Don’t Slow Down, The Protests Are Working

Protests have been raging for weeks now and you may be thinking that nothing is ever going to change. But you’re wrong.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days; The Greensboro sit-ins lasted about six months; the Freedom Rides lasted seven months; The Birmingham Campaign lasted over a month. These things take time.

However, in an era where the internet has made everything available in an instant, it can feel like the current protests aren’t making a difference. But they most definitely are—in fact, things are actually moving a lot more quickly than you might think. However, this isn’t a time to slow down and let this passion for justice fizzle out. Things are changing, systems are shifting, these protests are making a difference, and it’s important to keep going strong.

If you’re feeling disheartened and need to be assured that you’re making a difference, below are seven accomplishments every protestor should feel proud about right now. I mean, it’s only been about two weeks—it’s pretty impressive if you think about it.

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1. Minneapolis City Council members have vowed to work towards completely dismantling the police and instating a non-violent/unarmed community safety group.

2. The New York State legislature voted to repeal law 50-A. The law made it illegal for the public to access any sort of police disciplinary records for 44 years.

3. Facing tremendous pressure and calls to resign, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has plans to shift some NYPD funding to “youth and social services.”

4. Confederate symbols are being removed from cities across the nation. Many cities have removed Confederate statues and the military has banned the use of the Confederate battle flag.

5. An online public spreadsheet has been created to document the police brutality happening at protests everywhere in the U.S.

6. Ramsey Orta, the man who was arrested for filming the police murdering Eric Garner in 2014, was finally released from jail.

7. The Louisville City Council voted to pass Breonna’s Law, eliminating no-knock raids—it’s heading for a vote in the full Metro Council on June 11.

To be sure, these developments are only a start and may have been long overdue, but they are evidence that change is possible and will hopefully prove to be steps on a longer more fulsome path of change. Keep at it and help to make that a reality.

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