As the past few weeks have made clear, our social support systems for everything from housing to healthcare to income are now so paltry that the already devastating coronavirus will have far deeper impacts in the U.S. than in many other nations. And as we know, whatever troubles the country, oppresses the South. Our eviction rates are already the highest in the nation, most of our states did not expand Medicaid, many of our rural hospitals closed, too many of our workers aren't protected by unions. Our vulnerabilities are tangible. 

We also know that our communities show up for each other and are always demanding better from public officials and corporations that so often misrepresent us and profit from our labor and resources at the expense of our health and well being. 

This pandemic is no exception. You've already seen the mutual aid efforts across our region. After some research and crowdsourcing, we present to you a list of COVID-19 political demands from across the South. From decarceration to eviction moratoriums, many of these demands represent the vision of our beloved region that many of us would like to live in without this crisis. Because even without coronavirus, housing, healthcare, and education are still matters of life or death. 

If you have a petition, platform, or set of demands to support workers, housing, incarcerated people, or  healthcare that you don't see on this list (we're looking at you in particular, West Virginia), please send them to

See our other COVID-19 coverage:
In pandemic times, radical imagination matters more than ever.
COVID-19: Context, tools, and strategies for workers from organizers and experts.
Op-ed: Stay-at-home policy isn't effective without economic security and education.
Neighbors helping neighbors: a list of coronavirus mutual aid efforts in the South.
Detainment centers are not equipped to handle the coronavirus, experts say.
Social justice in a time of social distancing.


COVID-19 protections and prevention at all AL jails and prisons 

Jail bailout in Montgomery 


No evictions during COVID-19


Florida community demands from grassroots organizations  

Multi-county petition to release jail populations 

Decarceration in Miami-Dade community

Petition to Governor DeSantis to protect Florida farmworkers


Housing Justice League COVID-19 Tenant Organizing 101

Suspend mortgage and rent payments for 90 days

Demands for University Campus Workers 


Protect Kentuckians facing income loss due to COVID-19


New Orleans hospitality workers demand income replacement 

Protections for and Release of Incarcerated Youth

Petition to The Morial Convention Center Authority to allocate its $100 million surplus to provide financial relief to hospitality workers in New Orleans.


Letter to Governor Reeves about protections for incarcerated people 

Open letter from Mississippi organizations to release ICE detainees and state prisoners

Demands for COVID-19 testing and medical care for incarcerated in Mississippi prisons

North Carolina 

Survival and Beyond's 10-part platform for North Carolina during COVID-19

NC United for Survival and Beyond coalition's petition to send 1,000 letters to representatives

Relief for NC Public School employees

Demands from NC Public Service Workers 

Include mutual aid in stay at home order in Durham 

Duke University Graduate Student Union demands

Rent Strike Raleigh 

Rent/Mortgage Strike Durham

Coalition for a Just Virus Response: petition to the Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners

Recommendations to state executive, legislative leadership from NC Families Care Coalition

South Carolina

South Carolina ACLU demands release of incarcerated people vulnerable to COVID-19


Tennessee Freedom Caucus statewide demands

Nashville community groups demand actions to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in Davidson County Jail 

Paid time off, health insurance, and safe working conditions for Nashville workers 

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition open letter to public officials responding to COVID-19


Rent Strike and Additional Demands in Central Texas 


A Pandemic Platform for the People of Richmond

Richmond Rent Strike

Multiple Southern States 

Civil Rights groups demand coronavirus protections for incarcerated people  (MS, LA, FL)



Just and humane response to outbreak in jails and prisons 

Free phone service in prisons 

Prison Policy Initiative guide to COVID-19 responses

Southern Poverty Law Center demands ICE act to save immigrants trapped in detention centers

Demands from grassroots organizations:

Grassroots organizations respond to COVID-19

Movement 4 Black Lives COVID-19 platform 

Right to the City Alliance petition to cancel rent and mortgages 

Highlander's petition targeting Southern governors

Protections for domestic workers:

Financial relief for domestic workers during COVID-19

Protections for the media:

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press demands media as a protected "essential service"

Danielle was Scalawag's founding Race & Place Editor. A Black queer lawyer and geographer at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her research focuses on environmental justice and the racial politics of development in Black towns and communities.