In 1989, China Martens went to an international anarchist gathering in San Francisco with her one-year-old daughter and found, to her surprise, a childcare room. “That there was a safe place for me and my daughter to go, [that] we could talk to others instead of being left out, that they served peanut butter sandwiches and juice, and that they had a flyer saying how childcare is a radical activity everyone should support made a huge impression on me,” she says.
Today, Martens is a cofounder of Kidz City, a new childcare collective in Baltimore. Across the country, from Los Angeles to Austin to D.C., these collectives are emerging. Mainly made up of activists and those with a passion for children, groups have formed to ensure that parents and caregivers have a voice in social justice movements. Many of them incorporate workshops and political education in their work, and many support specific organizations—especially organizations led by women of color.
Read more here. I have a fair amount of experience with housing collectives, and my friends and I have frequently sat around talking about how we might someday go about realizing new, more communal models for child-rearing. But I think we always figured we’d have to design our childcare collectives from the ground up if we wanted to get it done, so I’m really excited to see people already working concretely on these issues.
Also interested to see Simon Strikeback, the trans activist, referenced in the Chicago bit of the article. I’ve encountered Simon around Chicago rarely, but every time I do it seems like something awesome is going on, e.g. lots of different queer organizing, or the zine Bound To Struggle: Where Kink and Radical Politics Meet.