Last week, Canadian protesters marching in solidarity with like-minded demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., came under fire for issuing a set of rules by which white participants were expected to abide. Blacks, the instructions made clear, were the only protesters permitted to have a voice in the Toronto event.
A sampling of the rules posted online includes:
“Remember that you are there in support of black folks so never be at the centre of anything.”
“Stand behind black folks or between us and the police.”
Whites were also instructed not to speak to the media and to “refrain from taking up space in all ways possible.”
In case of potential trouble, however, black protesters were apparently quite amenable open to calling on whites for assistance. Ostensibly less likely to be arrested, the rules mandated whites intervene should they identify any potential harassment of blacks at the hands of police.
An online description of a Massachusetts ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ protest earlier this week included similarly race-based guidelines drafted by one supporter. Since the gesture of raised hands is “meant to illustrate how black people are violently targeted by police,” the commenter urged whites to refrain from taking part.
“If you don’t experience that, you should not mimic the gesture in an attempt at ‘solidarity.’ It is centering yourself in a narrative that you cannot tell because of the protection your white privilege gives you.”
Photo Credit: Twitter