3 ways you can take your Black Lives Matter activism beyond a social media post

  • The protest action in the United States of America is a painful reminder that police brutality is a reality here at home too.
  • As it stands numerous citizens including Collins Khoza and Petrus Miggels have died allegedly at the hands of law enforcement.
  • There are numerous ways one can take action such as signing petitions and emailing the ombudsman.

The recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in the United States of America, has sparked global outrage with millions of Americans taking to the streets in protests. This has also been a painful reminder that what’s happening abroad, has and is still happening in our own country.

At the beginning of the lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa pleaded for law enforcement officers to enforce regulations “with compassion and to do so with great understanding. To do so with respect for the people of our country. To do so with humility as well”.

This has not been the case. We’ve all seen and read about it, the numerous videos of assault, allegedly by military and police personnel during this lockdown.

Since the implementation of the lockdown on 26 March 2020, we have witnessed a rise in the use of excessive violence by those deployed to enforce regulations. According to an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) report submitted to parliament, 11 South Africans, all black men, have died as a result of police action.

Read more | You have a right to record police’s heavy handed enforcement of lockdown regulations

With the country being under a level 3 lockdown, a protest would be an illegal act, but there are other ways of making your voice heard. Here is a list of three ways you can take your acts of activism beyond a social media post.

A woman carries a Black Lives Matter sign
A woman carries a 'Black Lives Matter' sign

  1. Sign a petition

This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to show your support or pledge solidarity.

Whether it’s starting one, signing an already existent one and sharing it among family and friends so as to gain traction for it. It takes less than a minute to sign and share. 

A petition has been started after the ruling made that the officers involved in the murder of Collins Khoza are not guilty, you can sign it here.

Another petition for Petrus Miggels, who was allegedly assaulted by members of SAPS which then later led to his death has also been started, you can sign it here.

Read more: Collins Khosa death: Family's lawyer slams SANDF inquiry report as a 'sham'

  1. Contact the government

These are both methods one can employ to make contact with the government so as to hold perpetrators in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) accountable.

You can call the SAPS Service Complaints Centre on 0800-333-177 or the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) 012- 399-0000.

Email the IPID (complaints@ipid.gov.za) or The Military Ombudsman (intake@milombud.org) and outline why you are contacting them. Seth Carstens has shared a handy email template that will help you do this.

See the post below:

  1. Donate to local or global organisations

There are many organisations that advocate against police brutality and a donation can assist them have a wider reach and continue doing their work. If you can, donate to victims and their families.

Locally, organisations such as C19 People's Coalition which was formed to ensure that the national response to the pandemic is “effective, just, and meets the needs of the most marginal”.

Above and beyond these, it’s important that you educate yourself and others and use your platform and voice to raise awareness and ensure that law enforcement is held accountable.