Yes, You Can (and Should) Still Protest Even If You Can't Be There Physically. Here's How

Sarah Weldon
Photo credit: Raydene Hansen
Photo credit: Raydene Hansen

From Cosmopolitan

It’s been nearly a week since protests calling for police reform in response to the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, as well as the countless other senseless killings of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. Americans have taken to the streets in dozens of cities across the country, including Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

However, not everyone who wants to has the ability to physically attend a protest—there are many reasons for this, all of which are totally valid and understandable. And totally not a problem because there are other ways you can protest.

Below are a number of methods you can use to join and help your fellow protestors and demand justice.

Attend a virtual protest

Just like this one in honor of Breonna Taylor., happening on Friday, June 5th at 3 p.m. EST:

Do some digging and see if there are any other virtual protests happening in your local communities that you can attend.

Offer to be an emergency contact

Ask your friends who *are* planning on physically protesting if they need an emergency contact. Make sure you have their full legal name and date of birth and check in on them every so often so you’re aware of their whereabouts. They should also have your phone number written down on their arm with a permanent marker just in case.

Buy supplies for protestors

If you have the means, consider donating or buying extra supplies ahead of protests in your area. Some ideas:

Cover the cost of public transit

Know of literally anyone going to a protest? The cost of public transit can add up quickly. Consider covering it for those attending—whether it’s sending a quick Venmo to your friend or literally mailing your transit card that you’re not using at the moment to someone who *will* be using it.

Provide childcare

Offer to watch the young children of parents who are actively on the front lines of protests for free—for however long it’s needed. Or, if you're unable to take care of their children, offer to pay for a babysitter.

Spread information

Through your Instagram story, in your group chats, on your feed. Share any resources that you think could be helpful for protestors, like this viral graphic that's been passed around social media:

Contact officials

Continue to call your elected officials and demand reform and justice. You can do this over the phone or by email. Here's an email written by Instagram user Maasai Godwin to get you started:


My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR CITY/STATE]and I am emailing today to demand accountability for the racist murder of George Floyd.

I demand that charges be pressed against all officers involved in this heinous racist murder, including specifically Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao. They should not be allowed to keep their jobs and should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for manslaughter.

George Floyd should be alive today if it was not for the gross abuse of power and white supremacy exhibited by the Minneapolis Police Department, all officers involved must face consequences for this murder in order to provide his family with justice and prevent further cops from committing brutal acts of violence against our communities.

In addition, I demand that we start providing more support towards community efforts and organizations outside of the police forces in order to prevent police brutality and violence in the future.



Pay bail

There are countless bail funds accepting donations, which will in turn help combat our country's mass incarceration problem. You've probably heard of The Minnesota Freedom Fund and North Star Health Collective, but they've since paused on accepting any more donations. Here are some more to consider:

Sign petitions

You've heard it already, but keep adding your name to petitions. A few to add your name to:

  • Text FLOYD to 55156 to sign Color of Change’s petition calling on Mayor Frey to block the Minneapolis officers from receiving their pensions and from becoming officers again and demands that charges be brought upon every office involved in the death of George Floyd.

  • has a similar petition.

  • Sign Run With Ahmaud’s petition to ensure he gets the justice he deserves.

  • This “super-petition” demands that “Louisville Metro Council pass new rules banning the use of no-knock raids like the one used to break into Breonna’s home" and automatically contacts the appropriate government reps.

Stay active

Keep speaking out against injustice and for police reform on social media, to your parents, coworkers, friends. Don’t use the fact that you can’t physically attend a protest as an excuse to be silent. Put your money, time, and effort where your black box on Instagram is.

Protect your black friends

They're most definitely not okay right now. Do your part and take time out of your day to check in with those who are struggling and who are on the front lines.

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