By Brittany Anderson
Assistant Web Content Manager
“Power to the people.” What does that mean to you?
Protesting is a powerful tool at your discretion: all you have to do is show up. I understand that protesting isn’t for everybody, especially right now. We are— despite what some people are saying or doing— amid a global pandemic.
Some people hate big crowds and others just don’t know how to feel about walking and chanting with strangers in 100° heat.
If you’re concerned about your well-being and potential safety, stay home— as long as you aren’t quiet there. There are so many ways that you can help from home that will ignite change: signing meaningful petitions, donating what you can to important organizations and continuing to be an online activist (believe me, it matters).
Even with these alternatives, I still want to stress the importance of getting out in the streets and marching at some point. Taking this approach to protesting is an incredible way to feel connected to others and be empowered in your own voice and abilities.
It’s also a great way to meet organizers, other protesters and some really cool people. Many protests have speakers that come from all walks of life and they have stories and life lessons to share with you.
Most importantly, protests are a space for you to use your voice in a way that shows up differently than it does online. The entire world sees these protests. They watch them happen live. They drive by and hear them.
These movements, like so many before, will go down in the history books. Why not be a part of it? You’ll come away much more humbled.
You should always make it your goal to be as safe as possible. That means making sure you’re prepared.
Face masks and hand sanitizers are non-negotiable right now. Bring a backpack with energizing snacks, cold water, deodorant and sunscreen. Wear good shoes, sunglasses and a hat to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible in the heat while walking.
If you go with others, have a meetup point, should you get separated. If you go alone, make sure someone knows where you are.
If you’re worried a protest might get a little too rowdy and turn violent, check out this resource for tips on how to plan for that.
Are you interested, but still not sure how you’d fit into the protesting scene? Keep an eye out for one happening near you so you can check it out. There are several that have happened and are going to happen again in San Marcos and Austin.
Better yet, help organize one for your hometown— getting smaller communities involved is so important. If this is your first rodeo, don’t worry. You don’t need to go all out. Just showing up and lending your support in that way is effective enough.
Grab some friends and make some posters. Yell, cry, talk. Educate yourself and others. Create change in the streets or from your room. Just please get involved. Power to the people.
Featured image by Brittany Anderson via Canva.