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How to fight injustice and stay safe while doing it

George Floyd protest
George Floyd protest (Image credit: Phil Nickinson / Android Central)

Most of the world is still reeling over the events of the past week. Not because it's anything new but because in 2020 we finally get to see that for people like George Floyd, their lives are valued at $20.

It's natural to be outraged and so very American to voice that outrage in the streets — our country was founded on protest. I encourage everyone to use their rights and voice their exasperation over the years and years of abuse at the hands of authority gone sour, but I also hope that everyone can do it safely and peacefully. Your voice drowns in a sea of statistics if you're injured or arrested.

Staying peaceful is part of staying safe.

That isn't as hard as you think if you prepare. Staying peaceful means discouraging those with you or around you from committing acts of violence and distancing yourself from people who can't help themselves for one reason or another. Don't rush to judge those who turn to violence in desperation, but resist the temptation to join in if you can. Protesting from the back of a police wagon isn't very effective.

More: Protest under assault

Protesting from the back of an ambulance isn't going to make much difference either. We're edging towards summer and being outdoors all day requires you to take care of your body. Grab a one-liter bottle of water — the plastic "soft" kind of bottle — to drink and refill at public fountains. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches aren't a gourmet meal but one that will conveniently fit in your pocket so you can grab a messy bite to eat in the middle of the day.

Don't bring a bag or backpack unless you're an organizer of some sort. First aid kits and extra water for those who didn't prepare are important and it's great that some folks are there to help or offer a band-aid when you need one, but law enforcement (or what passes for law enforcement in a militarized zone like many U.S. cities) will be rightfully concerned over a sea of protestors carrying God knows what in a bag when things get tense. Do not make yourself a target.

Leave your backpack at home and instead use your pockets.

Unfortunately, we've also witnessed that even peaceful protestors who are doing everything right aren't immune to the whims of the police. You need to know how to keep your phone from being used as a weapon against you, and you'll find plenty of resources here at Android Central and elsewhere. Encrypt and password-protect everything. Do what you can to keep from being tracked in real-time. Clamp down access to your social media. Send messages the right way. Make someone who wants to use your phone to charge you with a crime work hard to do so.

But most of all, let your voice be heard. Use those freedoms a handful of men with good intentions granted upon us so many years ago to stand for what is right and denounce everything wrong. Dying at the hands of police because you're black is sickening; allowing it to continue after all these years is worse.

We are America. We are better than this.

