Want to show your support for the anti-racism movement, but unable to attend a protest? Here’s some ideas of ways you can get involved.
George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer has sparked anger and protests both in America and across the world. Since the first protests broke out in Minneapolis last week, people have taken to the streets in their thousands in cities across the globe, including in all 50 states of America and here in the UK.
Among continued calls for justice (only one of the four police officers present at Floyd’s death has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter), protestors are also calling for greater awareness and action in the face of ongoing police brutality and systemic inequality across the world.
Today, anti-racism activists are taking to the streets of London in solidarity with the protestors in America, and to campaign against the UK’s ongoing racism problem, too. And over the next couple of days, protests will be held up and down the country; tomorrow protestors are gathering in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, and on Saturday, another gathering is organised in Manchester, starting in Piccadilly Gardens at 1pm (you can find out more about other events here).
It’s important to note that, while the protests are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, the UK chapter of BLM has said they have no affiliation with the protests as they continue to discuss “the implications of calling a mass march in the middle of a pandemic” that is killing black people disproportionately. However, they have provided a number of helpful tips for protesting in a safe way, which you can find here.
With the risks of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on public transport usage still in place, it’s possible that many people who would like to attend the protests will simply be unable to. So what can you do to support the anti-racism movement, even if you can’t be at the protests in a physical sense?
Here are four ideas of things you can do today to show your support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK, wherever you are.
1. Take The Knee
The anti-racism organisation Stand Up To Racism is asking people across the UK to kneel on their doorsteps on Wednesday evening in solidarity with activists in the US. The ‘Take the Knee for George Floyd’ event has been organised as part of a socially distanced day of action against racism.
To take part, simply take a moment to kneel on your doorstep at 6pm on Wednesday, and use the hashtag #taketheknee to join the conversation.
2. Write to your MP to demand action
Make your voice heard by writing to your MP and asking them to take three essential actions, as outlined in a now viral post by journalist Zing Tseng. In your message, make sure to demand that they: push for the immediate suspension of UK sales of teargas, riot shields and rubber bullets to the US, condemn Trump’s use of violence against his own citizens, and ask them to respond to and take action on the report into BAME Covid-19 deaths.
To write to your MP, simply put your postcode into the TheyWorkForYou website and send them a list of your demands (there are plenty of templates being shared online if you’d prefer to use one of those). Make sure to include your address in your letter, as MPs only respond to their own constituents (and so they know they will need your vote at the next election).
3. Join the campaign for a public inquiry into BAME Covid-19 related deaths
Stand Up To Racism is calling for a public inquiry into the disproportionate number of BAME deaths as a result of Covid-19, and you can share and add your name to the statement to show your support.
To sign the statement, click on the link here.
4. Donate to one of the anti-racism charities and organisations making a difference
If you have the financial means to do so, donate to one of the fantastic charities and organisations who are fighting on a daily basis to dismantle the systemic racism in this country.
Alongside big organisations such as Black Lives Matter UK and Stand Up To Racism, you could also consider donating to smaller charities doing essential work to support black communities in your local area.