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How to Be an Activist When You Can't Attend Protests

by Marta Elena Cortez-Neavel |

Make Sure You Know Your Rights

Read through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)'s interactive guide to civil rights. The guide describes real-world scenarios – including encounters with police – and then lays out our relevant rights for each scenario and how we can protect them.

Donate to #BlackLivesMatter

Donate directly to Black Lives Matter and other supportive organizations, or hold an online fundraiser if you don't have the means right now. Good choices include the Black Visions Collective, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to name a few. Providing these organizations with the funds necessary to carry out their work is hugely impactful.

Donate to Bail Efforts

The National Bail Fund Network compiled a list of bail funds across the country that are helping protesters who have been arrested. Many of these individuals were taken into custody forcefully while peacefully exercising their first amendment rights. Any amount helps.

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Many businesses are struggling as a result of the ongoing pandemic, and Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard. Reports also indicate that up to 90% of minority-owned businesses (including those with Black ownership) were left out of receiving national stimulus support. Chowhound compiled a list of Black-owned bars and restaurants across the country, as well as a list of other food-focused companies to order from. LitHub has also compiled a list of Black-owned businesses, this time featuring bookstores. Take a look and see if one is in your area. Pictured below is Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice for All.

Sign These Petitions

According to Change.org, "Justice for George Floyd" is now the largest petition ever hosted on the site with 18 million signatures – and it seems to be working. The Police Officer who choked (and ultimately killed) Floyd by kneeling on his neck on a city street has been arrested and charged. As have his three colleagues, who stood by and watched as these horrific events unfolded.

But, there is so much more work to do. Put pressure on your local, state, and national representatives by signing these petitions. A number of them list the relevant representative's phone numbers and detailed scripts to follow so that you can further your impact.

Protect Black Voters: Fully Fund Safe Elections in the Heroes Act

Protect Black-Owned Businesses in the Wake of COVID-19

Demand Racial Data on Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Demand More From the Government

Abolish Prison Labor in the USA

Ban the Use of Rubber Bullets for Crowd Control

Hands Up Act: Take Action Against Police for Shooting Unarmed Citizens

NAACP "We Are Done Dying"

National Action Against Police Brutality

Image via ErikMcGregor, Lightrocket, Getty Images

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