Helping from Home

Yesterday, in commenting on a Facebook post about protests in Seattle — where the cops apparently are competing with Portland police to see who can be named the most brutal, vicious, and unlawful police department in the U.S. — I listed some of the things people who are unable to attend protests can do. I thought it might be useful information to those who wouldn’t see it there.

I very much understand wanting to be in the fight, but not being physically and/or medically capable of taking the abuse being meted out by police in cities all across the country. So, what can you do?

Write letters, make phone calls, and “chivvy” every elected official you can (frankly, I’m not convinced there will be an election in November, but if those officials believe there will be they might actually take helpful action).

Donate. In Portland, the cops here have stolen and thrown away food, sanitizers, masks, and medical equipment used to support the protesters. Money, food, supplies, sanitizers, helmets, masks (both to prevent viral spread and gas masks to protect against tear gas) are always welcome. Most of these guys who are out there feeding and helping people (not just protesters, but the homeless who are getting caught in the crossfire) have donation information on their twitter bios. And, if you can, donate to the local independent journalists who are making this information isn’t buried by mainstream media, businesses, and politicians.

Harass those who are supporting the occupying troops (hotels where they’re staying, enterprises that are renting them vehicles, fencing contractors, restaurants, etc.) and supplying military weaponry to civilian police forces. Even if you think you don’t do business with these corporations, many own other entities which you can stop patronizing.

Provide online support. I’m homebound too. But, I’m on Twitter every night (under aliases), watching the live streams, cross posting information so it gets to people who need it, answering questions, promoting events, sharing security/safety information, supporting the folks who are on the streets in every way I can.

Be aware that offering protest support via Twitter (or any other platform), actually takes a lot of time, research, and emotional energy, especially if you don’t already have connections with those who are protesting and/or the resources they need. You will have to study the players. Learn who provides reliable information and who needs it but isn’t getting it.

If you’re white, liberal, and/or someone who’s not been on the front lines in the past, you have to be especially careful who you share information with and how you share it. You have to be prepared for, learn how to distinguish between, and deal with, the trolls, bots, sea lions, and those who are educatable because all of them will come at you.

And, you have to be able to accept (and probably see photos and/or video of) the extreme violence being meted out against people attempting to exercise their Constitutional rights. (But, don’t share it without a content/trigger warning.)

BTW, if you’ve read statements along the lines of protests have stopped or calmed down except in … know that’s a lie perpetuated by self-serving media. For evidence, check out the Police Brutality Mega-Thread 2020 on Twitter compiled by T. Greg Doucette. Portland police are featured frequently, but there are more an 800 examples of police and Federal troops attacking civilians everywhere in the U.S. and additional footage is added every day. (CW warning for war zone footage from U.S. cities.)

The revolution will not be broadcast, but it will be tweeted and live streamed.