- Before you go to a live event: Download the Mobile Justice app to your phone. “There is no doubt that moments like these highlight the importance of the app,” Marcus Benigno, a spokesperson for the ACLU of Southern California, told CNN. “Without a video of the unfortunate and tragic incident, we probably wouldn’t even know George Floyd’s name.” Note: CA is a “two-party consent” law state, requiring both parties to agree to verbal recording of private conversations.
- There’s still a pandemic on: Check out this reference on safer protesting.
- Be prepared just in case: Check out this infographic on what to bring and wear.
- Acknowledge the truth: Some basic acts to get started.
- “Pulled Over” is inspired by current events. The app hopes to serve as a tool for the right people at the right time. If you have been pulled over, you can easily launch the app, and with a single hold of a button you are able to launch your native camera app and start recording the situation. You can then notify your preset emergency contact of your situation and current location in case they feel like they need to help. The video can also be shared with the rest of the Pulled Over community to raise awareness of both good and bad experiences. Users can take the opportunity to Call for Action or find and share videos of exemplary police officers.The Pulled Over user experience is Simple and just 4 steps:
- RECORD – If you have been pulled over by a police officer, with one hold of a button on the pulled over mobile app, you are able to start recording the situation.
- NOTIFY – Instantly notify your emergency contact of your location at that time.
- SHARE – At the users’ discretion the video can also be shared with the rest of the Pulled Over community (anyone who has the Pulled Over App – no need to signup)
- WITNESS – The videos can be viewed by anyone with the Pulled Over app and can be used to spread awareness through its in-built sharing featureWe believe that technology can be used to make a big difference. Let’s together make a better world for everyone. ”
Have any questions or want to find ways of helping out?
Contact the Pulled Over developer at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gear list from the Portland moms:
- Helmet is a must for flying debris.
- Goggles THAT SEAL are a must. I wore ski goggles over my glasses and this did not work- I won’t make that mistake again. The gas gets trapped in your goggles and it’s… freaking debilitating. I knew it would be bad, but the level of snot and tears that come pouring out is otherwordly. More info on this later.
- A respirator is 100% A MUST. Regular masks get wet and your face will burn, burn. burn. I was 100% okay wherever my respirator covered me. I have the 3M “Cool Touch” respirator that I got for $42 at Sherwin Williams- it comes with Organic Vapor filters. YOU NEED THOSE FOR THE GAS. (Amazon link for reference, but please buy local if you can: https://www.amazon.com/3M-7512PA1-Professional-Respirator-Medium/dp/B000XBFJP2)
- Yellow shirt: I liked how many people were in yellow so I knew how to find our folks and other people knew we were there to provide care and defense.
- Leggings: I had no problems with gas burning me through leggings. Jeans might offer better protection- but it’s hot out there, so do what makes sense for you.
- Running shoes: you’re gonna need to stay comfy and be ready to move fast.
- Ear Plugs are a must. It gets bone-rattlingly loud.
- Spray bottles of water: Many folks are recommending spray bottles of water. I didn’t have one but it sounds like it was immensely helpful for others!
- Backpack: I had snacks, juice, water, shelf-stable milk, extra clothes, a portable charger, baby wipes, and ziplock bags in mine. Next time I will have WAY more drinks and also some lozenges to hand out. The leaders of the chants are hoarse and exhausted and they needed the sugar and fluids. Being able to bust open the bag and hand them what they need in the moment is part of what I feel like we’re there to do. The snacks were also important- at one point I was very dizzy and kept having stars in my eyes, and I think it was from the adrenaline and standing and vapors and yelling. My blood sugar was in the toilet and some fruit snacks and a power bar brought me back to normal.
- No costumes: In my personal opinion, we should leave the costuming behind. Anything that’s designed to capture the attention of press or protestors feels like performative territory and centers us. We should be quiet supporters and defenders, not like white moms angling for a photo op.
What to expect:
Chants should not be led by us– feel free to participate in call and response chants. Remember that phrases like “Moms lives Matter” and “I can’t Breathe” and “Don’t Shoot” are not for white folks to yell. But there’s a LOT of yelling, so be ready for that!
