Unlike dominant approaches to “public safety” that rely on force & hierarchy, mutual protection isn’t paternalistic or patriarchal. And breaking from the assumptions many charities make about deservedness & need, mutual protection isn’t saviorism. It relies on relationships & recognizes the agency communities already hold to protect themselves while valuing what support they may need. Kalaya’an Mendoza, the Director of U.S. Programs for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), shares that “mutual protection is an ancestral gift that BIPOC communities have inherited in order for our communities to survive genocide & colonial violence.” Mutual Protection is nothing new.
Kalaya’an Mendoza @kalamendoza [He or They/Them] is a Queer, Filipino and Hard of Hearing human rights defender, street medic and community safety & mutual protection trainer. For the last two decades he has worked in solidarity with frontline communities around the world to co-build their capacity to respond to state and non-state actor violence. He currently serves as the Director of US Programs at Nonviolent Peaceforce. Nonviolent Peaceforce is an international organization that protects civilians in violent conflicts using unarmed protection strategies.