Opinion | Protesting doesn’t have to be physical

If you cannot protest due to circumstances, there are other ways you can help the BLM movement.


Jenna Galligan

Protesters circle at the intersection of Dubuque St. and Foster Rd. on Friday, June 5, 2020 to spray paint before marching to I-80.

Signe Nettum, Opinions Columnist

With the death of George Floyd by the police, another name is added to the list of Black people killed unnecessarily by police officers, sparking protests that have swept the nation. While during any other protest I would be down at the capitol with a sign, raising my voice and using my privilege to help those in need, I cannot do it this time. The threat of COVID-19 and the fear of either getting it, or transmitting it to others, is too great of a risk for me.

As I scroll through social media and see posts shaming those who are currently not out on the streets protesting, and how if you cannot do that, you are a racist, I keep thinking what about those who cannot march day after day, night after night?

I am here to tell you it is okay. It is okay if you cannot protest due to any mental, physical, or other reason. Not everyone can protest, but there are plenty of ways we can help without walking through streets or facing down cops dressed in riot gear.

There are many organizations and funds you can donate your money to during this time, including, but not limited to: bail funds, Black LGBTQ funds, Black LGBTQ organizations, community enrichment organizations, community restoration organizations, frontline funds, health-care funds and organizations, incarceration reform organizations, legal defense funds and organizations, media organizations, megafunds, mental-health organizations, police reform organizations, policy reform organizations, victim memorial funds, and youth-oriented community organizations.

Even a simple $5 donation makes a difference. The organization will have five dollars more than it did before to help those arrested unfairly during protests, to those on the front line suffering from injuries, or to those suffering the loss of someone and unable to pay for expenses.

If you do not have the money on hand, you can also watch monetized Youtube videos about racial justice, or hour long montages in support of Black artists. There are playlists full of videos with ads where the money made by the ads goes toward people of color.

People have found different ways to set up the videos. my sister loaded up a video on our tv and pressed mute to have it on in the background, so it still cycles through the ads while she does whatever a 13-year-old girl would do on a daily basis during COVID-19.

To further help, you can sign petitions for justice of the victims of police brutality or racist killings. A lot of them are electronic and only take a few minutes to fill out. Sending links to your friends and family to sign can also be a big help.

My little sister has drawn on our sidewalk with chalk, depicting pictures and chants from the protests. When I have taken walks through my neighborhood, I see similar drawings everywhere, making it impossible to ignore what’s going on.

So even while you are keeping yourself safe from COVID-19, know that there are other ways to protest without risking yourself or those around you from the virus.

Instead of spreading COVID-19, we should be spreading justice.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.