I’m writing this for two reasons: To convince people who don’t believe in peaceful protesting and marching to participate, and to convince organisers to increase the value of the marches.
I’m a firm believer that the singular act of marching against racism, will never convince true agents of racism to stop racism. Not even slightly. In my opinion the only realistic way to stop racism is to make it economically crippling for racism to exist.
When it was proposed that I should march in solidarity with the US #Blacklivesmatter movement, my first thought was ‘That’s not going to stop the police in North America killing people’. I still don’t think the singular act marching will, but this still happened:
When you’re online it’s easy to get sucked into a narrative, for the most part you see a majority black people on one side and a majority white people on the other, so the feeling quickly becomes black vs white. At a protest the sentiment reverts back to good people vs racism, as you see all the different races that stand beside you. That’s important for you.
You meet people who care about the same things you do, and so you are able to engage in conversations which serve as a learning platform for you. That’s also important for you.
You’re surrounded by a very high concentration of love at one time. That’s important too.
Here is my suggestion for making marches matter a little bit more, and last a little bit longer:
The point of a march shouldn’t be to take power from, but to give power to. People are more willing to accept power than they are to let go of power. In clearer words, rather than marching to remove power from agents of racism, the march should be focused on giving power to the people at the actual march.
When you march you have a high concentration of people who are fired up about the same thing, or at least willing to talk about it. Give up an action point:
That’s what I feel is still missing from demonstrations, you’ve got my mind and my body for a short period of time, utilise me.
I’ve always felt that we need to do something bigger than marching, but the reality is everyone who’s willing to do something is probably at a march. That’s where you go to find those people. The ‘misguided’ soldiers are marching on the battlefield, but all the ‘tacticians’ are on Instagram or Facebook. Both are missing the clear opportunities to weaponize that are presented once they come together.
Again, i’m writing this to convince people that marching can become a great tool against racism, but also as a call for organisers to make it that tool.