Becoming a better activist thread ✊🏼 #ssp

By the looks of it a lot of people agree with this so thought I’d start a thread. In my experience people in activist circles can underestimate how inaccessible this kind of thing can be for people who aren’t.

Use this thread for:

  • Raising awareness of upcoming political demonstrations, ongoing campaigns, and local activist groups
  • Discussion and advice on how to persuasively communicate on social media & irl
  • Posting shareable resources to help with the above
  • Discussion and advice on contacting MPs regarding specific issues
  • Any relevant legal support & advice
  • Offer each other support in overcoming anxieties and becoming more active and engaged generally
  • Discuss direct action and union activities (note - there is also the Joining a Union thread)

Anything I’ve missed which @moderators can add to the list?

No judgement obv as this is an SSP

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Moved into the ssp category so any sensitive stuff in here doesn’t get emailed out to the world.

Also, thanks for starting this Shrewbie :slight_smile:

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I struggle with the fact if I go to an actual protest I have to take M with me, might not be applicable in this thread, but would be really interested in child-friendly spaces if that’s possible. I’ve not encountered any issues at protests myself but I don’t think that means I can guarantee it always being peaceful. Is it irresponsible to take her in the first place? I want her to understand the issues and see me do something about them, I know there’s other ways to do this but just thinking out loud really.

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This is a good shout. I want to be a bit more active in ways, but the extent to which I’m rubbish at and anxious about talking to people and getting words out clearly a lot of the time makes me feel a tad useless at times.

There is a BLM event happening in Belfast on Saturday 6 June 3-5 at custom house square.

Personally I’m not sure if I should go, as if I got the virus at it my girlfriend would be exposing a lot of people as she has to go into her office. Finding it hard to square the circle of this

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have the organisers said anything about distancing & providing masks? and is the location big enough that it’d be possible to distance with the expected attendance?

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It’s a large open space that could probably have maybe 200 -300 socially distanced people from a rough guess. Facebook event has 2k people saying they’re going.

Encouraging people to wear masks and bring hand sanitizer, but not providing them. Have said their stewards will be helping everyone be distanced

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can also use this thread to aggregate practical resources that might get a bit lost in the big ones, here’s some stuff that was posted in the George Floyd protests thread:





@xylo If you’re UK based and want to buy black literature or political activism books, you can do that here https://instagram.com/newbeaconbooks?igshid=1e2zatkchfklm

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Some links -


Little gets reported because media and human rights workers are not allowed in, but some stories make it through.

Going to start by writing to some of these as well as my MP -

A drop in the ocean which will get at best a template response, but at least it’s a start.

Advice: When writing to an MP, does method (i.e. letter or email) generally make any difference? I suppose it’s probably down to the individual, but wondered if the extra effort / expense of a letter means it’s more likely to be addressed?

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As a black woman, what I’ve seen from friends who are white is that feeling that their whiteness excludes them from black anger.

When I was about 20 my best friend who is Pakistani and I were with friends making dumb jokes (calling each other camel jockeys and debating over whose country has more camels) and this immature race based joking was a part of our friendship then, but this white boy in our group looked ut as, agog, and I dont remember his exact words but he was shocked to see a black girl and a brown girl make racist jokes and that he thought racism is white -> poc and not poc -> poc. This dumb take is definitely scraping at the bottom of the barrel of racial ignorance but there are many misunderstandings. One or two? officers who stood by George Floyd’s murder and did nothing are Asian. Racism isn’t a white on black problem, it is far more complex than that, it is between black people and asians, asians and other asians, white people and middle eastern people and black people etc. Race wars everywhere. White racism is spoken about the most because it goes hand in hand with the hateful ideology of white supremacy. This is probably why a lot of white people centre themselves in the concept of racism like that boy did, and why white fragility is a thing. “I’m not racist” “I dont care what colour you are” “I’ve got x colour friends/family” isn’t good enough, simply not being racist isnt the same as being anti racist. I gave the example the other day that I found Apu funny (indian simpsons character whose heavy accent is voiced by a white guy). I thought as I didnt hate indians and wasnt racist, it was ok to laugh at apu. I thought as a few guys voice a load of characters, it was ok for a white guy to voice apu. I thought yes, it’s a caricature but there’s grounds keeper willie, the Japanese guys, the Italian American guys - stereotypes is just a thing they do in good fun. That was me being not racist, but it is still very problematic. An anti racist stance on this comes with the acknowledgement that Asian Americans are not well represented in western media, and Asian americans deserve representation, and that a Scottish stereotype in america is not the same as an indian stereotype in america , as Scottish people have not faced the discrimination there that indian people have. An anti racist stance is acknowledging that microagressions hurt people and chip away at them, and a dumb joke about Apu or kids doing his voice will hurt people and mock their loved ones who have indian accents, like parents or grandparents. And then actually doing something about it, big or small, calling people out on their behaviour, speaking about it, involving themselves in petitions to show their support and solidarity. Only then can someone consider themselves anti racist, and being anti racist is the only way to fight racism, or any other kind of prejudice, and being “not racist” “not homophobic” etc isnt enough.

