Hi Auntie! I’ve been wanting to get involved with showing my support for BLM and protest, but I don’t know how to get started. And my cousins on the rez want to support too, but can’t get to any protests. What should we do?
[Auntie Manda] Thanks for writing in! These are really great questions. I think it’s so great that you are interested in joining the movement on the streets! It is so important for Native youth to support our Black relatives who are fighting for liberation and an end to police brutality! The fight for Indigenous sovereignty and the struggle for Black liberation are interconnected.
I want to introduce Cousin Lael who has been protesting with her sisters and has some great tips for keeping you safe and for how your cousins can show their support from the rez.
[Cousin Lael] Here are some tips for staying safe while protesting:
- Go with a group that you trust! Never protest alone.
- Always wear a mask!! This not only protects you from COVID, but it also helps to keep your identity safe from police.
- Wear safe, unidentifiable clothes like jeans and a plain sweatshirt.
- Bring hand sanitizer, water, and a granola bar.
- If you’re going to a more intense protest, bring a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from tear gas or pepper spray.
- Evaluate your risk level.
- Are you living with folks who are immuno-compromised or with elders who are at a higher risk of COVID? If so, maybe being in a large crowd isn’t right for you. There are still so many ways you can get involved and support Black Lives Matter. Sign petitions, pressure your local government to support BLM and defund the police, and donate to Black organizations fighting for Black liberation.
For your cousins on the rez who may not be able to go out and protest in person, they can keep up the momentum in their community by talking with their family and friends and by showing and sharing posts on their social media channels.
You are so important to this movement! Keep up the good work!
Thanks for writing in!
Auntie Manda & Cousin Lael