ITHACA, N.Y. –– As Ithacans practice social distancing, a group of activists has organized a collective pot-banging session to bring people together and promote “camaraderie in the age of COVID-19.”
Thursday, April 2 at 6 p.m., for about 10 minutes, community members are encouraged to open their windows and bang pots and pans and let their neighbors know that they are, “distanced but not alone.”
The action has been put together by community organizer and Ithaca College Professor Zillah Eisenstein, who said she was inspired by similar shows of solidarity in Italy, Spain and New York City.
“We chose Thursday because this is the day that most countries have chosen as their day to show support for health workers, and all doing support work during COVID19,” Eisenstein said. “Of course our action is in support of all those giving their precious offering in this period, which builds the community we are depending on.”
Eisenstein said the noise making is also meant to highlight societal problems worsened by the crisis and hopes the action will create momentum for social movements to come.
“It is shocking how COVID-19 has exposed every type of oppressive/exploitative condition/relation,”she wrote in an essay published in the NYU Press. “Every inequity explodes and festers in the virus. Nothing remains contained as this catastrophe blasts forward. My hope is those of us who survive can rebuild the planet with a fabulous liberatory justice carved from this new reckoning.”
Many have faced economic hardship in the face of COVID-19, especially those who work in retail and the service industry and have lost jobs because of state mandates. Support systems tasked with adjusting to unprecedented circumstances such as unemployment, and homeless services, have had to reassess their practices during the current global pandemic.
Eisenstein is calling the action a unifying call to arms.
“We will rise together against COVID-19 and build another better world,” she said.