The Revolution NEEDS to be televised.
Live streaming allows the world to witness the 2020 Civil Rights Movement. What is happening right now is a revolution and unlike the generations before us, the ones taking the streets at this moment in time can show every moment in real time.
The Revolution will not be televised, was a 1960s Black Power slogan later turned into a poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron in 1970. In a 1990s interview, he later said:
The first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move. The thing that’s going to change people is something that nobody will ever be able to capture on film. It’s just something that you see and you’ll think, “Oh I’m on the wrong page,” or “I’m on I’m on the right page but the wrong note. And I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to find out what’s happening in this country.”
How do we get in sync?
In 2020, the way that the world will get in sync and on the same page as the the things we have witnessed over the last few months and continue to witness is by showing the world in real time what is happening. That means at every event, there must be people live streaming.
Weatherford, TX July 25, 2020.
I don’t mean to single any group or protests out. But the protests which happened in Weatherford, TX on July 25, 2020 is a perfect example.
A group of local residents, maybe 30 or 40 of them, went to their town square to peacefully protest the Confederate monument. They were joined by about 15 more allies from a neighboring town.
These 50 peaceful protesters were met with hundreds of hillbillies with guns and Confederate flags. They were physically assaulted, screamed racial slurs at, and followed back to their vehicles.
This one protest led to several arrests on the “counter-protest” side and later more white supremacists were arrested for their role in this shocking display of racism.
No one in the group had any live streams going except for one kid who was streaming on Twitch, (more on this later).
It wasn’t until later that evening, I came across a few short clips that someone recorded on their phone and a few pictures, when I wrote my blog about it. My article went viral and eventually it was picked up by the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram a few days later. It took over a month for national news to pick it up on WaPo and just last week Don Lemon talked about it on CNN.
The Weatherford protest on July 25th should have had more attention and should have made National news immediately.
Later on, I watched that kid’s Twitch stream and it was much worse than any of us could have imagined. Aside from the guns, the threats, the racial slurs, and assaults, when protesters left the “counter-protesters” followed them to their park cars and circles around until they left. They were all instructed not to drive directly home.
The platform matters.
Take the Twitch kid for instance, only has around 2,000 followers on Twitch and isn’t on any other platform. I looked it up, Twitch is over 65% male and nearly half of their platform is between the ages of 16 – 24.
I didn’t even see his Weatherford coverage until he uploaded it to YouTube a month later later.
Yesterday (8-30-20), there was another protest in Gainesville, TX the same Twitch kid was out there live streaming the event and so was our favorite anti-racist activist, Jessica Luther Rummel.
When the event was over, the Twitch kid had 48 views on his video, (I’m not sure if you can share on Twitch). Jessica had over 700 shares and 33,000 views on her video by the time she said goodnight.
In situations like Weatherford and Gainesville where you have armed white militia showing up to intimidate and threaten Black and brown people using their first amendment rights, it’s so important to document. It’s even more important for the world to see what happened.
Why does the world need to see?
It was because of a viral Tik Tok video that helped activists identify a Neo-Nazi who has been attending the Weatherford protests as one of the participants in the 2017 Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville.
Because there has been video and photographic evidence, activists have been able to identify violent militia people, like Lajeana from Weatherford, who had also been showing up armed in Gainesville to attempt to intimidate Black Gainesville residents.
Live streaming may later help police capture a criminal, like Stabby from Weatherford who assaulted multiple people and was captured on film with a knife in his hand.
If a protest is met with dozens of armed white militia members and it isn’t documented, then allies may not know to come out for the next protests.
When allies see what you are facing they will come stand with you.
Gainesville is a perfect example. Thank goodness for Jessica Luther Rummel, because if it wasn’t for her documenting what BIPOC Gainesville residents have been going through, the world may never have known.
But because the world does know and has seen, allies have been showing up more and more each week to stand in solidarity with Gainesville residents.
Not only that, but legal observers are now showing up in Gainesville along with watching her feed, along with civil rights attorneys.
Back to the importance of the platform, you want to be on a platform where you know thousands of people are watching, legal observers are watching, and civil rights attorneys are watching.
You aren’t doing much for the movement if your videos are private or if the only ones seeing them are a handful of teenagers in between video game rounds.
What to film while live?
What we’ve seen at many of these protests is “counter protests” show up armed. There have been assaults, there has been racism. It’s important to span around and get each one of these individual’s faces, what they’re wearing, and their weapons. Getting this on video will allow the people watching to screenshot, and can help later if that person is a wanted criminal or commits a crime while at the protest.
