If you are able to or interested in participating in the current protests happening across the United States, there are many things you can do to make the process safer for yourself and your peers.

Particularly, if you are a white person going into these protests, know that you are there to support and protect Black people and other People of Color who are at a far greater risk than you are while participating. Even if that means forming a human barrier between the police and PoC — yes, that happened. And yes, it worked. But it won't always happen, so be wary of your privilege and wield it wisely if you are a white person attending these protests. Black and PoC community organizers know what they are doing, so remember that as a white person you are there as a guest and an ally. Follow their lead. But first, you have to make sure you're coming prepared.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez recently posted a helpful resource for protestors, and we've expanded this list based upon her post as well as other sources found primarily via social media. Most mainstream media sources are not sharing enough information to help aid in the current protests. In our efforts to gather effective resources to share with our SWAAY community, we've found that the most helpful content is being readily shared on social media. If you are interested in finding more information, we recommend skipping the fruitless Google search and going straight to community organizers on social media — primarily Instagram and Twitter. Below, you'll find our list of recommendations as well as explanations behind each. Now is the time to stay informed, share information, and stand up for what's right.

What To Wear

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What To Bring

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What NOT To Bring

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What To Do

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We recognize that many protests around the country have successfully been quite peaceful, particularly in smaller communities with less weaponized police forces. However, you never know when violence may become an issue, and it is best to be prepared. There have been multiple reports of far-right infiltrators and other white supremacists using these peaceful protests as a means to incite violence, encourage looting/rioting, and damage the reputation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Additionally, there are multiple, filmed reports of police inciting violence without just cause at these otherwise peaceful protests or damaging property after the fact to make it appear as though protestors are attacking them and their property. These videos are being shared across social media platforms, but (once again) are being largely ignored by mainstream and legacy media platforms.
🚨🚨🚨 POLICE DAMAGING THEIR OWN VEHICLES MAKING IT SEEM LIKE IT'S THE PROTESTORS DOING THE DAMAGEPOLICE "STAGING RIOTS" AND FAKING RIOTS pic.twitter.com/FUtLiGNEdc— Shaun P🎙️📺🏀🏈 (@Shaunp_Rapper) June 1, 2020

Please keep all of this in mind when you are going out to protest. Not just for your own safety, but to remain informed and to always remember the truth behind this movement. This isn't one problem that can be solved with one solution. This movement is the culmination of decades of violence, hatred, and abuse towards Black people supported by a system that is effectively designed to punish them and reduce their rights. (Reminder that the American police force as we know it is derived from slave patrols.) It has always been a time for action, but now more than ever it seems that we are reaching a precipice towards change.

Stay informed, stay safe, and never forget that you have a right to protest no matter who is trying to stop you.


WRITTEN BY

SWAAY Editorial