I might not like writing about politics, but I don’t think people with a platform can afford not to at the moment. Unless you’re already a millionaire, or a member of the rentier class, we’ve all got something at stake, but some groups have far more at stake. Their lives, for instance.
There are lots of ways that you can help the Black Lives Matter movement, so I’m going to put a big list of the resources that I’ve found useful over the last week or two down below, and hopefully they’ll be useful to you, too.
I’m fallible, and pretty new to activism, (at some point you have to stop reading and start doing, huh?) so if I’ve goofed somewhere below, please let me know. If there’s information that you think is useful, but missing, please get at me in the comments. Comments are open, but fair warning, they’re pre-moderated, so engage in good faith. If you wade in with some ‘all/blue lives’ or ‘what about looting’ pearl clutching or some other bullshit, you’re gonna get banned.
If you’re going to protests, stay safe, stay distanced if you can, and wear a face mask. There’s a few resources below about staying safe at protests, too.
Donating/Other ways to help
This link tree/card is the one I’ve seen most commonly, and it has extensive links to donate to organisations and bail funds in the US, including ways you can help raise money without donating, if you’re broke. It’s got information on staying safe at protests, including treating tear gas and tips from Hong Kong, and phone numbers for US based lawyers. It’s basically your one stop shop if you live in the US.
The Independent has a big list of US and UK organisations and petitions here.
MPD150 Resources– They’ve got an awesome list of resources on their site, including their performance review of the MPD (over the last 150 years!), an FAQ on what a police-free future might look like, and a great reading list of books, articles, further reading and tools. They’ve also got a great article on three questions to ask in order to work out how to engage effectively.
WheezyWaiter – Craig put together a short video and a link dump of resources, information and places to donate.
Captain Awkward – Cap’n Awks answered a question from a reader asking what to do with white family Facebook drama and in the process put together a list of “Several Tangible Actions White Readers of Captain Awkward Could Take to End Racist Policing Starting Now”. So if you’re like me – as my friend put it ‘whiter than Caspar the Friendly Ghost’ – and don’t know where to begin, this is a good place to start! There are also plenty of suggestions on how to talk to relatives who’re more worried about a Target getting torched (or a statue of a slaver getting torn down – I’m looking at you, British government), than black people getting choked to death by police officers. It’s on us to talk to other white people who are equivocating, so the burden doesn’t always fall on POC. Get smart, then talk to your racist uncle.
In the UK
Of course, this isn’t something that’s confined to the US. Here are UK based Black Lives Matters organisations to follow for protests, be aware of, and donate to, if possible.
Black Lives Matter UK – Twitter – Facebook – Struggling to find the official, non-social media-y page for UK BLM. This Twitter profile was linked by The Independent, but I’ve seen two other websites.
Black Lives Matter – Cardiff
Black Lives Matter – London
The Wales Arts Review has put together a resource on understanding racism in Wales, it gathers a number of articles on the conversation about race and racism in Wales, a Wales specific reading list, podcasts, films and people to follow on social media, and organisations working in Wales right now. Importantly, there’s a short list of live petitions at the end.
Stay Safe at Protests
As mentioned above, there’s loads of information for protesters about staying safe here. If you’re going to a protest, make sure it’s organised by a legit group, first. Do your research. There’s a comprehensive thread from The Markup on Twitter on how to safeguard your digital safety at protests, including how to effectively redact photos on the go, how partnerships between police agencies and businesses give access to your private information and further considerations about authorities tracking attendees at protests through social media. The Markup also have their own guide ‘How Do I Prepare My Phone for a Protests?‘
Into the future
Although vital gains are being made, (Whoa – Minneapolis abolishing the police? – really excited to see how this pans out) this isn’t something that’s going to be solved in a few weeks of protests, and it’s important to stay informed with what’s continuing to happen. If one of the organisations that’s providing information has a newsletter, sign up to it. The news and updates will help you stay abreast of things, so you know what’s needed as the situation changes. If you’re worried about handing over your email address, you can always use a throwaway and create a separate email account for newsletters, making yourself an inbox of activism, like a delightful social change magazine. Then you can stay informed by reading it while you have a cup of tea. Or on the bog. Dealer’s choice.
Someone else pointed out that if you can manage it, make your donations recurring, so that organisations continue to be supported into the future, and don’t struggle after this initial surge dies down.
P.S. I’m so sorry I’m so late with this!
P.P.S. Happy Pride Month, you dorks!