I’m the type of person that loves going to protests and marches. I’ve been going to them for almost two decades. The ones that I can remember the most have focused on police brutality, the environment, women’s rights, and anti-war.
If my memory serves me correct, the first protest I went to was an anti-Iraq war protest back in the early 2000s when I was a teenager.
The two things I remember most vividly about that protest are: 1) the huge crowd that gathered on the National Mall that day and 2) all of the cool buttons and signs I saw. I also remember how I felt. It felt empowering to be one, small person in a sea of thousands of people. Here I was surrounded by folks of all different ages, genders, and races standing together in solidarity against a war, an invasion, that we found to be wrong.
Looking back, I think that protest sealed the deal for me. From that day forward, I would continue to voice my opinions in the street.
Fast forward to the day the protests for George Floyd and against police brutality began here in Los Angeles. A group of us from Sunrise Movement Los Angeles gathered virtually to create a game plan for the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles protests. We discussed meet up logistics, communication channels, and how to prepare ourselves for the inevitable police presence.
I was pumped about joining this meeting and attending the upcoming protest planned for Sunday, May 31st. That is, however, until I remembered that COVID-19 is still a very real and present danger.
After thinking about it, I decided that going to a heavily attended protest wasn’t a risk that I was willing to take due to various personal reasons. Needless to say, I was bummed. I felt useless and embarrassed at the thought of sitting at home while all of my friends were out in the streets calling for justice.
Thankfully, during our meeting, we determined that people who cannot safely go out and protest can still take on important duties in this fight against systemic racism, police brutality, and state sanctioned violence. Those that have to stay home like me can get involved in protest logistics, safety, and jail support.
The at home helpers can coordinate rides, collect emergency contacts for those on the streets, pass on important information gathered from home, and call the jails to see if friends have been arrested. These are just some suggestions for ways that people can get involved from home, but I’m sure there are more!
Since that protest on May 31st, I’ve been involved in helping coordinate Sunrise LA involvement in BLM-LA led protests from home. It’s been really awesome to still feel like I’m a part of these protests even if I can’t physically be there with everyone marching down Hollywood Boulevard.
I encourage anyone that has to stay home due to COVID-19 to talk with their friends who are out on the streets protesting about how they can support them from home.
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