Black Lives Matter protests are being held in cities and suburbs across the country and world in response to the death of George Floyd. At the same time, thousands of new cases of COVID-19 are reported daily in the US, showing the battle against the virus is far from over.
While plenty of protesters are taking to the street, if you are unable to attend in person, there are still ways to support the cause from home.
You can donate supplies, sign petitions, and email local government officials, while also educating yourself and supporting Black-owned businesses.
Protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have now made their way into every corner of the United States, and they’ve even erupted across the world. The consecutive deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have sparked protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
While the protests continue, the US is still battling COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that while people have a right to demonstrate, close-proximity gatherings, shouting, and crowd-controlling irritants that lead to coughing and rubbing of the eyes may increase the spread of the virus.
Some Black Lives Matter advocates do not feel comfortable protesting. Ines Aguerre, a New York resident who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, told Insider, “I’m making the conscious decision not to [protest] because I work with patients with autoimmune diseases who are at a higher risk for coronavirus, and I don’t want to risk infecting them.” Instead, Aguerre said she is using her time after work to educate herself and her family, while also donating to organizations that support Black Lives Matter.
Here are 14 impactful ways to support the movement from home.
Providing essential supplies for protesters can go a long way. Amnesty International has a list of recommended essentials for protesters, including masks, shatter-resistant eye protection, other personal protective equipment, water, energy snacks, and first aid kits.
From home, you can sew masks, make posters, gather first aid kits, and purchase snacks and water. Some protests have supply drop-off stations, and if not clearly stated, you can contact the protest organizer or an attendee to collect the supplies.
If you know members of your community are heading out to a protest, offer to be their emergency contact. As support, you carry the responsibility of ensuring your team gets home safely, and should check in every couple of hours.
Using apps like 5-0 Radio, Broadcastify Pro, and Police Scanner Radio & Fire 4+ you can also monitor police presence to update protesters. According to Vice, “The number of users of an app which lets people listen in to police radio broadcasts across the country is nearly doubling every day during the protests.”
In response to arrests at protests, people are donating to bail funds, which “help protesters stay out of police custody while they await trial.”
When someone is held in jail for being unable to pay, the impact can be detrimental. As Business Insider previously reported, “people detained pretrial can lose their jobs, fall behind in school, be unable to take care of family, and are more likely to be convicted.” Plus, black and Latino individuals typically face fines that are “35% and 19% higher, respectively, than whites who have been accused of similar crimes, while simply being black increases someone’s odds of being held in jail pretrial by 25%, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.”
The National Bail Fund Network has compiled over 60 community bail and bond funds across the country and regularly updates the list. Other lists of bail funds and related resources include Resistance Map, Bail Out Network, National Bail Fund Network, and The Bail Project.
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