How To Be A Proactive Ally In Supporting The Black Lives Matter Movement
On May 25th, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, was brutally killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes straight, ignoring Floyd’s continual cries that he was struggling to breathe. The world mourns Floyd’s death as he joins the seemingly countless number of black lives taken by the hands of police brutality. Rightfully people are enraged and anti-racism protests have erupted across the US and beyond. Now is the time for action. If you are white, you must use these crucial moments to amplify black voices and educate yourself on the total injustice black people across the globe have to endure on a day-to-day basis. Your silence speaks volumes. It is vital you are proactive in your allyship. Here we have noted five different ways of doing so:
Over the next week, peaceful protests are due to take place across the UK. Please wear protective masks, non-identifiable clothing and carry enough food and water. Here are a selection of the key dates:
London: Hyde Park, June 3rd (today) at 1pm
Birmingham: Victoria Square, June 4th at 1pm
London: Parliament Square, June 6th at 1pm
Manchester: Piccadilly Gardens, June 6th at 1pm
Leicester: Clocktower, June 6th at 1pm
Dublin: US Embassy, June 6th at 3pm
Sheffield: Devonshire Green, June 6th at 2pm
Cambridge: Parker’s Piece June 6th at 2pm
London: US Embassy, June 7th at 2pm
Bristol: College Green, June 7th at 2pm
Leeds: Hyde Park, June 7th at 1pm
Glasgow: Glasgow Green, June 7th at 2pm
Nottingham: Notts Market, June 7th at 12pm
Edinburgh: Godiva Square, June 7th at 1:30pm
If you are unable to protest, a key way to take action is to sign petitions. Black Lives Matter Carrd is an excellent resource which is packed with vital petitions for you to sign. We have listed a select few as well as others we have discovered through social media:
A petition to enforce the Hands Up Act which would punish police for shooting unarmed citizens, available to sign here.
A petition to get Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla and Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, on the GCSE reading list, available to sign here.
Teach British children about the realities of British Imperialism and Colonialism, available to sign here.
Justice for George Floyd, the 46-year-old African American man who was brutally killed by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, available to sign here.
A petition to tell the Minneapolis City Council to defund the police, available here.
A petition to re-open Sandra Bland’s case, available here.
Justice for Belly Mujinga, a TFL worker who tragically died from Covid-19 after being spat on by a commuter who was aware of their own infected status, available to sign here.
If you have the means to, here are some vital organisations where you can donate to:
The George Floyd memorial fund, donate here.
The Belly Mujinga memorial fund, donate here.
Minneapolis community-led initiative Reclaim the Block, donate here.
The UK Black Lives Matter fund, donate here.
Split a donation between 50+ community bail funds across the US, donate here.
The Bail Project, donate here.
The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, donate here.
The Movement for Black Lives, donate here.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), donate here.
UK Black Pride, donate here.
Write to your local MP
One way you can show solidarity with protestors is through writing to your local MP. This Google Docs template asks your MP to campaign in parliament to suspend the sale of tear gas, riot shields, and rubber bullets to the US.
It is not the job of your black friends and colleagues to educate you on the systematic racism engraved into society. Here are a selection of books you should consider reading:
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
“I Will Not Be Erased”: Our Stories About Growing Up As People of Colour by Gal-dem
Your Silence Will Not Protect You by Audre Lorde
How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Top image photographed by Robert Gauthier for the LA Times. For more information on how to be a proactive ally to the Black Lives Matter movement, please visit the link below.