What to write to your UK MP to demand action in solidarity with protestors
Many people across the UK are today asking 'But what can I do?' Start by holding your political representatives to account.
While i-D stands in solidarity with protestors across the world, we also understand that the decision to to protest physically during the pandemic is a personal and circumstantial one. For many unable to attend protests IRL, it’s easy to feel impotent and frustrated. However there is more you can do today while at home than simply posting a black square to your Instagram account. If you are based in the UK, you can take action by donating to bail bonds (a list can be found here) and Black Lives Matter charities based in the US but you can also make a difference closer to home by writing to your MP to demand political solidarity with protestors.
It’s important to hold our political representatives in the UK to account, and many human rights organisations, amongst them Amnesty UK, are doing so by pressuring British politicians to immediately halt the sales of tear gas, riot shields and plastic bullets -- which have all been used by police to harm protestors -- to the US. More than that, it’s also important to write to your MP to pressurise them to publicly condemn Donald Trump’s use of force and wilful disregard for civil rights protestors’ lives.
If you’re unsure of who your local representatives are, websites like writetothem.com list every level of government local to you when you put in your postcode, from councillors to assembly members, MPs and MEPs. It also includes details on how to write to members of the House of Lords (who are not elected, but still get to vote in Parliament). WriteToThem makes the process simpler by setting out a letter for you and sending it off via the website.
Political pressure on individual MPs might feel too small to make a difference, but these acts contribute to a larger wave which can force the government’s hand. You only need to look at the Tories’ sudden U-turn over the release of the delayed report into BAME COVID-19 deaths in the UK, to see that vocal public backlash can make a difference.
If you are unsure of what to say to your MP, you can use templates like this one, personalising it to mention protests and community groups in your area -- as well as political promises your MP has made in the past during election cycles. Remember, politicians work for us, and it’s our responsibility to hold them to account.