Stay safe out there.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

63 Comments
  • I read Android Central for Android news, discussions, and reviews, not for copy-paste "woke" editorials.
  • Deleting my account and unsubscribing. Yeah, I know, you don't care. **** you, too.
  • Wow you auto-escalated yourself !
  • These kinds of comments are ridiculous for a couple of reasons. First, Android Central hasn't been about Android for years. With all the stuff about instant pots, credit cards, PlayStation and hawking VPNs and $60 "courses"on how to get rich quick, why is this the straw that breaks the camels back? Second, i have been reading this site for years, and the weekend has been a time when opinion pieces and off topic editorials are posted for as long as I can remember... You're complaining about one of the few things that has actually remained consistent lol.
  • It is crazy how they have more "ads" than actual stories anymore. I understand they need to make money, but they really have sold out (and I am fine with articles like this one). But between the ads that are constantly popping up and slowing the site, and the ads for the products they are peddling (which most are terrible products in the first place) yikes.
  • Never heard of adblocking software or browser extensions?
  • Bye Felicia. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
  • Very good, Jerry! Well said. Always gonna be hater trolls, but know that don't bother you. We need to stand for what we believe in, or we stand for nothing
  • I think we should stop injecting race into everything too. Everybody is being played like cheap fiddles. Police brutality is brutality, no matter the color of the victim (of which there are ALL colors). It would also help to focus on the REAL issues. Is the brutality systemic in a certain department? Is it really specific to an individual race? Is it actually systemic? Is it a rogue individual?
    Is that individual being disciplined as justice demands? Without the answers to those questions, how do you even know WHAT to protest?? How will you bring about MEANINGFUL change?
    They're questions that are never answered because nobody really cares about the answers when there's a political narrative to be created. And so, we'll be having these same discussions in another couple of years.
  • Actually, we do have answers to many of those questions. Turns out we know how to count. Just look at the data.
  • The data supports: it's not exclusive to a specific race. It also supports that it is not a systemic problem. So....
  • Police brutality is brutality but it's completely irrefutably and systemically targets POCs. Cops use violence against POCs seven times more often than against whites, POCs are 3.5 times more likely to be murdered by a cop than whites and given the dozens and dozens of cops that kill black people with impunity, I think it's awfully clear WHAT we should all be protesting, champ.
  • Don't bother. "PookiePrancer" is a white supremacist troll.
  • Pookie, do you know how to actually read data? Do you need help? This is an honest question, as you have completely missed the conclusions that the DOJ actually reached.
  • You're trying to making a very specific issue far too broad.
  • Actually, all the unrest we're seeing is because that's exactly what the media, BLM, Antifa, and others did. I'm saying, maybe it WAS a very specific issue of a cop who happened to be white, arresting a man who happened to be black, while callously exerting too much force, and now that careless, callous cop needs to be dealt with specifically. Is that not worth asking? Because by turning it into a very broad issue, there will be no solution.
    When this started, I said: If this is really a systemic race problem in police departments everywhere, let blacks police themselves; I was labeled a racist.
    Today, BLM is saying: let blacks police themselves. "So woke!" "Much truth!" "Justice!" 🤔
  • That makes no sense. At all.
  • I bet you'd be the one complaining about "antifa" as they stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944 to take out **** Germany.
  • You always have the worst takes on social justice issues.
  • Objection to the tagline: protesting is more French than American
  • It's as American as Apple pie! Which is English.
  • This site has officially become total garbage.
  • If talking about this makes you upset, it's not the site that's garbage, it's you.
  • You're even more garbager.
  • Android Central is joining the throngs of individuals and companies that feel obliged to prove that they are not racist by running crap like this. Just stick to Android like your original model. And quit producing fake articles for vacuum cleaners and other merchandise which are clearly paid advertising masquerading as an article.
  • Check yourself. You reek of white fragility.
  • Go kneel somewhere
  • Advocating protest when most cities have curfews in place to stop rioting and looting - and oh yeah there is a COVID 19 pandemic going on - is irresponsible. Virtually none of the protesters are wearing masks or practicing social distancing. And shouting - whether doing it yourself or being near someone who is doing it - is one of the main ways to expel and breathe in an airborne flu virus. And some of the very places with the heaviest protests were areas worst affected by the virus, which is causing leading scientists to be concerned about a second outbreak wave. "Don't rush to judge those who turn to violence in desperation ..." A 77 year old grandfather was murdered by looters. There have been several other murders and LOTS of other serious assaults. You absolutely 100% wrong in not judging them. They are just as worthy of being judged and condemned as the murderers of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are. Claiming otherwise is appalling, atrocious and removes any moral authority that you might have to comment on any issue, be it social/political issues or technology. I mean consider this. You are familiar with the term "white flight"? It was when affluent white people and large employers left urban cores for the suburbs in response to desegregation. It took DECADES to convince large companies and white families to return to urban cores, bringing jobs, tax base etc. And now this happens. Several of the cities worst hit by looting and burning businesses were ones that had just begun to reverse white flight barely a decade ago. What is going to happen if these entities feel that their financial investments aren't safe in urban cores - a justification for white flight in the first place - and they go back to the suburbs? Won't that mean even more "desperation"? But no, I guess groupthink is easier than critical thinking. And finally, the incidents of police killing unarmed black people has been declining for years. It was at its highest during the crime explosion era of the 80s and early 90s but started to go down in the mid-90s when overall crime rates started dropping and the reform movement changed attitudes towards policing (for example politicians like Frank Rizzo, Daryl Gates and members of the Chicago Daley machine are no longer being elected). You may question the relevance of these, well unimpeachable statistical facts, but I say that it is better than claiming that the folks who have killed or permanently maimed dozens of innocent people shouldn't be judged because they are "desperate." The folks who rioted to prevent integration in Boston in the 1970s were "desperate" too after all. So were the people who went on a spree of murder and burning during the New York Civil War era Conscription riots.
