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Official Statement of the DC Library Association in Support of Black Lives Matter

The DC Library Association Executive Board is committed to supporting the movement for Black lives. As librarians and information professionals, we must work intentionally and without cessation to combat the forces of systemic racism in our lives and in our institutions. We acknowledge the legacy of genocide and racism in the founding of the United States and are committed to combating and repairing it’s effects on our communities and in our workplaces. We, the DCLA executive board, affirm that Black Lives Matter. We stand in active opposition against white supremacy, police brutality, and state violence. In the interest of keeping our communities safe and supporting them, we have compiled a list of national and local resources. Please share this information as widely as possible.

-In Solidarity, The DCLA Executive Board (2019-2020)   

Your Phone is a Cop: Critical Tips on Protestor Privacy

Be aware that anything on your phone or connected device can easily be surveilled and used by police and law enforcement to prosecute protestors. It has happened before and it will happen again. Even if your phone is turned off. Even if you never post the video or picture. There are incredibly sophisticated technologies to do so, and these are just the ones we know about, .IMSI-catchers, Stingrays, or more recently Crossbows can record phones' geolocation, their phone number, personal names, and sometimes the content of texts, phone calls, and e-mails. Make sure those around you and in communication with you are aware of these surveillance strategies.

Here are some tips you can use to keep everyone safe:

Quick Tips on Privacy at Protests

  1. Consider leaving your smart phone at home; write important numbers on yourself.
  2. Disable facial and fingerprint phone login; use a strong (9-12 character) passcode.
  3. Disable location services on your phone.
  4. Encrypt your phone (iPhone Instructions).
  5. Keep your phone turned off during protests. 
  6. Do not post any photos or videos that identify protestors; remove metadata from your media (Image Scrubber).
  7. If possible, use a traditional camera to document the events (no metadata!) and consult these tips for documenting movements.
  8. If necessary, communicate at protests via Signal (app) or WhatsApp only. Texts and emails are being surveilled and collected.
  9. Wear a mask, cover any visible tattoos or piercings, and identifying characteristics.
  10. Avoid driving to protests. Be aware that license plate info is being collected.

Other Privacy Tools:

Want to help? Protecting Protestors

  • Engage in protest and civil disobedience (you may be arrested for acts of civil disobedience).
  • Shield Black bodies from police with your body.
  • Distribute ear plugs, face masks, fire resistant gloves, hand sanitizer, nonperishable snacks, SPF, or water to protestors.
  • Contact your legislators, area police chiefs, and police departments and confront police abuse and brutality--reference specific events, if possible.
  • Record law enforcement abuse at a safe distance without interfering; make sure to capture the cop’s face, name, badge number or license plate number.
  • Monitor law enforcement activity and report abuse in DC to the complaint line: 866-588-0569 or policecomplaints.dc.gov. 
  • Advocate to disinvest the DC Police Department and, instead, invest on Black communities in DC: bit.ly/DefundDCPolice.
  • Advocate that your library disinvests from the police.
  • Were you teared gas outside the White House? Contact intake@aclu.org.
  • Rent Assistance During COVID-19.

Want to help? Consider Donating or Getting Involved

Want to help? Support DC’s Black-Owned Businesses

Want to Help? Learning + Practicing Anti-Racism

Want to Help? National Resources



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P.O. Box 1653 Washington, DC 20002
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