Everything can change fast: Things stay pretty calm for the first several hours. Lots of music, speeches, dancing. it was gorgeous.
Bathrooms, for those asking: I have no idea. I was too amped to pee. I’ve never birthed a child (my kids are through adoption and marriage) so this might be different for many of you.
Amplify Black voices: If the press asks to speak to you, PLEASE make sure to amplify Black voices and not center our group, our feelings, etc. I saw lots of white moms talking to reporters and I can only hope they were saying things like “this isn’t about us” and “the real story is that Black people are dying, not that moms are mad”
When things escalate, they escalate FAST. Katie J. was trying to tell me that when you get to a certain point, there’s no more “line holding” that is possible. I was too amped to listen and didn’t want to leave. Minutes later I found myself looking down at a canister and as I tried to get away, the fog and burn from the gas made it nearly impossible to move safely, much less stay upright. I was immediately separated from the group and it took me an hour to get back to my car because I was on the opposite side of the bloc. That doesn’t mean you should leave when things get dicey or be afraid of tear gas, but just have a clear expectation for this point of the night. I had to confront some shameful savior ideas I had about holding fast, but that’s NOT A THING when the tear gas, noise cannons, flash bangs, and rubber bullets are flying. I was desperate to stay and be useful but quickly realized that I could easily be a liability and needed to back away and get home. I’m not ready for what happens after 2am yet- hopefully soon I will be, but I have more to learn.
Find the helpers: There are hundreds of folks out there with eye wash and medics everywhere. Let them help you. The relief I felt was IMMEDIATE. I knelt down and was surrounded by folks with shields as someone poured something in my eyes- whatever it was was heaven. It was sweet and slightly minty/herbal. No idea but I hope I find that guy again! Another person filled my hands with baking soda and water and told me to rinse my face. It felt like the sunburn from hell but for me dissipated pretty quickly. I didn’t experience burning anywhere else on my body, but I did shower as soon as I came home just in case. I think the beauty of everyone caring for each other after this was unbelievably powerful.
Find your people: There are a lot of folks in yellow who I don’t think are in this group. I tried to find some of the folks I’d been communicating with on here and nobody knew who I was talking about- I couldn’t even find the Summoned Mamas crew. That was a little stressful- so DON’T BE LATE like I was, and make sure you sync up BEFORE you get there and arrive together. Galina waited in her car for me to get to mine before she left, which meant the world to me after being separated from everyone.
Don’t walk alone. Feds are still arresting/detaining folks. They are pepper spraying directly in the face without discretion, even if you’re just on your phone on a corner, as another mom here mentioned.
In our case last night, the young men leading the group (in Portland Justice t-shirts, though I can’t find any info on this group) intentionally distanced us away from what was happening at the Justice Center, due to fireworks, laser pointers, and attempts to take down the boards. They told us at that point that we should either go home or be prepared for the worst- and they themselves opted to go home. WE ARE NOT HERE TO TELL OTHERS HOW TO PROTEST, but please know that there is no “holding the line” at that point. Next time I’ll listen to the leaders who were utilizing our wall and go home when they do.
Things I still need to figure out:
Wearing glasses under my goggles HURT. I have a wicked bruise on my face from where they dug into the bridge of my nose, and it was causing major headaches. I tried to take them off and just wear the goggles, but not being able to see what what happening around me was too dangerous and stressful. I might opt for prescription swim goggles soon? Not sure what to do about this since contacts are so vehemently discouraged. Would love to hear what you have done about this.
How to stay close to your car: How to stay strategic about my location so that I don’t end up so far away from my car… but this might just be part of the package.
My discomfort with the level of attention the leaders and speakers gave us. I think it attracts many problematic folks with savior mentalities. We’re there out of basic human decency, not because we’re heroes. Having them give us rounds of applause feels yucky and inappropriate, so I’d love to have some ideas on how we can throw the attention back on them immediately and remind them that we don’t need the cookies, we’re not going anywhere. I worried they felt they needed to keep us happy or we’d stop showing up.
Advice from a Standing Rock graduate:
Hey wall of moms…few things I’ve learned from Standing Rock friends who were on the front lines a long time. You all might know this already, but sharing for those who don’t.