  • None of the protestors are wearing masks? What channel are you watching? I can guess, but I won't.
  • I watch all channels. Do you? Plus, I didn't say none of them. I said "virtually none." And when there is a plague going on, 15% of a crowd of 1000+ people wearing masks and practicing social distancing doesn't matter much when 85% isn't.
  • I see a lot of the protestors and some of the looters not wearing masks or not wearing them probably.
  • I live in Minneapolis and MOST of the protesters were wearing masks. Go take your white supremacist lies elsewhere.
  • Maybe if this article was how to protect your phone while protesting it would get a pass... Otherwise.. Please Go back to advertising for lightbulbs
  • I guess you didn't read past the first two paragraphs? The links in this post show how to do exactly what you said it didn't. Unless you were referring to buying a phone case, that is...
  • We are America. We are better than this. Amen, Uncle Jerry, amen.
  • We're not better than this, what you see is what you get.
  • Well said centosguy. The appalling destruction of personal property and depriving innocent people of their livelihood speaks for the need for a police force. The liberal cry right now to defund police departments confirms they want anarchy and to perpetuate the horrible conditions in Democrat run cities so they can continue to dole out my tax dollars to social programs
  • Where has any credible human said anything about taking money away from police departments? Legit question.
  • It was on the original Black Lives Matter manifesto that has now been made more "moderate and mainstream" than it was when DeRay McKesson was still leading it. (They wanted to end all prisons also.) But here you go: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/us/defund-police-floyd-protests.html
  • My initial response was to reallocate funds for education and training for officers. Then I read the rest of the article. They have a point. Maybe it needs to be built from the ground up. Maybe they need to look at hiring practices. Something has to change.
  • And I'd just like to add: THE BEST way to stay safe, keep everyone else safe, and make a significant difference is by posting little black squares from the comfort of your home! Everybody wins! 😁
  • Best article I've read on AC in a while. Well done Jerry.
  • Is this an android tech site? Pretty sure the protesters are "Covidiots" like the protesters in Michigan from a couple weeks ago? Remember them? Last time read this site. See ya.
  • The best piece AC has had in a while. Screw whoever has a problem with this. Black Lives Matter.
  • You are aware that black people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 right? These protests may cause a second wave in the very areas that were hardest hit. If that happens, those areas will have to shut down again even as economic activity in less diverse areas that were not affected nearly as much begins to return to normal. So yes, I have a problem with engaging in plague-spreading activity. Amazing that you do not. And if it is the best piece they have had in awhile it is mainly because this site has turned to macOS, iPadOS and iOS advocacy as of late.
  • Thanks, Jerry! Keep doing what you're doing.
  • Unfortunately it's not going to change no matter who wins in November. Trump will keep being Trump, and Biden doesn't know what he actually stands for. It's a shame those are the "best" two we could come up with. 
  • Nailed it. Neither is the answer.
  • But Trump quite clearly can't ever be again.
  • Like I said. Both are terrible and one in the same. If you think anything will change with Biden, you haven't been watching his record as a politician so far. The only difference is he will won't be as outspoken as Trump is. 
  • No, that won't be the only difference. Don't pretend it will.
  • Lol Biden's past record says different but keep drinking the Kool-Aid. Like I said they are both terrible and will continue the same oppression regardless of who is in power. See Exhibit A if you think he is going to do what is right and what is being called for with the police reforms. He is another crony just like the rest of them who have been in office for decads and a prime example of why we need some young blood to come in and change things on both sides of the aisle. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/20/18677998/joe-biden-199...
  • Trump will continue to be your president for 4 more years. Biden looks like he has a hand up his ass and he's the woke liberals puppet.
  • Trump was impeached twice; the economy has tanked during his tenure; and his approval rating is at 38%. There's no way he's coming back for a second term and I look forward to the US Marshals escorting his fat orange ass out of the Oval Office on January 20, 2021.
  • Peaceful protesting is needed in this case. It may be different where you are, but I see people blatantly singled out for race only. I came home one night and found police had a young man face down in the dirt with handcuffs on. The crime? A burned out license plate light. In another case, a car was pulled over with four teenagers in it, and weed was found in the glovebox. The owner of the car was white. Two of the passengers were white. One passenger was not white. What did police do? They pulled out the one non-white passenger and took him to jail, letting the rest go. The boy's mother is from a tropical island, and when his white father went to the police station, the arresting officer apologized and released him, saying "I'm sorry, I thought your son was black". I myself have been pulled over, arrested, and put in jail for having a black person in my car. The person was a co-worker and we were just looking for someplace to have dinner after work, and the police claimed that she had to be a prostitute to be with a white person at night. Is there any person here who thinks that even these mild cases are right? Or that people of certain races should be treated as disposable? Or that overreaching police brutality is ok? I don't think dismantling police departments is an answer. Criminals will still be criminals, and there are lots of good officers, but we need to clean house and have accountability.
  • Well I'm out this wokr BS has permeated every thing. None seems to be able to think for themselves and just seems to be virtue signalling. Bye AC.
  • What did that person say that made you think they were racist?
  • The Pic is right down the road from me. They r doing an excellent job protesting injustice while not causing harm. Pcola is setting a fine example of how to do it right.
  • Protesting police brutality and police violence is a good use of protesting. Storming government buildings with AR-15s because you can't eat a burger while sitting in Wendy's during a global pandemic isn't a good use of protesting.
  • Segundus he was impeached once based on fabricated information the Libs made up. We were enjoying the best economy in 50 years before the virus. Of course CNN, which must be your primary news source, probably blamed the virus on Trump.
  • LOL...that's why so many of his crony's wound up in the klink.
  • Look at the stock market Segundus. This reflects the strong economy Trump has provided us. It's shrugging off corona
  • I don't have a problem with Google knowing my location history but at least with Apple, when you turn off location services, it stays off in that Apple won't continue to track your location while switched off unlike Google.