Regarding blm and what is happening now, solidarity and involvement of a white person in black anger is a good thing, as is the involvement of other black people and other poc. Not a fan or the term poc but not sure how else to sum it up. Idk who said it but they said white poeple can turn red, blue, green, grey etc depending on mood and black people stay the same so whose the person of colour here, and I agree. It sounds too “other”. But anyway, black anger and black pain needs the support of others, and its 100% good to get stuck in and involved and educated and angry and hurt and active and loud. What isn’t okay is “all lives matter” or “I’m alright, I’m not racist,” and being content with that, making other things the issue like “I hate how people try to make me feel bad for not protesting/talking more about this” etc. If you feel you aren’t doing enough, then do something. It can be reading a book to learn more, signing a petition, bringing the subject up with racist family members and talking to them about it, confronting your own prejudice and privilege and trying to make it something good. We all have racist family members, I don’t believe a single person in the world with family doesn’t. Just don’t be quiet. You don’t have to have black power tshirts on in a protest with your entire Instagram feed dedicated to #blm and resources, you don’t have to feel helpless, that there is too much awfulness going on in the world, what can I do about it? Small things. Upset about the Uyghur muslims? Find resources online for petitions or something to sign. Find out where you can donate. Find figures of authority to write too, like the chinese embassy. Consult the charities and ask them what you can do, they will tell you. There is no need for helplessness, a single person wields power, and a group of single people and their affirmative actions do even more. Complacency is no longer an option

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Thank you, I’m glad to hear that :blush:

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This is everything really. People have different capabilities and what they feel comfortable with but it’s staying engaged that’s key. Get involved however you can, but stay interested and keep fighting to make the world better. Keep making a fucking racket doing it.

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It can be very exhausting, I think a big problem with racism is the iceberg thing where only the worst crimes are considered racist and everything else is just day to day life and people are made to feel like their complaining or difficult if it upsets them. I havent been personally victim to the top of this iceberg but below? A lot of it has affected my life, and it is hard, its tiring, and because I’m not being lynched or called a n****** I am whiny/overreacting/seeing things/pulling the race card. But as many poeple do with injustice, you bend your life around it and quietly suffer, but I am wrong for suffering quietly and should be loud about it

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Good post (as always)

File this alongside ‘BAME’ - don’t really like how it’s a catch-all term for “non-white” when, as you say, different groups have been subject to different histories, and how racism still exists within the umbrella of PoC. Like, being mixed british/indian I qualify as ‘BAME’ but would never dream of comparing my experiences to, for example, a young black man, but umbrella terms like these do exactly that. I dunno

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I’ve never written to my hometown MP, partly cos he’s one of the worst Tories and the idea of communicating with him makes my skin crawl. apparently he’s pretty responsive though and did call for Cummings to be sacked so maybe I should give it a go

gonna share this and gonna use it as a basis for reading up, too.

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something I want to work towards a more workable and viable strategy in being an ally is…

(as a white person being an ally, shouldering burdens that black people and anybody else being oppressed shouldn’t have to)

…figuring out how to get other white people to confront their own privilege and unfuck themselves and become allies.

this is to say that we face difficulties in the form of things like white fragility and etc, and I figure we need to be savvy about getting through to them so people on the receiving end of this don’t have to soften their tone or whatever.

obvs this would also require allies to make the point, that they need to put their insecure egos aside and to see the racism inherent in the standards they expect - ‘politeness’, ‘niceness’, the mask of civility that racism so often wears at its most insidious - so after a point, nobody would have to tiptoe around their feelings when trying to get through to them.

this is a bit rambly and idk. is it clear what I’m getting at?

it’s on us to make these breakthroughs, and it’s difficult because of how fucking defensive people get, how hard it is to get people to change. so how do we go about it, etc

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I think talking in person is crucial

for one, phones/social media engender thoughtless hair-trigger reactions, lack the cues of tone and gesture and etc that talking IRL has

but also we’re more likely to make a difference if we’re confronting people we know

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I have a real “virtue signaling” worry, as in I feel like I’ll be accused of that. Not that I give a fuck if white people think that of me but I’m worried I might do things that are seen as hollow to POC.

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I doubt a person of colour would use that term? not to speak on their behalf, mind.

it’s just that I cannot recall seeing such a term used by anybody but white people, and nearly always white men.

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