Local Black Lives Matter organizers are working with the Springfield Police Department to hold a peaceful protest this Saturday at 3pm on the Park Central Square. Details here
Here are some tips from Jay Yoder to help white allies understand how they can be most effective while protesting. If you plan to attend, also be mindful of best social distancing practices, and be sure to wear a mask. If you are not able to protest in person, here are several other ways you can be involved in the movement for racial justice.
White people rules:
• Listen to Black organizers, always.
• Leave no Black person behind. The only exception is if you are specifically asked to (see rule 1).
• Emotionally prepare for what you’ll experience beforehand. It’s better to stay home and support a different way if you are not able to be present and responsive to the needs, requests, and direction of Black leaders and protestors.
• Do not film faces without consent. Seriously, stop it. Get crowd pics from behind, and film backs of heads when people are under attack from armed militarized forces.
• Turn off location in your phone camera settings. Put your phone in deep power saving mode to turn off wi-fi, GPS, and bluetooth. Go through your app permissions and turn off microphone and location access to every app except absolutely essentials.
• “To the front” means to the front, right now. “Move up” means move up to the front, right now. Don’t think. Move.
THE NEXT THREE RULES GO TOGETHER.
THIS IS A BLACK-LED MOVEMENT, THAT MEANS IT’S THEIR STRATEGIES, THEIR ACTIONS, THEIR CHOICES.
WE DO NOT GET TO ENGAGE IN ALL OF THOSE STRATEGIES, ACTIONS, OR BEHAVIORS.
THEY WILL BE PUNISHED FOR OUR BEHAVIOR.
• Never tell a Black person how to protest
• Never escalate interactions with armed militarized forces or engage in any behavior that will put Black people in danger of being punished for what YOU did. Decision-makers seem bent on using any excuse to deploy and use armed militarized forces! Do not create that excuse for them or what they do to our Black community members is partially your responsibility.
• Stop white people who are putting Black people in danger and engaging in escalating behavior that has not been specifically requested by Black leaders or protestors. Stop them. Stop. Them.
(Subject to feedback, edit, changes, additions. Not etched in stone. A living guide.)