ACORN has made waves in the last year, emerging as a community-based action group for working people. They seek to mobilise member-led campaigns and empower low-income communities across the country to fight for a better life. From protecting tenants against dodgy landlords to campaigning for publicly owned bus services, ACORN has rooted out issues in specific communities and helped combat them. Periscope Nottingham caught up with Alex Nowicki, an ACORN organiser in Nottingham, to find out more.
How would you describe ACORN?
“ACORN is a community, a network of people organising against the injustices that face their community’s members. ACORN began in Bristol 10 years ago and now a Nottingham group is establishing itself for the first time. The groups across the country use direct action, bespoke organisational tactics and community networks to change outcomes for people who want to see positive changes enacted in their communities.”
What made you personally want to join?
“In my experience, things like this are always welcomed in Nottingham; I reckon the city is receptive to groups that put the time in and are serious about delivering on what they promise. I guess this is true of lots of places, but in Nottingham I think that has always been part of the character of the city, even before this current necrocapitalist phase we are in. I’m a care-worker in Lady Bay who has been in secondary mental health services for nearly 5 years. My family are from a dead posh part of town but I still believe I have things to offer in terms of understanding the city and relaying enthusiasm about ACORN and the need for people to help each other win their battles. I believe groups like ACORN can provide support that will stick around.”
How has ACORN’s mission to community organise come into the current pandemic?
“The virus struck right as we were planning our very first meeting. It shook things up for sure – we weren’t sure if it would stop us in our tracks entirely, but we’ve been able to participate in ACORN’s efforts to organise help for people needing their prescriptions and shopping when they’re stuck in the house. Not the start we were expecting, but it is still a start. The needs of the community are palpable and having the structure of the website and the way they have organised the support is clever and really helping Nottingham citizens in an organised way that is easy to make sense of. Throughout this crisis and beyond it, ACORN Nottingham will be sticking around.”
For more information or to get involved visit ACORN Nottingham on Facebook.