Dear Friends of TNI,
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds across the world, we hope this finds you
safe and well.
Based here in Europe, able to self-isolate at home, and supported by a
public system (however battered after years of privatization, deregulation
and austerity), my sense of privilege is overwhelming. Back in my home
country, South Africa, where a fifth of people live with another
debilitating virus - HIV, most people have never known functioning public
services, and few can (afford to) self-isolate, I fear the coming pandemic
will be devastating. The same is true of many places in the world,
particularly in the South.
At TNI, we are acutely aware of how this crisis amplifies the inequalities
and injustices of our socio-economic systems, and how these threaten the
public interest under conditions of a pandemic. Indeed, this crisis
vindicates decades of work arguing for robust and democratically owned and
controlled public services.
We have been warned to expect more such viral epidemics in the future. This
has much to do with factory farming of animals, as well the expansion of
agroindustry into the last remaining wildlife habitats. It highlights yet
another reason (environmental breakdown and climate change being others)
for urgent transformation of agro-industrial modes of production.
Now is the time to propel the ideas we would like to see in movement
towards a more cooperative, sustainable, resilient and social world.
Over the coming weeks, we hope to provide excellent analyses as well as
webinars on how we can ensure that the public response to this crisis
prioritises those most vulnerable to the virus and does not reward the powerful
who seek to profit from it. We also must ensure this moment is used to push
for fundamental system change that puts people and planet before profit.
We are calling on you to share with us any work you are doing, for inclusion
in this collective resource of a people’s response to Covid-19.
Our first step will be a webinar at 4pm CET on Wednesday 1 April, on how we can
internationalise our solidarity in response to COVID-19. >Register here