Learn how you can support the anti-racism protests that arose after the death of George Floyd if you’re unable to attend in person.
Lots of people who want to go to protests, can’t. They have child care, elder care, or other family care responsibilities. They can’t get the time off work. They haven’t got transportation, or they haven’t got the money to cover it. They can’t stand or march for long periods of time. They’re immunocompromised.
The list goes on. COVID-19 is just one more entry on the list.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can support the anti-racism protests besides attending them in person.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Teen Vogue has an excellent breakdown. It bears the eminently straightforward title How To Be an Activist When You’re Unable to Attend Protests:
Also of interest is a May 31, 2020 Twitter thread by Ryan Rose Aceae, who tweets as @gendervamp.
We’re cutting and pasting the tweets here for those who can’t access Twitter, and we’ve placed links to Aceae’s Patreon account at the tail of this story.
PEOPLE AT HOME: if you’re not going out on the streets to protest, you’re not limited to helping via petitions & donations (although those are important/worthwhile) any successful protest NEEDS some people to stay home in order to fulfill the following roles:
1. RECONNAISSANCE monitor police scanners & social media in order to keep track of movements by cops, fash, & the protest itself. relay this information to the people on the ground via a SECURE channel (the signal app is best imo) [They included a link to m.broadcastify.com]
if you don’t have friends on the ground, then posting information you glean from police scanners onto social media is still helpful! fact-check any info you get from social media before you pass it along– there’s a lot of misinfo out there, incl. scare tactics to incite panic.
2. JAIL SUPPORT give your phone # to your people on the ground to write in permanent marker on their skin. before they leave, get their personal info (legal name/DOB/emergency contact(s)/medications & conditions) preferably in a sealed envelope you only open if they’re arrested
keep your phone near you with the ringer on until your people say they’re home safe. if they get arrested, you’ll be their phone call, and it will be your job to a. notify their contact(s), b. get them linked to bail funds if necessary, & c. arrange transportation home from jail.
3. RIDES public transit is currently unreliable, and parking for a protest is a nightmare if you have a vehicle, give rides to/from protests, and be prepared to pick folks up quickly if things go south. also let jail support know you’re available to give rides home from jail.
4. SUPPLY RUNS check in with protestors (especially MEDICS) about what’s needed, and bring supplies to a secure rendezvous point. common needs include: – water (both for drinking & rinsing, see quoted tweet) (cont in next tweet) [The quoted tweet discusses squirt cap bottles.]
– snacks (granola bars are fine but also include options that are hydrating, non-allergenic, easy to chew) – menstrual supplies (can be bandages in a pinch, tampons good for bullet wounds) – clean facemasks/bandanas – gauze – cold packs – duct tape – umbrellas (if it’s raining)
5. SIGN & SHIELD MAKING this may seem silly but it takes work to make signs, & it’s often the last thing people think of before they head out + a sturdy sign (made of wood, plexiglass, etc) can serve as a makeshift shield against teargas cannisters & other light bombardment
i don’t have a tutorial for this but i’m sure y’all can figure it out. (reply to this tweet with any crafting tips you have) hand the sign(s) off to your protesting friends before they leave. if you take a pic of the sign, don’t include anyone’s face or other identifying info.
6. KEEPING TRACK OF EVERYONE ask your friends to message you when they leave home, when they arrive on the scene, when they leave the scene, and when they’re safely back home. (if they’re there for a while, check in with them every couple hours.)
if you go an unexpected amount of time without hearing from them, check in with their buddy/ies, because their phone may have died. (nobody should protest without a buddy.) if you still don’t hear back, or if their buddy says they’re unsafe/arrested/missing, you can:
– check in with other protesters – scour social media for info – check in with jail support public PSAs should be a last-ditch effort, and for safety reasons should not include their legal name or a clear photo of their face.
once your friends are home safely, offer them support. they will likely be tired, angry, high on adrenaline, panicky, and/or traumatized. be there for them any way they need– talk it out, provide distractions, remind them to do self-care, order them food, etc.
Aceae invited others to add suggestions in comments on the thread. They included:
Offer to watch protesters’ children, or offer to take on any other care obligations they might have, so you can free them to attend.
If you live near the protest site, offer the use of your bathroom, and your sink (for refilling water bottles).
Open your home, generally, to protesters who need shelter, as Rahul Dubey did in Washington, D.C.
Help people edit photos and videos of protests to protect the identities of protesters.
Follow Aceae on Twitter:
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