This article was last updated on June 19, 2020.
On May 25, 46-year-old George Floyd died after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Bystanders recorded Floyd’s murder in a disturbing video which went viral, immediately sparking outrage as protests flared in major cities around the world, including Tokyo and Osaka.
In Tokyo, tensions grew over a recent incident in which two Shibuya police officers pulled over a Kurdish man and injured his neck while holding him down to the ground. In a demonstration which started at Shibuya Square on May 30, about 200 supporters expressed solidarity with activists in the U.S., denouncing Floyd’s killing and Japan’s own discriminatory police practices. Since then, large-scale peaceful protests have erupted in Tokyo and Osaka, with more marches planned in major cities across Japan.
— miyuki (@safeasmilk15) June 7, 2020
Chauvin has now been charged with second-degree murder and three other officers on site during the incident were charged with aiding and abetting murder. With their trials pending, people worldwide are taking a stand against racial injustice and police brutality, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by participating in demonstrations, donating to Black-led organizations, signing petitions and helping spread awareness in various ways. Here’s how you can show your support:
Help protesters make bail
Over 9,300 people in the U.S. have been arrested in protests responding to Floyd’s murder. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, jails and detention centers pose an even greater threat to its occupants.
Donate to a bail fund to help release jailed protesters in states with bail/bond systems. The National Bail Fund Network lists funds you can donate to in all states. ActBlue lets you split your donation between over 70 community bail bonds. The Bail Project is another nonprofit at the forefront of mitigating mass incarceration through bail reform.
We stand ready to provide bail assistance to protesters in cities where we have offices. Please retweet! pic.twitter.com/LM3EmEx9RO
— The Bail Project (@bailproject) May 30, 2020
Donate to Black Lives Matter and other organizations
Founded in response to the police killing of Trayvon Martin in 2013, the national Black Lives Matter organization now has 16 local chapters across the U.S. and consistently stands against police brutality. Donate to a local chapter here.
Black Lives Matter created a comprehensive list of organizations that you can support now. Visitors to this page can choose from a directory of Black-owned businesses, GoFundMe campaigns for Floyd’s family members and other victims of police violence, nonprofits helping protesters and other important fundraisers.
This article in New York Magazine lists 115 ways to donate in support of Black lives and communities of color.
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With over 15 million signatures, the “Justice for George Floyd” appeal on Change.org has become the most-signed petition on the website. While the petition gave a voice to those demanding all four police officers be charged, Change.org has since been criticized for not donating the money raised through the petition to Floyd’s family and other affected parties.
Check this article for more petitions you can sign to support the movement.
Stay educated and informed
Talk to your Japanese friends and family members. These Japanese accounts on Instagram and Twitter translate important resources regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. This platform features a comprehensive list of places to donate to as well as advice for protesters in Japanese.
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To learn more about which policies can make a difference, check the 8 Can’t Wait database by Campaign Zero, a comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America. You can also donate to Campaign Zero here.
Widely shared on social media, this masterdoc provides a thorough list of national resources and legal advice for those detained in protests. This is a useful resource to share with people who may need free legal help, mutual aid funds and tips to stay safe during a protest.
Watch and read
GQ published a short reading list composed of essays, articles and books about police violence, prison abolition and police accountability. The Cut also recently published a reading list titled “13 Books You Should Read About Black Lives.” The documentary 13th, available on Netflix and YouTube, combines archival footage and testimony from activists and scholars to examine the U.S. prison system and the country’s history of racial inequality.