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In the first part of our Black Lives Matter series, we helped you get educated. This week, we offer advice on getting involved beyond protesting.

@maginnis via Twenty20
There aren’t any excuses for standing by and doing nothing — not anymore. So if you can’t get out and protest but still want to help affect change, listen and donate. This article (written collaboratively with Jamie Alvey and Joy Robinson) is intended to help guide you. 

In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and countless others, it’s important to take a stand against police brutality and racism. This is not the time to stand idly and silently by and pretend that nothing is going on. The world is rapidly changing, and these protests are the greatest sign that things have a chance of getting better.

I’ve talked a lot about punk in my music reviews, but this is the true essence of it: supporting the fight against oppression and violence any way you can, and standing with the oppressed no matter what happens. I’m proud to help support everyone who’s going out there to fight against police brutality, and you should be too.

Not everyone can go out and march alongside protesters, but everyone can stand with them. Once you’ve educated yourself on the problem, there are a million ways to support your local and national protestors, and here are just a few.

@chara_stagram_ via Twenty20

 

DONATE YOUR TIME

Even if you can’t go out to protest, you can still donate your time. Make signs to support the cause, help protesters find where to get protective gear and medical supplies to protect themselves and others, keep an eye on the news and on your protester friends’ feeds  — and be willing to share information (when and where protests are happening, what to avoid, etc).

Sign petitions and share them. These protests don’t stop for a curfew, and neither should your support.

DONATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE/ BE OPEN TO ACCEPTING NEW KNOWLEDGE

If you know something that can be helpful to protesters (field medicine, safe protest practices and routes, general information about the area), feel free to share it. If you don’t know anything, share the knowledge of those that do and then pay attention. Listen to what black activists and protesters are saying and educate yourself.

If anyone’s going to know about the black experience, it’s black people.

Don’t expect them to teach you everything either; seek out the writing and works of black activists and creators. Be willing to look inside yourself, deal with any internalized racism you have, and carry on. You also need to be willing to call out racism when you see it, whether it be from an acquaintance or your own family. Anyone can be racist, and anyone can fight against racism.

It’s important to remember, it’s not black people’s responsibility to educate you on black history, racism and anti-black acts. That’s your responsibility — just like it’s your responsibility to call out racism when you see it.

@JackieWaldrop via Twenty20

 

DONATE YOUR SUPPLIES

If you’re able, donate what you can to your local activist groups. Water, food, medicine, and safety equipment (especially eye covers) are all extremely important.

DONATE YOUR MONEY

If you’re able, be willing to donate your money. I’ll be including plenty of links below to different charities, bail funds, and organizations working to help the protesters and fight against police brutality and racism. If you can’t afford to support the cause financially, then share the links to those who can. Some people have also been donating their art — through commissions and other works — in exchange for people donating to organizations like the ones I’ll list below.

Note that this is far from an exhaustive list. It’s important for you to also look in your community. See what you can do at home, because every piece of work done connects to the greater good.

One final, very important note: do not share photos of anonymous protesters’ uncovered faces.

It doesn’t matter how “impactful” the picture could be or how “emotional” it makes you. If they’re trying to hide their identity for safety purposes, do not share their uncovered faces or their identities. Blur them out, cover their faces with editing software, do whatever you have to. Learn from the death of Ferguson protester Edward Crawford. His photographer might have won a Pulitzer, but Crawford lost his life under suspicious circumstances. Your “stunning” photo op is not worth someone’s life.

The time for silence is over, the time for action is now and forever.