How to Help The Campaign Against Police Brutality
People around the country are taking to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd and police brutality.
On May 25, a black man named George Floyd was killed in the US city of Minneapolis. Footage showed police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, while Floyd repeated ‘I can’t breathe’. Chauvin has since been charged with murder for Floyd’s death.
It’s an unfortunately familiar pattern in the United States; this week, anger has boiled over. Floyd’s violent death at the hands of the police triggered protests, first in Minneapolis and then in more than 200 American cities – with solidarity demonstrations taking place across the world.
The protests have brought Black Lives Matter, a decentralized movement founded in 2013 in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin and other black Americans, back to prominence. Now people of all races, living in dozens of countries, are looking for ways to help.
With that in mind, here’s what you can do to safely support protests right now.
Giving money can sometimes feel like an easy way out, but it cannot be overstated how critical funds are for local movements right now. While it may seem straightforward to donate to large organizations with whom you’re already familiar, seek out the smaller, local community organizations that are organizing and leading the protests you’d like to support.
Campaign Zero — which is also accepting donations — has a comprehensive guide to policies that aim to correct broken windows policing, excessive force, racial profiling, for-profit policing, cash bail, and much more.
Reclaim the Block — a Minneapolis organization devoted to reallocating the city’s money away from the police department and toward “community-led safety initiatives,” to which you can also donate — has a petition that asks the city council to defund the police force, freeing up resources to promote the safety and health of the city’s marginalized communities.
Gas Mask Fund for black youth activists in Minneapolis is raising money to buy gas masks for demonstrators who’ve faced tear gas during protests.
Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.
Communities United for Police Reform is an initiative to end discriminatory policing in New York, helping to educate people on their rights and document police abuse.
Send Money to Legal Defense Funds
Once protesters are out of jail, they will face legal fees. To that end, there are legal defense funds.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
Throughout history, public protests have been crucial to the visibility and success of civil rights campaigns. With mass public gatherings still banned in many countries, it may seem difficult to take to the streets right now. But many protests are still taking place, with social distancing and mask-wearing encouraged. And some acts of protest are being arranged that don’t need you to go any further than your doorstep.
Sign a petition
There are a number of petitions circulating in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, and you can add your name now. #JusticeforFloyd and Justice for George Floyd are demanding that all officers present at Floyd’s death be arrested and charge with murder.
You could post links to resources or fundraisers, state your support and solidarity, and share anything that you’ve found helpful.
Buy from black-owned businesses
Google “black-owned business in [my city]” or “black-owned restaurants in [my city]” to find a local roundup.
If you have any other links or resources please add them in the comments!