You can sign these Black Lives Matter petitions online to enact change from home
The death of George Floyd – and the subsequent protests that rocked America – caused uproar throughout the world, drawing attention back to the vast systemic racial injustices within society.
On 25 May, Floyd – an African-American man – was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street as white American Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the right side of his neck.
Chauvin’s knee remained there for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, despite Floyd’s repeated pleas of “I can’t breathe” – he died in custody.
The fallout from this most awful of racially aggravated events has been far reaching, with dramatic clashes between protesters and police forces across many American cities alongside peaceful demonstrations around the world.
How can I help from home?
If you haven't been able to make it to a Black Lives Matter protest, what are some of the ways you can help the cause?
One way is through petitions.
There is rarely a legal requirement for any official body to respond to a petition, but they're a good way of gauging public opinion, and can put pressure on those in authority to enact change.
Signing an online petition couldn't be easier, and often it's just a case of providing a name and a postcode.
What's the biggest petition?
Perhaps the biggest petition, is the one calling for 'Justice for George Floyd'.
It has become the most popular petition in the history of the Change.org website, and at the time of writing, the total number of signatories stands at over 17 million.
“We are trying to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately,” says the petition.
“Please help us get justice for George and his family!”
According to an update posted to the petition on 29 May, the “biggest Change.org US petition of all time” is “working”, after one of the four men responsible for the “horrific murder” [Derek Chauvin] was reprimanded and placed into custody
“[Minnesota] District Attorney Mike Freeman needs to hear from us now to make sure the other three involved officers are held accountable.”
Those officers are now also facing charges.
What other petitions are there?
Perhaps the most comprehensive list of petitions and resources on the internet comes in the form of this Google Document.
It lists hundreds of ongoing petitions, calling for everything from defunding the police to a ban on the use of tear gas on civilians.
The document notes that some petitions may only be open to US residents with an applicable zip code, but handily lists a few you can use, meaning you can sign even if you live overseas.
How else can I help?
Signing the petition isn’t the only way of lending your support to the cause, and there are also a number of places at which donations will be appreciated.
- Help the family of George Floyd HERE
- Fight for Breonna Taylor HERE
- Help the family of Ahmaud Arbery HERE
- Want to help protesters? Donate to one or more community bail funds HERE
- Visit Movement For Black Lives for additional ways you can help the cause
- Want to connect with leaders building grass roots campaigns? Click HERE
- Are you an ally and want to learn more? Here are some anti-racism resources