It is also important to document the police, badge numbers, and names. Like we’ve seen in Gainesville and so many other protests around the country, during these incidents police aren’t always doing their job, and sometimes they are even assisting the militias.
Film the area around, street signs, buildings, and landmarks. This can help verify locations.
Keep allies safe while live streaming.
As we all now are well aware of, these white militias, Trump supporters, racists, or whatever the opposition group is, they have mostly ill intentions by showing up to a Black Lives Matter rally or a Confederate monument protest.
It is important that your live stream keeps the protesters and allies safe by protecting their identities, their names, their cars, or any protesting tactics they are using. The reason you want to do this these “counter protesters” will get online later and look for their protestors. We saw this happen in McKinney, where “counter protesters” targeted people standing for the removal of the confederate statue with online threats and even tracking down their place of employment to attempt to get them fired.
The last thing anyone wants is for one of these militia people to identify an ally, go to their house and try and hurt them. If you don’t believe or think they won’t do that, then you haven’t been paying attention.
While live streaming, record the crowd, record the surroundings, while marching you may want to look at the signs or the police.
While talking to someone, make sure you let them know you are on live. That way they don’t accidentally say a name or a phone number to thousands of people. And always ask them if it’s OK to film their face while they’re talking before doing so. If not, just record their feet.
The right stories have to be told.
Going back to Weatherford on July 25th, the reason why all of these armed militia people came out to harass their Black neighbors is because some idiot spread a rumor online that Antifa and BLM were headed to Weatherford to burn down their town. They were coming in by the busloads.
Now, anyone who lives in North Texas, whether you are part of the revolution or not, knows how absolutely idiotic that is. But you have to remember, these are the same people who think celebrities eat babies and the Civil War was fought over states’ rights.
So, all of these hillbillies jumped in their giant mudding trucks and headed to downtown Weatherford to “protect their town.” As I spoke of earlier in this article, there was no media there to cover it. Other than the Twitch kid no one was live streaming.
The next day, when my article was going viral, the emails began flowing in. They mostly were calling me a liar, because the narrative that they knew was these nice militia men stopped a group of Antifa from burning down their town. They were heroes.
Except that narrative was untrue and spread by Texas Qnuts. What actually happened was about 50 unarmed local residents, mostly from Weatherford, a few from the town over, were met with an all white crowd carrying Confederate flags and brandishing guns, while assaulting them, and calling them the N-word.
If it wasn’t for that blog.
Other local media would never have picked it up. The progressive group in Weatherford wouldn’t have gained more allies. And the narrative would have still been that Antifa came to burn down the town, but these hero rednecks ran them off and saved the day.
Documenting these events, even if it’s just a protest with no opposition, is important so the world knows what REALLY happened and these Qnuts aren’t able to spread their lies, because there is documented evidence.
This last weekend, Weatherford had another protest. Yes, there were still racist agitators out there, but this time it was only a few dozen opposed to a few hundred. This time, Weatherford had allies that came to stand in solidarity with them. And this time the media was out there to document it.
The environments in both Weatherford and Gainesville have changed since their first protests. Black and brown people are no longer standing alone facing men in camouflage and long arms screaming the N-word at them. Police are actually showing up and at very least doing their jobs by keeping each side separated. And now everyone knows what’s been happening in these tiny little Texas towns.
Imagine what they would be up against if no one knew what happened at any of these events.
Phones overheat, especially in Texas when it’s 110 degrees and you have a live stream going on for more than 15 minutes. Everyone’s phone is different, so you have to figure out how to keep yours cool. In Jessica’s last video she talked about keeping shade on her phone, keeping the case off, and rubbing ice on the back of it every so often.
Make sure your battery is fully charged before the event and bring a portable charger just in case.
If you are going to be somewhere that you can’t latch on to an open WiFi near by, you may want to upgrade to the unlimited data plan.
You are going to want to recap or explain what’s going on in the video multiple times so people who join later in your feed will know what’s going on.
Tell at least two people, if not your social media feed that you are going to he event and plan on live streaming, so you know there will be trusted sources watching. If someone in your feed says, pan back over to that guy on the left, or get a close up of the man with the gun, that may help you capture important details.
Share the stream in a group you’re a part of or on a Facebook group for live streams like I Will Witness, to ensure there are others witnessing the event for your ow safety.
Stay safe. Always be aware of your surroundings.