How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality

Here’s what you can do to support protests against police brutality. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

On May 25, a white Minneapolis police officer named Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck until his body went limp. The assault was caught on video. Floyd, 46, gasped that he could not breathe, but Chauvin did not let up, and Floyd died from his injuries in police custody. It was the third in a string of similar deaths to make its way into national headlines this month: In March, police in Louisville, Kentucky, burst into Breonna Taylor’s apartment in the middle of the night. They shot the 26-year-old eight times, killing her in her own home. And in February, two white men in a pickup truck gunned down Ahmaud Arbery青青青国产在观免费2018 while he jogged through their Georgia neighborhood. The pair admitted to fatally shooting Arbery, but were only arrested for his murder in May.

It’s an unfortunately familiar pattern in the United States; in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, anger has boiled over. Minneapolis has seen massive protests in recent weeks, while demonstrators across the country have gathered to demand immediate action to stop racist policing. Amid an ongoing pandemic, gathering to support one another carries unique risk, although for many, the calculation comes down to which danger is more immediate: the coronavirus, or police brutality青青青国产在观免费2018. With that in mind, here’s what you can do to safely support protests right now.

Friday is Juneteenth.

On June 19, 1865, a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that they had been freed— nearly two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after confederate general Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Also known as Emancipation Day and Black Independence Day, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Although and the District of Columbia recognize it as a holiday or a day of observance, Juneteenth Independence Day has not been declared a national holiday. Consider signing these petitions — one at , courtesy of 93-year-old Opal Lee from Fort Worth, Texas, and sponsored by New York congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman — to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

青青青国产在观免费2018There are also Juneteenth protests and celebrations taking place across the country. There will be dozens in New York City alone — the account on Instagram has a list of all of them. In Washington, D.C., organizers have planned a , and are calling on participants to engage in “strikes, sick-outs, blockades, occupations, and spontaneous marches.” Organizers in Tulsa — where Trump intends to hold a rally on June 20 — are hosting an , with keynote addresses from the Reverend Al Sharpton and the family of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black man fatally shot by a police officer in 2016.

The Movement for Black Lives has created a special , with information on how to donate, get involved, or . There are at least 275 events taking place across 45 states, according to the .

Demand police accountability from your legislators.

青青青国产在观免费2018Make ending police brutality a litmus test for your political support. — which is also accepting donations — has a comprehensive guide to policies that aim to correct broken windows policing, excessive force, racial profiling, for-profit policing, cash bail, and much more. Familiarize yourself with laws in your area, and contact your representatives — at the local, state, and national level — to press them for their plans on ending discrimination in law enforcement.

In recent weeks, demand has also grown nationwide for cities and states to defund their police departments, reallocating that money toward services that promote the safety and health of marginalized communities. If you’d like to learn more about what this idea would actually mean and entail, (which also accepts donations) has a , as does the (). is a Minneapolis effort by local organizers, researchers, artists and activists working to develop a “practical pathway for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department,” which offers a broad range of information, resources, organizations to follow, and donation suggestions. Black Lives Matter, also accepting , has a you can sign calling for the national defunding of police.

Public pressure appears to have proved decisive in Minneapolis, where the City Council recently announced its intention to disband the police force. If this is a concept that resonates with you, research how much of your city’s budget goes toward its police force, and demand your local lawmaker move to cut that spending and reallocate it toward other crucial areas, like housing, education, and public health. Divest-invest initiatives are underway around the country: In , Mayor Bill de Blasio has to cut the NYPD’s $6 billion budget, although the numbers have not been forthcoming, while state lawmakers have a measure (Section 50-a) that allowed officers’ disciplinary record to be kept confidential. In , the City Council on June 16 to cut $150 million from the LAPD. Do some research on your area to determine your lawmakers’ stance on the concept, and check out the for roadmaps on what you might say when you contact them.

It’s also worth remembering that the policemen involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing — Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Officer Brett Hankison, and Officer Myles Cosgrove — have yet to be fired, let alone arrested or charged. Her family has curated a list of demands on , where you can sign a asking Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the City Council to take stock of systemic bias and overuse of force within the city’s police department. The website also has contact information for the mayor’s office and a host of public institutions: Call or email and demand charges be brought against the officers — has instructions on exactly what to say, and the writer Cate Young compiled contact info for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the LMPD, and Governor Andy Beshear, which you can find . While you’re signing petitions, you might also consider this one at , which makes additional asks that Taylor’s family be paid damages and that Congress convene a special session to ban “no-knock” warrants, one of which allowed the police to barrel into Taylor’s apartment.

