The murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department last week has galvanized the American public. What distinguishes this catalytic event from the long history of the racist murder of persons of color by the police is not that it is extraordinary, but that it has taken place during a pandemic and in the midst of public outcry surrounding the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and racist incidents in Central Park. These moments make horrifically clear the everydayness of white supremacy as well as the systemic and individual ways whiteness is used as a weapon against persons of color. Organizers and activists have been working for decades to theorize systemic racist violence and ways to dismantle the police and carceral state. Our direct and remote participation is required to abolish white supremacy.
We have gathered the accompanying list of links that address the exigencies of the present moment from a range of concrete and practical perspectives. You’ll find information here that will point you to forms of anti-racist response, including organizations to support, ways to promote local political reform, and resources for educating yourself and others. We further encourage you to engage with your local grassroots organizations and to get involved to best serve the needs of your own communities.
Resources for Accountability and Actions for Black Lives has updated information regarding actions one can take to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, James Scurlock, and Breonna Taylor, along with links to other resources.
This website, created by @dehyedration on Twitter, is a great resource with tons of information, links to petitions, contact information for politicians, links to places to donate, and other resources.
Minneapolis-based organizations to donate to:
Minnesota Freedom Fund has been posting bail for people arrested while participating in protests; they have also been continuing their work of posting bail for others being held pretrial and bonds for people being held in ICE detention. As of May 30, they are encouraging people to donate to George Floyd’s family and other local organizations, including Reclaim the Block, North Star Health Collective, and Black Visions Collective.
Reclaim the Block has been organizing to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and have that funding reallocated to other areas of the city budget that will directly promote community health and safety. They have a petition on their homepage that you can sign, demanding that the Minneapolis City Council take action to enact these goals. They have also been encouraging people to donate to other local groups doing important organizational and community building work, a list of which they are compiling in this document.
North Star Health Collective has been working as street medics during the protests.
Can’t Stay Home Without Housing has been operating the sanctuary for unhoused folks out of the Sheraton building in midtown Minneapolis. For the latest information on their most pressing needs and how to donate, email <firstname.lastname@example.org> to receive an autoresponse.
Black Visions Collective have been working to “shape a political home for Black people across Minnesota” since 2017.
This document lists other places to donate and has a lot of useful information, including the contact information of local officials and various suggested scripts to use when writing or calling them.
Links to bail funds in other US cities:
Chicago : https://chicagobond.org/
New York: https://freethemall4publichealth.org/, https://twitter.com/FreeThemAll2020, https://brooklynbailfund.org/, https://twitter.com/BKBailFund, Venmo: bailoutnycmay
National Bail Out is a collective that has been working to #FreeBlackMamas and caregivers across the country and to end cash bail and pretrial detention.
Guidelines for Safe Protest Participation
If you participate in physical protests, please do so safely. Know your legal rights, observe social distancing and other public health-related precautions, and protect yourself as best you can from police-instigated violence, including possible exposure to pepper spray and tear gas. These two sets of guidelines, one from Amnesty International and one from the Los Angeles Chapter of DSA, provide useful tips and information.
The Black Midwest Initiative is a collective of academics, students, artists, organizers, and community members who are “interested in highlighting the ongoing work people are doing, whether academic, creative, or organizational, that speaks to the experiences of black people living within the Midwest and the larger industrial sector of the U.S.” Their website includes links to a variety of resources to learn more about Black lives in the Midwest.
Brave Space Alliance is a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ education and resource center for trans people of color and allies on the south side of Chicago. They have been working as a food pantry throughout the pandemic and are actively accepting material and financial donations to help in distributing food, water, and safety equipment through the city to points of protest action.
Cop Watch 101 is a zine (freely available in PDF form) which explains in detail how to start and operate a “copwatch” group and how to hold police accountable.
The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale is available for free download as an ebook from Verso Books.
Mapping Prejudice is a project run out of the University of Minnesota which examines how racial covenants enacted de facto segregation and shaped Minneapolis. They’re also looking for volunteers to share personal stories or help create their database.
Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?: Police Violence and Resistance in the United States is available for free download as an ebook from Haymarket Books.
This document lists a lot of great resources for anyone interested in learning more about prison abolition.
This document is a great guide to share with friends and family just getting started in anti-racist work.