Howdy, everyone. Where to even begin with this week’s news?

On May 25, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota killed George Floyd, a Black man, after handcuffing him and pinning him to the ground. Over the weekend, his death sparked peaceful protests not just in Minneapolis, but across the United States and in Toronto, London, and Berlin. In many U.S. cities, police escalated the protests by throwing tear gas canisters, firing rubber bullets, and engaging in other forms of physical violence against protesters. Mayors in a number of cities also imposed curfews, announcing them at times that made it difficult if not impossible to leave protests in time to meet those curfews.

Part of Sidequest’s mission statement is to value and center writers of different ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. With these values in mind, it doesn’t feel right to use this column for your regularly scheduled gaming news. Instead, we hope to use this week’s column to boost various fundraisers and resources that benefit the people and communities affected by violence.

Support Victims’ Families

  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: A GoFundMe organized by George Floyd’s family will aid with funeral expenses, mental and grief counseling, and lodging and travel during future court proceedings.
  • In Memory of Tony McDade: George Floyd was not the only person killed by police last week. Two days later, on May 27, Tallahassee police shot and killed Tony McDade. This GoFundMe will aid Tony’s family with funeral expenses and mental and grief counseling for his family. [Note: This fundraiser is no longer accepting donations, but we felt it necessary to include Tony McDade here.]
  • Justice for Dion Johnson: An unidentified Arizona state trooper killed Dion Johnson on Memorial Day. His sister has organized a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.
  • Fight for Breonna: Breonna Taylor was an EMT and first responder in Louisville, Kentucky. In March, Louisville police entered her home and began shooting, fatally striking Breonna Taylor. This petition demands justice for Breonna and accountability from the Louisville Metro Police Department.
  • I Run With Maud: On February 23, 2020, Gregory and Travis McMichael pursued and killed Ahmaud Arbery while he was jogging in Brunswick, Georgia. Though this was not technically a police shooting, it is still being investigated as “a possible hate crime” and the GoFundMe will assist Ahmaud Arbery’s mother and her immediate family with future legal proceedings.
  • Justice for Regis: Regis Korchinski-Paquet died in Toronto last week after police were called to her home. The circumstances of her death are unclear, and her sister has organized a GoFundMe to help the family with future legal expenses.
  • For James Scurlock’s Family: On Saturday, May 30, 22-year-old James Scurlock was shot and killed while protesting in Omaha, Nebraska. This fundraiser will benefit James Scurlock Sr. and surviving family members.
  • Justice for David McAtee: Around midnight on Monday, June 1, Louisville law enforcement killed restaurant owner David McAtee, who ran Yaya’s BBQ in Louisville, while he was protesting. Writer and organizer Aida Osman has coordinated a GoFundMe on his behalf, with funds going to David McAtee’s mother.

Minnesota-Specific Organizations

  • Minnesota Freedom Fund

  • Reclaim the Block: Reclaim the Block’s goal is to organize community and council members to divest from policing and instead invest the city’s budget in areas that better promote health and safety in the community.
  • Black Visions Collective: Black Visions Collective aims to dismantle systems of oppression and violence through principles of healing and transformative justice.
  • North Star Health Collective: North Star Health Collective works with mainstream and anti-authoritarian organizations to provide health care services, resources, and safe spaces. North Star is no longer taking donations, but their site links out to a number of reputable organizations doing work that aligns with their mission.
  • Twin Cities Recovery Project: South MPLS Support: Twin Cities Recovery Project is providing direct support to members of the South Minnepolis community, with the goal of providing grief and trauma services to those who need it.

Contribute to Local Bail Funds

Since last week, thousands of protesters have been arrested. Community bail funds help ensure that those arrested can be freed from jail.

You can also donate to multiple bail funds at once, or make donations to a local organization through ActBlue.

Protests are ongoing, which means bail funds and fundraisers are ever-evolving. Twitter user @botanicaldyke has created a Google Doc that contains tons of resources, including bail funds, memorial funds, legal aid, advice for protesters, alternative actions if you are unable to donate, and more.

 

Help Provide Frontline Supplies

Mental Health Resources

Other Ways to Support

  • Tabletop Treehouse is hosting two different game bundles. One bundle contains 20 games and the other contains 30 microgames, with all proceeds going directly to Black Visions Collective. The sale ends Friday, 6/5.
  • Writers and developers are offering support and mentorship to Black gamedevs and writers.

  • Game developer Adriel Wallick is offering aid to Black people who are unable to take paid time off.

  • On Twitter, artists and creatives are helping to boost resources for Black creatives across a number of industries.

  • Artists are also opening up commissions for fundraising. Many are requesting to see receipt of a fund they may have specified in exchange for a commission, trusting you in good faith to not be using a single payment across multiple artists. These are just but a few of a growing number of creatives using their skills for the cause.

Educational Resources

Donating and protesting are helpful immediate actions. It’s also important in the long-term that we do the difficult but necessary work of educating ourselves on being actively anti-racist. Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein have compiled a document of anti-racism resources, including books, articles, movies, and more. It is available through Google Docs. Haymarket Books is offering the ebook Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States, a collection of essays on police violence against marginalized communities, for free until June 5. Verso Books is offering the ebook The End of Policing, about how law enforcement exacerbates the problems it is said to solve and prevent, for free until June 10. (If you have the funds, perhaps consider donating the list price for these books to one of the organizations or fundraisers listed above.)

If you’re struggling to talk to your family members about the Black Lives Matter movement due to a language barrier, Cordelia Yu began a project in 2016 that coordinated translations of the Letters for Black Lives project.

And Finally, If You’re Going to a Protest…

Despite the protests, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Vice has a guide specifically for protesting during the pandemic that discusses necessary precautions. Teen Vogue has a more general guide on what to expect, as well as an article outlining how to safely film police misconduct. Finally, Popular Science has a very thorough guide to dealing with tear gas, should you be exposed to it.

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BE SAFE. Here’s our guide on being prepared for safe protests. PLEASE READ ⬇️ . 1. LOOK OUT FOR THINGS THAT DON’T SEEM RIGHT. There are increasing reports and investigations that white supremacists may be infiltrating these protests, breaking windows and destroying property. If anything seems off to you, DOCUMENT IT. Always check who is organizing. . 2. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF GRASSROOTS BLACK ORGANIZERS. They have been at this a long time and are disciplined in the ropes of community organizing and demonstration. It IS a discipline. Follow trusted leaders whose goal has been the focused pursuit of justice. If they just showed up, that’s a red flag. . 3. HAVE A BUDDY. Make sure someone is keeping an eye on you and check in on them. . 4. STAY SAFE and take care of each other. 💜

A post shared by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@aoc) on

When taking photos, please be careful to edit out faces and other identifying features; these can hypothetically be used to track down protesters, which may then result in retaliatory actions. Please also be aware that per the Associated Press’s (the American standard for ethics in journalism) Code of Ethics for Photojournalists, photojournalists are not permitted to alter photos in a way that adds to or subtracts from elements in a photograph. This means that photojournalists will not blur protesters’ faces in photographs, so you may want to consider covering your face or applying makeup that will confuse facial recognition software. Developer Everest Pipkin has created a program that scrubs photo metadata and blurs identifiable features so you can safely post them.

 

If you’re not going to a protest, there are still ways you can help at home. Check out the thread below if you’re looking for ways to be active during the protests. This Black Lives Matter Carrd is also a great resource to bookmark.

Stay healthy, and stay safe out there, everyone. Until next time.

 

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