On the subject of no-knock warrants: Louisville has now passed “,” banning no-knock warrants in the city. But you live in Oregon or Florida, no-knock warrants are legal in your state. Maybe also consider supporting the , which is currently working to get them banned in Taylor’s state.

And after the bodies of two Black men — Robert Fuller and Malcolm Harsch — were found hanging from trees青青青国产在观免费2018 in Southern California just days apart, consider that the U.S. still lacks federal anti-lynching legislation: The House passed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act in February, but it on June 4, after Rand Paul voiced concerns about what he considers its over-broad phrasing. If you’re making calls to your national representatives, this legislation may be worth highlighting. You might also sign this petition, demanding “a thorough and transparent investigation” into Fuller’s death.

Make a donation.

If you have money to spare right now, consider making a donation, however small it might seem to you. As you make decisions about where to send money, consider our guide on how to make sure you’re donating effectively青青青国产在观免费2018. The , the , the , and have recently begun asking donors to redirect their funds to other non-profits amid an outpouring of support: check to make sure your organization of choice is still soliciting donations beforehand.

Pilar Weiss — director of the — says that donating to local, grassroots formations is potentially the most impactful way to prioritize funds. Larger, national organizations tend to attract more resources, so it’s worth doing research into who’s operating in your community. “A lot of times the groups that need the most support don’t have fancy website and don’t have a communications team,” she explains. Talk to friends, families, houses of worship to figure out who is working on the issues you’d like to address, and then ask those people what they need.

Direct aid for victims’ families:

• George Floyd’s family has started a to cover funeral and burial costs; counseling services; legal fees; and continued care for his children. There’s also a to provide for his 6-year-old daughter, Gianna Floyd, and a to support “peace and healing” for Darnella Frazier, the woman who filmed Floyd’s death.

• There’s a for David McAtee’s mother and family: McAtee was fatally shot青青青国产在观免费2018 just after midnight on June 1, after police officers and National Guard members fired into a crowd of people who were not taking part in the evening’s protests. As of June 17, it was still about $140,000 short of its goal.

青青青国产在观免费2018• Another is raising money for Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, donations to which will similarly fund the family’s legal battle.

• There’s a for Breonna Taylor’s family, to help with legal fees and offer extra support.

• Attorneys for the family of Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by a white Atlanta police officer on June 12, set up a to raise money for his wife and four children.

• Diamond Alexander launched a after her brother, Robert Fuller, was found dead and hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California. Officials initially suggested Fuller died by suicide, but his family suspects he may have been murdered.

Bail funds: ActBlue has a page that will let you split your donation between , or if you’d like to focus your donation directly, here are some options.

• , a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.

• The is helping bail out arrested protestors and works to counteract cash bail policies that keep people — disproportionately, people of color — in jail, even without charges.

• The also has a directory of community bail funds to which you can donate, along with a COVID-19 rapid response fund.

青青青国产在观免费2018• Another list of bail funds is available , and of bail funds by city.

Support for protesters:

• , a full-service, direct-action organization, has a to support Black-led protests on the ground.

• A for Black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.

青青青国产在观免费2018• is raising money for physical resources, bail, and medical care for Black, transgender protesters, which will be redistributed to Black, trans-led organizations “in the event these funds don’t need to be used.” See this for any payment questions.

• The , which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.

青青青国产在观免费2018• is a non-profit law firm based in Minneapolis, offering legal defense, educational, and advocacy services.

青青青国产在观免费2018• , a Black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

• The , an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in Black and brown communities, set up a for Minneapolis protestors.

Organizations working against mass-incarceration and police abuse:

青青青国产在观免费2018• is an initiative to end discriminatory policing in New York, helping to educate people on their rights and document police abuse.

• works to educate white people about anti-racism and organizes actions to support the fight for racial justice and undermine white supremacy.

• , which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.

• aims to keep the city from constructing new jails, and to instead divert funds that currently go toward the police and incarceration toward housing, ending homelessness, mental health, and other community support systems.

Community support: Our colleagues at the Strategist in seven different commerce categories, which you can supplement with research within your own community.

• (Mobile Outreach and Outdoor Drop-In) is an initiative of the in Minneapolis, providing immediate response and resources for people currently without shelter.

• is gathering donations for small businesses and non-profits on Lake Street in Minneapolis, to help with the clean-up effort, as is the .

• combats food insecurity in Black trans and gender-nonconforming communities. It set up two funds — the , for trans men, and the , for trans women — to help cover the costs of mental health therapy sessions with licensed Black therapists. You can donate money , and learn about donating services by following the links above.

• Mutual aid funds are a good place to send community support amid a pandemic. Find more info on where to look .

