#BlackLivesMatter support is needed nationwide, but our own backyard is a great place to start.
Defund the Police
In the coming two weeks, the DC Judiciary Committee is voting on a proposed increase ($18.5M) to the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget. Here is a Google Doc which outlines important information and talking points about why we should say NO; you can provide testimony to the DC Judiciary Committee by calling 202-350-1362, uploading a video, or emailing [email protected], the DC Judiciary Committee.
You can also file complaints against the police here.
Provide Financial Support
First things first – cash bail was eliminated in the District of Columbia years ago, so there is no bail fund for DC. Don’t be duped by fake ones, which have been circulating.
What can you do instead?
Also, follow @freedomfightersdc; in addition to updating their IG daily with protest plans and physical things you can donate to the cause (like non-perishable snacks, heat-resistant gloves, gas masks, etc.), they offer emergency financial assistance related to criminal/bond referrals and/or requests for financial assistance with protest-related emergency legal, medical or other needs. You can donate to them via Venmo and CashApp, the handles for which are in their IG bio.
If you’re planning to protest, it’s vital that you do it well. White people, your role at these protests is to be a human shield. Yes, it’s great that you’re out there showing up (the actual least you can do), but if you’re not prepared to physically put your body in harm’s way to protect Black protesters, you may as well just stay home. These are the moments to prove your solidarity isn’t just performative. If you need further clarity on that, this is good:
This is also a solid starter pack for what to wear, bring and not bring to a protest:
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BE SAFE. Here’s our guide on being prepared for safe protests. PLEASE READ ⬇️ . 1. LOOK OUT FOR THINGS THAT DON’T SEEM RIGHT. There are increasing reports and investigations that white supremacists may be infiltrating these protests, breaking windows and destroying property. If anything seems off to you, DOCUMENT IT. Always check who is organizing. . 2. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF GRASSROOTS BLACK ORGANIZERS. They have been at this a long time and are disciplined in the ropes of community organizing and demonstration. It IS a discipline. Follow trusted leaders whose goal has been the focused pursuit of justice. If they just showed up, that’s a red flag. . 3. HAVE A BUDDY. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on you and check in on them. . 4. STAY SAFE and take care of each other. 💜
And let’s be smart about surveillance, everybody. Here’s a great crash course:
(Also, please be wary of the photos and videos you post at protests; by showing protesters’ faces, you are potentially endangering their lives. Unless you’re documenting something critical, consider just not documenting at all. Remember, nobody likes a performative ally anyway.)
Tear gassed? Here’s what to do.
Of course, on top of everything else, yes it is still a pandemic. If you feel unwell or suspect you have been exposed to Covid-19, STAY HOME. For more on how to protest safely, here is a guide from VICE.
And if you DO choose to stay home, welcome to Virtual Protesting 101:
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Tag a friend! I am not an activist, I don’t know much about politics but I am a designer. When designing we have to think about who our target audience is. Who are we designing for and why? . . This made me think about how we’ve been using social media, we’ve been targeting our posts towards BLACK PEOPLE. Sharing trauma and stress to BLACK PEOPLE. Ranting and screaming to more BLACK PEOPLE. . . So the question is how can we continue sharing but do it in an effective way? We have to think about our target audience (the oppressor) and where they hang out virtually. We have to use their hashtags to meet them virtually. . . Thank you so much to @clouddkenzie_ and @docangieluv for helping me to bring the idea of Virtual Protesting to life. . If you feel helpless this is a way to make some shake. My heart goes out to the people that are risking their lives in Minnesota. We may not be able to join them physically but we can join them virtually. #blacklivesmatter #blm
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting Black-owned businesses is great to do right now, but is also something you should plan to do long-term.
In terms of restaurants, Anela Malik of Feed the Malik has a list of 96+ local spots that are open right now. The list was last updated yesterday, so it is majorly up to date.
Meanwhile, Enica Barnes is a strong resource for DMV-area businesses we should all be supporting; check out her directories on IG.
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‼️ DMV BUY BLACK DIRECTORY #2 Thank you everyone for your submissions! Giving back to the African American community is part of the solution in the physical realm. For those of you who do not know, the buying power of black people in America is $957 billion dollar. Accounts: @aburibotanicals @ouiiskinco @annesapothecary @khaotickorner @tbhair @sheayeleen @habeebahs.herbals @shoparome @jahahairstudio @loclovstyles @thegoldnnug @herbal_soulflower_ @fefe_theholistic_gypsy @dcruncrew @boombox_boxing @bodybymaggie @parkerinteriors @kristint.realtor @hiltoncarter @somewhere.official @hanifaofficial @bailiwick_clothing @allverygoods @imadigitalrebel @the19thdc @xoalifestyle @romystudio_ @ijai.jewels @suavecouture @pinkplasticbabez @jwalkingshoetique @eluke.co @myobioma @cushnie @bishme_cromartie @_bemuzed_ @228grantstreet @cadencecandleco @theevolvingsunflower @freresbranchiaux @shepeppers @thespicesuite @neekandnans @ninisneattreats @thesweetlobby @thevillage.dc @turningnatural @mlkdeli @calabashtea @ohmazingfood @halfsmokedc @benseverything @tikion18dc @roamingrooster1 @mrbraxtondc @thekitchenjerk @poboyjim @thecreoleon14th @nuvegancafe @cane_dc @sweetsosumba @tsehayskitchen @oohhs_and_aahhs @peacheskitchendc @backyardsmokespot @dcitysmokehouse @jerkatnite @zionkitchen @sunrisewdc @carolinakitchendc #buyblack #blackownedbusiness #dmvbuyblackdirectory
Shoppe Black is also great resource that covers businesses around the globe.
Thank you – please stay safe, mobilized and vigilant out there.
We’re going to work to keep you in the loop about local action, but if you have any tips, please feel free to submit them to [email protected]