Protesters gather on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Monday, June 1, 2020 during a march calling for justice over the death of George Floyd, Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Philadelphia protests
Protesters gather on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Monday, June 1, 2020 during a march calling for justice over the death of George Floyd, Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Donate to local grassroots organizations, signal-boost social media posts showing what’s really going on during the demonstrations, and advocate for defunding the police.

Philadelphia has a long activist history, which includes the 1985 MOVE bombing, in which a Black liberation group’s headquarters was bombed, killing 11 people, including five children, as well as the flying of an inclusive Pride flag over City Hall, with the addition of a brown and a black stripe.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise that the city has seen community members come out in large numbers to protest police brutality and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

But not everyone can take to the streets, particularly with the coronavirus pandemic still raging on. But there are still ways to contribute to the movement even if you can’t be physically present at the demonstrations. Below are some ways you can get involved. 

Donate to organizations in Philadelphia doing the work.

There are a number of local organizations doing the work both on the streets and within the community that could benefit from your donations. Here are some to consider, along with a brief description of what they do:

Amistad Law Project — Public interest law firm organizing for an end to mass incarceration and representing individuals incarcerated in the state of Pennsylvania.

Black Lives Matter Philadelphia — Local chapter of Black Lives Matter, fighting against systemic racism, police brutality, and other issues facing Black people.

Decarcerate PA — Coalition of organizations and individuals working to end mass incarceration in Pennsylvania.

Movement Alliance Project — Supports local community organizers and uplifting untold and underreported stories. 

Pennsylvania Prison Society — Advocates for humane prison and jail conditions and criminal justice reform.

Philadelphia Bail Fund — Posts bail for arrested individuals who cannot afford to bail themselves out, and works toward bail reform.

Philadelphia Community Bail Fund — Posts bail for those arrested and works to end the money bail system and pretrial detention.

Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity — Works to clear criminal records for low-income communities.

The Philadelphia Coalition for Racial Economic and Legal Justice (REAL) — Works to “challenge our city to think beyond policing as it exists now” through community engagement, direct action, and education.

The Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project — A youth-led movement working to end the practice of trying and incarcerating young people as adults in Pennsylvania. 

Signal-boost those working to report events on the ground.

Another way to help support the protests for justice and reform taking place in Philadelphia is by sharing posts, live streams, videos, and articles created by those present at the rallies and demonstrations. 

Follow social media accounts of activists and local journalists on the ground in Philadelphia and retweet or share content that shows what’s really going on in the city to help amplify the messages being carried forth by those speaking out.  

Some groups and individuals to consider following include Black Lives Matter Philadelphia, Philly We Rise, Layla Jackson, Samantha Melamed, Oona Goodin-Smith, Tim Tai, and Ellie Rushing.

Advocate against increasing the police budget.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently put forward a budget proposal that would make heavy cuts to a number of departments and programs while also increasing the Philadelphia Police Department’s budget by $14 million. 

Organizers are asking Philadelphians to contact the mayor and members of city council to oppose that plan. 

Also, the Amistad Law Project started a petition demanding there be no increase in police funding in the new budget.