• , an organization founded by Stacey Abrams that aims to end voter suppression and equalize voting rights and access for fairer elections.

Join a protest, if you feel you can do so safely.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, or if you have been exposed, or if you live with or regularly come in contact people who are at particularly high risk of contracting the virus, the best thing to do is to isolate yourself. And while it is generally true that we should continue to keep our distance from others right now, the desire to show up for your community and your loved ones is understandable. For many people, police brutality poses an immediate risk青青青国产在观免费2018 to their health and well-being, and potentially also a fatal one.

So, if you decide to participate in a local protest, wear a mask. Bring hand sanitizer, and if you can, maybe pack a few extra water bottles, for yourself and for others who might need them. Try to maintain as much distance from others as possible, and not to touch anyone else if you can. Keeping in mind that the coronavirus appears to spread primarily through droplets expelled when people talk and shout and sneeze and cough, do your best to keep your mouth covered, and to refrain from chanting if you find yourself in close quarters with others. Check out our guide to protesting safely; our tips on what to do if you’re exposed to tear gas; and this .

Offer resources to protestors and affected communities in your area.

青青青国产在观免费2018As protests flared around the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in late May, participants water, food, and stoops to sit on during the demonstration. If you have the means, you might consider picking up some extra bottles of water, food, masks, hand sanitizer, and other supplies ahead of protests in your area. Providing these basics is one way to help support the cause, even if you don’t feel like you can safely join in yourself.

Or, you could pick up extra groceries, household supplies — detergent, paper products, diapers, baby food, menstrual hygiene products, cleaning products, first-aid equipment — PPE, and find a donation point in your area. For example: In Minneapolis, where public transit has closed and many stores have been damaged, food pantries are in need of donations. has a list; set up and is looking for volunteers (it’s also open for takeout); or you can ind a pop-up pantry: has a guide. also has information on supply drop-offs and donation options in the Twin Cities and a .

青青青国产在观免费2018Look into donation efforts in your city, and if you have a car, consider volunteering to drop off supplies to people in need. Ask yourself: “What do you have available?” Weiss suggests. “Is it money, is it resources, is it connections? Sometimes it can be these really small things, like, do you have meeting space you can donate to somebody? Can you be a driver for somebody?” Donating doesn’t always have to mean money.

Help with a clean-up effort.

You can also help by supporting businesses owned by people of color in areas where they’ve been damaged. In Minneapolis, events started the weekend after protests began — the launched and a to gather supplies, for example, and has information on clean-up initiatives and grocery drop-offs — and will be ongoing. Volunteers will need shovels, trash bags, brooms, gloves, water, and whatever other supplies they can contribute. Things like plywood may also be useful.

Educate yourself, educate others — particularly if you are white.

Take the time to learn how systemic racism operates in this country, particularly if you are a white person. Indeed, among the best things white people can do is to take the time to educate themselves on the experience of being Black in America — here are some suggestions if you’re looking for a starting point — and start talking to other white people.

青青青国产在观免费2018“One of the challenges is, white people want to call people of color and say, ‘What am I supposed to do,’ which puts a tremendous burden on people of color,” Carla Wallace, a co-founder of , tells the Cut. “Our work is to move other white people.”

Anti-racism demands that we identify the hierarchies and power structures that have always awarded privilege to white people, and look at them honestly. developed a with Color of Change, and also has tips for calling people into conversations in a manner that doesn’t prompt defensiveness. You hear someone griping about the riots and violence at certain protests? Talk to them about the despair, the pain, and the anger at the center, and . You hear someone wonder what privilege a broke white person has? Talk to them about what it’s like to not have to worry about your personal safety while moving through your day: jogging down a residential street, or walking home from a convenience store. But, Wallace recommends, exercise empathy over the urge to reproach.

青青青国产在观免费2018“Unless we get more white people to end white silence, our silence will always be used by those in power to not make the changes that are needed. The majority of white people in this country are still on the side of business as usual,” Wallace says. “If 10,000 white people showed up tomorrow on the steps of Louisville’s City Hall, you can bet the mayor would fire these police officers who killed Breonna Taylor. …We have to win a significant number to stand with Black, brown, and indigenous communities for the justice that we all need in this country.”

If you have kids, talk to them.

Although parents may find these conversations painful and complicated, it’s important about what’s happening right now — even if your kids are young. White parents of white children can help their children understand racial injustice, and the concept of privilege, early on. Wallace points to for suggestions on how to approach these conversations and this — intended for white and racially privileged parents — for tailoring those conversations to the child’s age. The National Museum of African American History & Culture has a , and has an expansive guide to teaching materials and resources.

This article has been updated.

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How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality