Free car repairs, COVID-19 vaccines, and more will be provided at the Pull Over Prevention and Mutual Aid Fair in Ypsilanti on Sept. 10 in the parking lot of Estabrook Elementary School located at 1555 W. Cross St.
Recently celebrating the event’s two year anniversary, Pull-Over Prevention clinics was started by Ypsilanti organizations in August of 2020 during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a mission to reduce unecessary traffic stops. Now, the car repair fair happens every second Saturday of each month.
Since the start of the event, the fair has gathered a group of regular organizations that come to provide a variety of needs including free lunches from Fed-Up Ministries, free pet food and supplies from Pet Pals Mutual Aid, harm reduction supplies from Home of New Vision and more.
Any organization who wants to join and help people is welcome to pitch a tent and participate.
“Mutual aid projects like these have a long history,” said Natasha Abner, one of the organizers of the event. “Communities have always come together to take care of each other in the face of social systems that often do everything but care for people.”
This particular event was catalyzed by the pandemic as well as the crises of systemic racism and economic disparities.
“Millions were taking to the streets to protest the racism embedded in the foundations of our country's institutions, specifically policing,” said Abner. “In addition to the slow and violent deaths due to racist police violence and unchecked coronavirus infections, our economic collapse presents a third crisis.”
Pull Over Prevention gives resources, information and aid back to the community, specifically in the form of car repairs and maintenance. The goal is to prevent citizens from being stopped by law enforcement for minor vehicle infractions, such as non-functioning tail lights, and also to understand how we all can look out for each other by fostering community.
“We come at this from a perspective of solidarity, not charity and we wanted the events themselves to foster community and to provide opportunities to learn about why police, prisons, borders, and immigration authorities are dangers to us all, “said Abner. “So our events feature car repairs, but also skillshare opportunities for visitors and volunteers to learn how to do repairs themselves.”
The event provides many additional resources as well, with booths set up to provide information about abolition, community building, schedules of local food pantries, and local free/low-cost health care resources. It is also multifaceted in that it intends to truly build community and connect people together.
“We try to provide resources that go beyond the “basics,” because we recognize joy and relationships and many other things as essential human needs, “Abner stated. “Some of the additional resources and activities at our events are free pet supplies from Pet Pals Mutual Aid and safer sex kits from local harm reduction programs. We’ve also had live DJs and for our October event we’re putting together a lineup of local musicians.”
Anyone interested in joining can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.