BLM Protest Tips: Miami
On Thursday, September 17th, college students at the University of Miami took a stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Our ‘Canes took to the Watsco Center for the Socially Distanced ‘Canes Voting Rally. The event was created to educate the student body about voting and to emphasize the importance of the upcoming Presidential Election. Several students stood in front of their peers to address the gravity of this election—leaving everyone in attendance inspired and ready to cast their ballot in this year’s election.
Dahlia Mason, a sophomore at the U, said it was “empowering to see the community come together and stand in solidarity.”
The gathering at the Watsco Center became a parade across campus where participants marched proudly while carrying Black Lives Matter signs. Pictures of the event can be found on the UM Student-Athlete Development Instagram page.
Within the thousands of marches, protests, and gatherings that have taken place around America, 93% of them were recorded to have been non-violent. A perspective kept from the media and major news stations.
Between the non-governmental organizations located in Broward County and Miami-Dade County called The Broward Dream Defenders, WestonBLM, and Leaders of Liberty, amongst many others, the dozens of protests organized have also proven to be a success in its non-violent tactics.
Local news programs warped the intent and vision of local protests. I vividly remember after one protest how the news program skewed and manufactured a narrative that made the police seem like heroes descending upon “anarchic rioters”. The news spin on the facts was unbelievable, but I didn’t allow that to harden my spirit.
In the case you might decide to participate in any upcoming protests, here are some tips I learned throughout my experiences that I urge you to follow for a safer call for justice.
-If you decide to go to an organized protest with a destined meet-up location and itinerary, there’s no doubt you’ll be at less of a risk to be attained and accosted by the police.
-To ensure the safety of the marchers, the NGOs appoint designated caregivers they call “nurses,. These are the people specifically chosen to help in any medical emergency based on their extensive knowledge in CPR and First Aid. They are usually found wearing white t-shirts with red plus signs taped on their sleeves or back.
-Do not challenge police authority and do as they say.
-Remember as a citizen of the United States, you have the right to protest peacefully.
-Stay with a group of people. Never protest alone.
-Stay hydrated. Health organizations like Chews Health, a vegan business in Miami, stood post at the Miramar protest. Volunteers were seen handing out food and snacks as well as water and energy drinks.
Wear the proper attire for protests that require layering in protective clothing.
- Heavy sweaters.
- Face shields (the clear ones).
- Long sleeves, don’t expose skin.
- Backpack for water, phones, food, and other essentials. (Don’t make it too heavy, you need to be able to run/ walk/ march.)
--If you are asked for ID, walk them through the process of retrieving it themselves from your pockets, jacket, purse, and bag. It is safer than being mistaken for having a weapon in said articles.
- And of course, wear a mask.
I plan on joining more protests and I encourage those who are considering it to march as well. I hope these tips I learned over time help. The best tip? Stay safe and shout loud!
Rachelle Barrett and Lauren Lennon
The City, Gravity Magazine, 2020