Fighting back


We are living through a global pandemic that is killing tens of thousands of people. But many of the world’s corporations are using this crisis to grab bailouts, roll back regulations, and pad their profits.

We are mobilizing to make sure our shared humanity is at the center of our communities, our economies, and our health care system.

Last week, SumOfUs members sent a mobile billboard to circle Jeff Bezos’s house, ring-fencing him with the demands of Amazon customers and employees for sick pay to keep us all safe from massive coronavirus spread.

paid sick leave mobile billboard outside of Besoz house

And that’s just one tactic for one campaign -- check out all we’ve achieved together in only the past six weeks!

Connecting across borders to save lives

We are offering support to the most vulnerable. More than 200,000 people have come together in the only global mutual-aid portal in the world, offering direct support to the most vulnerable. From offers to run errands or send direct financial support, requests for a chess partner, or a French teacher for a small collective school, The SumOfUs Covid Support... Network has brought people together.

Tom wrote in to tell us, “Someone helped me with $20. To me, it was the greatest thing ever. I still tear up in my eyes when I think of it. This person doesn't know me and will probably never meet me, but they helped me regardless. The kindness of those who can help others in this crisis is amazing."

Kate sent me an email saying, "I was feeling incredibly useless with everything going on in the world. I wanted to help those in need, but couldn't figure out how to do it while maintaining a safe distance. I used SumOfUs' online tool to connect with a woman who faced eviction because she was struggling to pay her rent after losing work because of coronavirus, and put her in contact with a lawyer who was able to help. It felt like we were making a small difference in this chaos.”

And there are thousands more stories like this!

Protecting essential workers while they help us survive

More than 100,000 SumOfUs members are demanding comprehensive paid sick leave for all workers globally, pressuring companies to do right by their employees and customers, and give comprehensive sick pay to drivers and other workers. Together, we launched a beautiful viral video calling for companies to provide support to their workers through the poem of CJ Suitt, a ride-share driver struggling to stay safe and keep food on the table — and it’s already passed a million views!

And we just ran a hard-hitting ad targeting Lyft in the San Francisco Chronicle, a series of ads calling on Lyft to protect their workers that got a quick response email from the CEO of the whole company.

Ensuring free and available testing and treatment for all

Almost 200,000 SumOfUs members are calling on governments and pharmaceutical companies to ensure free coronavirus testing and treatment for everyone who needs it. Over 13,000 members wrote personal emails and messages to the CEO of Gilead—the pharmaceutical corporation responsible for an early promising treatment—and he responded announcing that the treatment would be offered affordably! It’s a huge win for our community and we’re using the momentum to ramp up the pressure on Gilead and other companies to commit to an affordable price and wide distribution.

Blocking Big Oil’s Bailout

Right now, governments everywhere are debating how to keep economies going through the crisis. And when it was announced that Canada was thinking of giving 15 billion dollars to the oil and gas industry, thousands of us mobilized to make sure any bailout helped people and the planet, not a dying dirty industry. With partners, we delivered a massive national call to MPs. And then we launched hard-hitting ads in the premier political newspaper. We even flew a massive banner over the Prime Minister’s daily press conference calling for an end to any oil bailouts.

And we won! The final package was just under $3 billion and supported workers and the environment, not oil executive bonuses.

Massive win -- no more big oil bailout win graphic with aerial banner

It’s the first of many campaigns to reimagine our economies with a focus on people and the planet — including major efforts in France, the United States, the UK, and the European Parliament.


We have mobilized tens of thousands to demand supermarkets open early for elderly and vulnerable shoppers, challenged UK private hospitals to offer free beds to the NHS, pushed for a living wage for frontline workers, and garnered unprecedented support for a shareholder resolution calling on major Canadian bank, TD to put climate sustainability at the center of its business strategy.

These are the bedtime stories I will tell my young daughter when she asks me what it was like during the virus crisis — and I know that actions like these will be an inspiration for generations to come. Thank you for all you do. And if you have a little extra to power this amazing work, please make a small donation here.

With hope and strength,
Emma and the team at SumOfUs

More information:

Amazon and Jeff Bezos should take note – looking after employees when they’re sick keeps brands healthy, The Independent, April 29, 2020
The SumOfUs Covid Support Network
Coronavirus: Demand paid sick leave for workers, including drivers and couriers, SumOfUs
Make Coronavirus testing and treatment free, SumOfUs
Trudeau, don’t bailout Big Oil with Canadian taxpayer money, SumOfUs
Private hospitals: offer your beds to the NHS for free!, SumOfUs
Supermarkets: Open early for elderly and vulnerable shoppers during the coronavirus crisis., SumOfUs

SumOfUs is a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations. We want to buy from, work for and invest in companies that respect the environment, treat their workers well and respect democracy. And we’re not afraid to stand up to them when they don’t.

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