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Activism: now more important than ever! Statement concerning the corona crisis


Activist perspectives on COVID-19


The COVID-19 pandemic shows that fundamental change is necessary. But it depends on the actions that are taken now if we will be able to create a better society. . Read more...

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Published on 26 March 2020

In this crisis Het Actiefonds will double its efforts to keep on supporting activists and social movements all over the world. We ask you to keep on helping us in these difficult times. We call on activists to let us know what they need from us in this period. Activism, more than ever, remains necessary!


The corona crisis has an enormous impact on our lives, on the economy and on politics. Everyday life has been suspended and many actions cannot go through as planned. At the same time we see that many people are rethinking our way of life. All kinds of new initiatives to help each other are emerging. We all need each other to soldier on: solidarity isn’t a luxury, it’s a basic necessity. For Het Actiefonds this means an extra encouragement to keep on doing our work. The crisis makes it plain that fundamental change of our societies is the only true way out. Events are cancelled and demonstrations are prohibited, yet this is the time to work for that change. We will briefly explain why.

1. The corona pandemic is a natural disaster. Human beings aren’t the virus. At the same time it’s clear that the intensity of the pandemic is unthinkable without globalised capitalism. It’s this system that we all live in that undermines our health and makes our lives extremely vulnerable to economic crises. We must put people before profits again, during and after this crisis.

2. The climate crisis is the large version of the current crisis. The destruction of biodiversity is one of the reasons we’re exposed to contagious diseases. In many parts of the world the consequences of climate change are already claiming victims. We’re experiencing now, in the rich Western part of the world, that we’re not invulnerable either. In order to prevent this situation from getting even worse, we need urgent climate action now.

3. In combating the pandemic, states all over the world have increased their executive power. It was necessary to implement drastic measures, but we can’t allow this to become permanent. Already authoritarian leaders are exploiting the state of emergency to crush personal freedoms, democratic rights and political resistance. If we don’t continue to fight for our rights and those of our fellow human beings, this crisis might cause us to lose more than our health.

4. Rich countries have the healthcare and financial means necessary to save lives. This isn’t the case in the Global South. As a result, global inequality between rich and poor is turning into a matter of life and death. This is already the case for refugees in Europe: they’re abandoned to their fate. For poor people outside of Europe the same is likely to happen on an enormous scale. To save lives, what we truly need is international solidarity.

All over the world activists and social movements fight for fundamental change. They know that this system doesn’t work and that we have no choice but to work towards a world in which solidarity and equality can truly exist. This is now more important than ever. Het Actiefonds will therefore keep on supporting all those people who are fighting for change. We will figure out with them how we can help best in these times of crisis. We call on activists to let us know what can kind of help they require from us now. We ask you to keep on supporting us in these difficult times, and together with us and activists all over the globe help realising a better world.

Like always we will keep you up to date about our efforts, but for now we want to emphasise: stay safe and stay healthy!