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from the American Friends Service Committee:
Bystander Intervention Do's and Don'ts
If you witness public instances of racist, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans, or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene while considering the safety of everyone involved.
Do make your presence as a witness known.
- If possible, make eye contact with the person being harassed and ask them if they want support.
- Move yourself near the person being harassed. If possible and you feel you can risk doing so, create distance or a barrier between the person being harassed and the attacker.
- If it’s safe to do so, and the person being harassed consents—film or record the incident.
Do take cues from the individual being harassed.
- Is the person engaging with the harasser or not? You can make suggestions, “Would you like to walk with me over here? Move to another train car? For him to leave you alone?,” and then follow their lead.
- Notice if the person being harassed is resisting in their own way, and honor that. (Especially white folks, don’t police tone of the person being harassed).
- Follow up with the individual being harassed after the incident is over, see if they need anything else.
Do keep both of you safe.
- Assess your surroundings—are there others nearby you can pull in to support? Working in a team is a good idea, if it is possible.
- Can you and the person being harassed move to a safer space/place?
Don’t call the police.
• For many communities experiencing harassment right now (including Arab and Muslim communities, Black people, queer and trans folks, and immigrants) the police can cause a greater danger for the person being harassed.
Don’t escalate the situation.
• The goal is to get the person being harassed to safety, not to incite further violence from the attacker.
Don’t do nothing.
• Silence is dangerous—it communicates approval and leaves the victim high and dry. If you find yourself too nervous or afraid to speak out, move closer to the person being harassed to communicate your support with your body.
The purpose of IndivisibleNWIL is to RESIST the Trump Agenda. The resistance will be evidenced through active participation in various educational and issue-related activities and trainings, facilitated through the groups which make up the organizational structure of IndivisibleNWIL: Diversity, Education, Immigration, Environment, Healthcare/Political Action, and Communication/Media/Public Relations.
Here’s what’s next for Indivisible:
- Going on offense in the House. Now that Democrats have the majority in the House, we’ve got something we haven’t had in a long time: POWER. We have the power to choose which bills get votes, and we’re categorizing them into two buckets: “messaging” bills and “must-pass” bills. In addition, House Democrats now have the POWER to hold the Trump administration accountable through oversight and investigations (subpoena power, investigatory power, congressional-hearings power and more!).
- Making gains in states to save democracy. Right now, there’s a huge opportunity for us to resist Trump and fight for our progressive vision at the state level. Our efforts will begin early in 2019 when state legislatures are sworn in.
- Continuing defense in the Senate. Republicans still control the Senate, and they’ll keep pushing Trump’s agenda. House Democrats will play a critical role in defending against further harm.
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES
A few guidelines for the use of social media…
As our goals state, “In order to work together to achieve this goal (Trump resistance), we must model the values of inclusion, respect, and fairness.”
While it’s tempting to focus on the character flaws of our opponents (and we certainly can question ethics issues), let’s keep our focus on issues and actions.
Please refrain from using any hateful speech or profanity.
Don’t just spread information. Be careful and skeptical. We certainly don’t want anyone to use our website to discredit our movement. If we post anything that is unsubstantiated, then we run that risk.
Don’t engage in argument on either Twitter or Facebook with anyone over our site. If you’d like to argue, which you are entitled to do, please use private chats, so that you won’t be speaking for the entirety of our group.
by Mystele Kirkeeng