A LOT of folks feel conflicted about marching due to health conditions, exposure risk, or their own potential as carriers of COVID-19. Some have existing medical conditions that make marching right now too dangerous. Others have a loved one at home who is especially vulnerable to COVID, or members of the household who are frontline workers and therefore constantly exposed. Just as we don’t want to endanger our families, we may not feel it’s right to expose fellow protesters.
As a Union, we preach and practice solidarity every chance we get. That shouldn’t be at a cost of endangering ourselves or others, so if you feel you can’t join a march or rally, that’s a decision your Union siblings respect. No one should feel guilty or ostracized because they can’t be physically present.
If you can’t show up, you can still support these events.
Here are several vetted organizations and opportunities to support the current uprising against police brutality and the presence of police in our schools.
- Black Lives Matter Chicago continues to work intersectionally “to end state violence and criminalization of Black communities.”
- The Chicago Community Bond Fund is committed to paying bond for everyone arrested at these protests.
- A group of Black graduate students at University of Chicago are assembling safety packs for protesters, including masks, water, antacid tablets (for tear gas), Gatorade, and basic first aid supplies.
- Assata’s Daughters, led by Black women and young people, provides political education, organizing strategies, and leadership development.
- Brave Space Alliance has sheltered protesters, provided supplies, operated a food pantry, and continues to be a source of support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ Chicagoans on the South Side and throughout the city.
All of these organizations need your financial support; many maintain lists of in-kind supplies needed and others ways you can contribute. Even if you are unable to donate, you can still help:
- Contact elected officials. The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, established in Chicago in 1973 and reestablished at CTU Headquarters last November, has pre-written contact forms to email local and state politicians and voice your support. (CAARPR also accepts donations.)
- Support Black owned businesses in Chicago.
- Amplify the message. If you need to stay home, share information about events and fundraising efforts to your networks. Reach out to people directly. Engage in conversations.
- Check on your people. Reach out to those you know who are protesting and organizing. Ask what they need. Express your support. Share the emotional workload.