Action at a distance: support for uprising and #blacklivesmatter

Willb/ May 30, 2020/ lefty astronomy, personal/ 0 comments

Quarantine and geographical location are between many of us and the inspiring uprisings across this country, here are some things we can do to help. As much as it may have frustrated Einstein, action at a distance can still play a critical role in this struggle.

(UPDATE 5/31/2020: the MFF is now more than well-funded, organizers within and without the MFF are suggesting shifting support now to other organizations. Consider donating to your local bail fund by using this link) Support the Minnesota Freedom Fund: this non-profit “pays criminal bail and immigration bond for those who cannot afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.” I’ve made a personal donation, and I’d love to hear from you if you have as well.

Support the Black Visions Collective: “BLVC believes in a future where all Black people have autonomy, safety is community-led, and we are in right relationship within our ecosystems.” BLVC operate from within the Twin Cities.

(UPDATE 5/31/2020, I’ve added this paragraph detailing another black-organization as an alternative to the already funded MFF) Support Reclaim the Block: this group “organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health.”

Support a local organization: these vary via location, but local and principled organizing will be crucial in maintaining momentum in our struggle. For example I donate monthly to the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, and am an at-large member of the IWW. Parties like the PSL and WHOA have been doing great organizing work during the pandemic, and local chapters are well worth your support and involvement.


As for how people can personally respond to the problems our society continues to face, I recommend continuing to read and educate yourself on the processes of capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, racism, and their solutions. Books that have helped me include:

  • Counting Descent, by Clint Smith
  • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
  • The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon
vrye is a profound visual artist and effective communicator of anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialist concepts.

And books that have been recommended by folks online are:

  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle, Angela Davis
  • The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, by Gerald Horne
  • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin
  • If They Come in the Morning, Edited by Angela Davis
  • Black Power: The Politics of Liberation, by Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael), Charles V. Hamilton
  • Black Skin, White Masks, by Frantz Fanon
  • and many others

Its at this time that I’m reflecting on how fortunate I am to have been taught by black teachers and professors, from elementary school through college (shout out to Ms. Ingersoll in middle school, I hope you’re doing amazing). I can only hope to conduct my life in a way that can repay their patience and intelligence.

This coming month I plan to read The New Huey P. Newton Reader, by Huey Newton, in order to understand intercommunalism and how it has developed Marxist theory. If you’d like to read along with me, let me know! Until next time, All Power to the People!

Share this Post

About willb

I'm Will, an undergraduate astronomer studying transition disks, direct imaging, and planet accretion and formation at the Follette Lab at Amherst College. I use they/them/theirs pronouns.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>
*
*