered, as I was feeling desperate, worrying about family and the uncertainty brought by the pandemic. I knew David from the network of people working to eliminate U.S. military bases around the world, particularly Okinawa,
and I have the highest respect for his work and his personality, so I wanted to be part of the new network he was creating”. Satoko Oka Norimatsu
“We are a group of individuals working in a cooperative and holistic fashion to build a sustainable socio-economic biosphere.
We are calling for a structural reversal of national and international social relation so as to replace the exploitative, inequality producing, environmentally destructive and socially divisive system that has disinherited, and presently indentures, the bottom eighty percent of the human race.
We are in favor of rational consciousness over the false narrative that market anarchy resolves our social problems, when in reality, it is market competition that is at the root of virtually all our problems”. Harry Cason
“I would say that this self-quarantene time is like "home-incarceration." Although I did nothing wrong against the society, I have lost my freedom and business contracts, and have received massive restrictions and rules to follow in any public places or space. When I am in Zoom meetings with this group, however, I regain freedom and positive sense of being a good part of society. I am so glad that Chie invited me to this group and for David's initiative. Once this manifesto opens to the global public in multiple languages, I am sure that our crystalized effort will be viral across the world, even faster than COVID-19. And when it is over, we will have tens of billions of friends who share the same ideal. By then, our MANIFESTO will be an irreversible flow of positive energy sweeping the globe. I hope you agree with me and walk with us to a different and better world”. Rachel Clark
“I am Palestinian born in Lebanon raised in Kuwait with a few years of elementary school in DC. I have vague recollections of the civil wars in Lebanon and vivid memories of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. I was in New York City on 9/11/2001 and have always been most comfortable in international spaces. In this Coalition, I found a group of like-minded individuals with commitment to change and mutual respect across language, circumstance, and experience with activism. In particular, I appreciate that there is a commitment to multiple issues rather than a single issue with lip service to others”. Randa Bassem Serhan
“Nuchi du Takara “ Each life is the most precious treasure.
“Ichariba Chode” Once we meet by chance, we are sisters and brothers.
I’m a Youtuber and singer songwriter so I’d like to make the Manifesto reach the heart of everyone. Sunshine Chie Miyagi 宮城千恵
“I joined Covid-19 Global Solidarity Coalition because its manifesto and multi-national roots are what I see as necessary for the human race to thrive. The manifesto recognizes all our fundamental needs for survival, providing opportunities to realize a fulfilling life for self and in commonwealth. It combines the morality and vital need to end all warring and planet pollution, embracing us all as worthy beings, and does so without dogma or adherence to any specific ideology or political party”. Ron Ridenour, six decades fighting for such, author of, “The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert”.
“I don't like living in a world in which the richest 8 people have more wealth than the bottom 3.8 billion and the warmakers are privileged over the peacemakers. Having grown up in the shadow of the Holocaust, I early on learned to hate racism, prejudice, and inequality and became active in the Civil Rights Movement. The invasion of Vietnam opened my eyes to the global consequences of militarism and imperialism. My involvement in the COVID-19 Global Solidarity Movement is a continuation of my lifelong fight for nuclear abolition, a healthy life-sustaining environment, social equality, wealth redistribution, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and realization that what unites us across the planet far exceeds what divides us and we must move forward as global community to realize the fullest potential of all human beings. It was in this spirit that Oliver Stone and I wrote and produced The Untold History of the United States and it is the spirit that animates all of my teaching and scholarship as well as my participation in this movement”. Peter Kuznick
“We are both over 65, a common couple with a few aches, considered now part of the "fragile part of the population" thanks to Covid-19. Netta was born in USA, Enzo was born in Italy where we chose to share life together.
We consider ourselves citizens, without flags, of this planet and for many years we have been trying to do something, also trying to stimulate others, to preserve, to help, to save this planet. We also believe that small, daily acts and care can make a contribution, an improvement. We feel like we are a part of the Manifesto and its contents. The Covid-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto has the power to unite MANY people from all ages and continents, who are already working together in order to achieve a real, deep, valuable, sustainable transformation to this world”. Annetta Reams and Enzo Ciscato, Vicenza, Italia
Sign the manifesto here: https://diy.rootsaction.org/p/covid
COVID-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto
The COVID-19 crisis has revealed the urgency of changing global structures of inequity and violence. We, people around the world, will seize this historical moment. We are building solidarity at every level: local, national, global. Despite the need to physically distance, we are building mutual aid groups, community networks, and social movements. We declare this manifesto today to offer a vision of the world we are building, the world we are demanding, the world we will achieve.
1. We demand strong, universal health care systems and health care as a basic right for all humans.
2. We demand an immediate global ceasefire in all conflicts and an end to the disease of war. We demand that every nation move at least half its military spending to provide health care, housing, childcare, nutrition, education, Internet access, and other social needs so we can truly protect people’s physical, psychological, and economic security, including through the closure of foreign military bases, the cessation of military exercises, and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
3. We demand that unsustainable capitalist economies, based on the fantasy of endless growth, be replaced with cooperatively based economies of care, where human life, biodiversity, and our natural resources are conserved and a universal basic income is guaranteed so that governments can work together to combat the existential threat of climate change.
4. We demand an immediate lifting of all sanctions targeting entire nations, which are impoverishing vulnerable populations and killing people by blocking access to medicines and medical supplies.
5. We demand that all workers be protected against COVID-19 and have their long-term occupational health, economic, and labor rights guaranteed.
6. We demand the full protection of all people, especially the most vulnerable, including women and other victims of intimate partner violence and child abuse, the elderly, the impoverished, prisoners and detainees, refugees and other displaced peoples, migrants regardless of immigration status, the homeless, LGBTQIA+ individuals, racial/ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and those disability or ability challenged, among others.
7. We demand that wealthy nations live up to their responsibility to provide medical aid (including through the World Health Organization) and debt relief to save lives in countries without strong public health systems because of long histories of colonialism, neocolonialism, and other exploitation, foreign and domestic.
8. We demand that governments and corporations respect privacy and not exploit the pandemic to expand repressive measures such as surveillance, detention without trial, and restrictions on basic human rights to assembly, free expression, self-determination, and the vote.
9. We demand that when governments implement economic stimulus programs and re-open their economies they prioritize the needs of people over the interests of corporate, financial, and political elites.
In a world where the gap between rich and poor is obscene, with the world’s richest 1% having more than twice the wealth of 6.9 billion people, a fundamental redistribution of wealth and power globally and within nations is imperative. Every human being must have the opportunity to live a healthy, creative, and fulfilling life, free of the ravages of poverty, exploitation, and domination.