This post originally appeared on OTYCD in August 2018.
Honor those who you represent when you march or protest.
When you go to a march or a protest, it’s not just about you. You stand for many other people who want to be there, but can’t.
Maybe they’re working. Maybe they’re care-giving. Maybe they’re cramming for finals. Maybe they’re traveling. Maybe they’re too sick to go. Maybe they live too far away to make the trip. Maybe they can’t afford it and would be insulted if you tried to pay their way. Maybe they’re dead, but would go without hesitation if they were alive to join you.
Find a way to bring these people with you even though they can’t come in person.
The cheapest and easiest way is to write their names on a piece of paper and tuck it in your pocket.
Sit and think. Who would want to come with you? Your mother. Your great-grandfather. Your cousin. Your favorite teacher. Your sorority sister. Write their names. That can be enough.
You could also build a charm bracelet or a necklace, with each charm representing a person who you’re “bringing” to the event.
Jewelry isn’t as cheap as pen and paper, but it can be pretty cheap (see the link below).
And when you do this, find a way to carry the memory of Heather Heyer with you. She was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017 when a 20-year-old man deliberately drove his car into a group of anti-racist protesters.
Heyer’s favorite color was purple. If you have purple clothing, you could wear that to remember her and carry her with you. Or maybe you could carry or wear a violet–she named her dog Violet.
Never lose sight of the fact that when you lace up your marching shoes and ready your signs, you are not alone, at least not in spirit. Draw strength from those who you carry with you.
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