Submitted by Alt in CritiqueThis

Read about the SHAC model here.

Trying to keep it short:

  • The vast majority of the world probably finds the patent laws holding the recipes for vaccines in the hands of a few companies to be unjust. I think that they would likely back these actions.
  • It has become clear, due to the speed at which the virus mutates and the level at which it is widespread, that it is quite likely the pandemic will remain, out-mutating vaccines, especially in poorer countries, for an indefinite amount of time.
  • If there is to be an end of the pandemic, it probably requires the end of patent law, at least with regards to this virus. The virus is so contagious it is not clear that even many wealthy countries will be able to escape its mutations.
  • Decentralised attack on companies withholding information would be an additional form of pressure, as well as a form of consciousness-raising about the issue.


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Hibiscus_Syrup wrote (edited )

Best hole I can poke in this is the possibility that the pandemic will not substantially mutate faster than the world's capacity to vaccinate. This is to be seen.

The AstraZeneca vaccine that is no longer going to be used in South Africa, for example, appears to be the only one that does not have meaningful effect on the SA variant. So it's possible that the vaccine might largely snuff out global covid. I just don't know how fast the virus mutates in substantive ways enough that it can evade vaccines. It may be unknown to all.

But even if the pandemic is not going to be an indefinite feature of the future, I think that there would still be some wide support for this kind of action, but especially while things are up in the air.


masque wrote

Patents are bad, but I was under the impression that major bottleneck in vaccine production currently has more to do with the physical ability to produce the vaccines, rather than the legal ability (particularly due to the novelty of the mRNA style of vaccine).


Alt OP wrote

I wonder if people could get away with it, given that these companies are spread all over the world under a range of conditions.

I think the relatively much broader appeal of challenging covid vaccine patents compared to challenging animal abuse could result in something different. I don't know.


ruin wrote

FWIW the benefit I see in raddle vs Reddit isn’t just the quality of posts, but the variety of opinions in such a small space and people’s willingness to engage in a (reasonably) good faith manner with opposing viewpoints.


Ennui wrote

The vaccine is less effective in people with compromised immune systems, but it still undoubtably helps them by allowing their immune systems to react to covid faster. The one study I’ve seen on immune systems forgetting the proper response to a virus found that it took till age 40 for it to become a problem, and boosters can help maintain effective immunity in older adults. In other words, it is unlikely for compromised people to “forget” a virus within the covid timespan.

I think that the herd immunity hypothesis is more questionable, since people vaccinated against covid can (right now) still get (and therefore transmit) the virus.


masque wrote (edited )

I'm not some sort of expert on this, but I know that there's been a lot of discussion about how Canada doesn't have the infrastructure for manufacturing vaccines at scale. Here's a quote from a randomly selected article:

Gerdts' team was among the first out of the gate with promising COVID-19 research, but did not have the manufacturing capability to create vaccine components needed to keep its momentum going. It was a temporary setback that shed light on essential gaps in Canadian infrastructure. With new funding from multiple levels of government, the team has started building what it needs to create human vaccines in-house well into the future.

It's a long-term strategy being pursued from the very top. According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, "When this pandemic began, Canada had no flexible, large-scale biomanufacturing capacity suitable for a COVID-19 vaccine."


celebratedrecluse wrote

hm. i'll do my best, although I am biased in favor of your idea.

limited Resources of anarchists are better expend on helping adapt to the new situation, rather than dreams of a return to ' the way things were'. For example, it is better to attack businesses attempting to return to normal and endangering the general population, to defend workers from exposure to the virus, to demand safe housing for the unhoused this coming cold season, to push anti-work possibilities, to lean into the situation of crisis, rather than be seen/engage in symbolic politics as the opposition to vaccine companies on behalf of normalcy.

attacking vaccines and healthcare infrastructure will actually be wildly unpopular within the developed world, it will be easy to demonize any group that attacks such as being right-wing American-aligned trump-supporting etc, which will further confuse things. The nuance you offer, that I understand, about IP, will be lost on most.

The pandemic is going to affect things for years to come, if not indefinitely. there is no way that anarchist actions can really change this, nor are there material conditions which will likely prevent it. We should get used to the situation escalating further, rather than resolving to normalcy, because this is actually to our benefit in certain ways, and we may as well take advantage of it since we are getting the negative consequences regardless.


Alt OP wrote


For me it is more jouissance, together with the value of getting our ideas circulating, than about returning to normal, or even some of the benefits I've states do far (i.e. an additional form of pressure against IP laws).

I don't think that being wildly unpopular with developed countries is a big concern. I assume that anything critiquing that divide would be. And that those critiques still need to be made.


Alt OP wrote

And when the corporations & politicians come out and say that the attacks are preventing them from producing & distributing vaccines?

I suppose at that point we would point out that those countries have hoarded those vaccines and have more than enough, while others die. The intensifying of these issues is a large part of the point of the action.

I wouldn't be too optimistic about the response.

You are probably right, perhaps I have some faith that I shouldn't. My intuition is still

above ground organization publishing all the communiques

That does seem a concern. I assume that this could be done differently - anonymously - this time around. I think I would be willing to do something like that even with the risk.


Alt OP wrote

You gotta think deeper about what you're after.

I assume as much. This is why I've asked for critique!

And like if you go after Pfizer what will it do?

It might just be the beginning of an intensity that keeps becoming something that doesn't get reabsorbed. We are in the collapse; our small potential fight-backs are interesting.


Alt OP wrote

Thanks for this. This may be a Canada specific thing, I assume there are many countries, perhaps more industrial ones preyed on by countries like Canada, who might have the capability.

I wonder how long it would take Canada to get the machinery etc. if they had the political will.


OlSparkey wrote

I am unsure if the vaccine companies are truly "hiding the recipe." Consider this:

Its more like academics saying how to do it as cheap and accessibly as possible. All the spike protein sequencing is done relatively publicly so the new variants aren't "private info." Even the detailed design of the saRNA vaccine development associated with the above link is public knowledge. Or at least if you can access the literature through a public library license or scihub. I am of the opinion that politicians who are pressuring the system to implement changes to reduce freedom of access to literature, etc., may be the best place to focus the attention of those able and willing to protest for change given an objective of rapid development of rapid responses to vaccines. Also continued support of GAVI, COVAX, and small platform technology development organizations