WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For the last week, streets have been filled across the U.S. and some cities abroad with protestors assembling to demonstrate against police brutality and civil injustice directed at them in their own communities.
A majority of these gatherings begin peacefully, but can quickly escalate, sometimes resulting in the arrest or detainment of a protestor or someone standing by. The ACLU said around 450,000 people in the U.S. who have not been convicted of a crime remain in jail because they cannot afford bail.
For that reason, many across the nation and in Wichita have been using crowdfunding resources for emergency bail funds, or funds used to free those arrested during a protest. Some have been inspired by the success and visible social media support of charities and nonprofit groups supporting the surviving family of George Floyd and the legal defense of anti-police brutality protesters.
The outpouring has been so great The Minnesota Freedom fund had to take a pause on bail donations after traffic to the non-profit increased substantially following Floyd’s death, even asking potential donors to focus their funds to other organizations after the group received over $20 million between May 27 and June 1 according to the New York Times. The Official George Floyd Memorial Fund as reached over $13,000 of its $15,000 goal since it was launched May 27, two days after Floyd was murdered.
The Wichita Democratic Socialists, part of national activist group Democratic Socialists of America, have started an emergency bail fund for those arrested in the ongoing Wichita protests. In a statement released late May on the DSA website, the group said, “We firmly believe strong and well-resourced communities do not require repression, and by extension, repressive institutions to keep peace when there is justice,” and that “We will fight for a world where Black people can breathe freely and challenge ourselves to take greater responsibility for abolition, and the courage to pursue a just and liberated future.”
Many looking to support on-the-ground activists, but wary of how proceeds from crowdfunding will be accessed or dispersed can donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and The ACLU with the peace of mind their money will directly benefit their intended cause.
Things to check for when donating to a crowdfunding campaign:
- Charity logo or charity number
- Has the link been directed from the charity website
- Regular updates and recent photos
- Proof of transaction