June 02, 2020

Black Lives Matter

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Desmond Tutu

by Chris Thomas

You could not find a more perfect metaphor for the Trump presidency

Active duty military troops are deploying to Washington DC to - in the President’s words - “dominate” the protesters. Police in New York used SUVs to run down protesters. National Guardsmen in Minneapolis opened fire on people sitting on their own front porches. The President has threatened to deploy the military to states that won’t use the national guard to end the protests.

The protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd have highlighted example after example after example of violent, authoritarian depravity on the part of American police forces.

These are uncertain times.

We here at Resistbot enthusiastically affirm that Black Lives Matter. Many of our volunteers are out tonight marching for justice for George Floyd, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jamar Clark, Alton Sterling, Samuel Harrell, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor, and the hundreds, if not thousands, more besides.

Ordinarily, this blog encourages its readers to find and join protests. We cannot do that in this case, but we don’t want that decision to go unremarked. There is no cause in the United States more deserving of protest than the deaths of black Americans at the hands of an institution charged with their protection. The fact is that there is a very real chance that those who choose to participate in these protests will become victims themselves and we cannot, in good conscience, ask others to take that risk.

What Can I Do?

There is a lot you can do to support the protests. First, consider donating to a bail fund. These funds help to prevent police from using arrest as a means of silencing peaceful protest.

Head over to Campaign Zero and check out their policing reform legislative cartogram. If your state has legislation they’re tracking, consider sending state to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Twitter, iMessage, or via SMS at 50409. We’ll help you write a letter in support of it.

You can also send congress to Resistbot and tell your Senators and Representative that now would be a great time to re-introduce the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 and the Camera Accountability Maintenance and Transparency in Policing Act of 2017. Failing those, Congress could certainly take this opportunity to loudly denounce the President’s inflammatory, authoritarian rhetoric.

If you do choose to protest, be safe. Remember there’s still a pandemic: wear a mask. Let a friend know where you’re going and when you intend to be back. Bring bottled water, non-latex gloves, a simple first aid kit, and any other medical supplies you may need with you. Make sure your phone has a full charge. Load and configure an app like Copwatch so that you can send out an alert if something goes wrong. If possible, configure your application to upload video automatically to the cloud to prevent its destruction should your device be seized or broken. Record as much as you can; white supremacist groups are trying to turn this crisis to their advantage. Finally, Know the area you’ll be in and make a plan for what to do if your group gets separated. ✊🤖

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