Three artists have partnered to launch a digital platform that allows people unable to march in the streets to participate in Black Lives Matter protests.
High-profile killings of several Black people by police sparked nationwide protests this summer, with marchers demanding police reform and racial justice.
Jason Lazarus, Siebren Versteeg and Stephanie Syjuco founded Public Public Address on September 1 to help people with illnesses and disabilities participate in these protests and make their voices heard without putting their lives at risk.
“This is all about our solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We want people to be a part of the movement whether they can protest on the streets or not,” Lazarus told CNN. “Our goal is battling systemic racism and violence and bringing all kinds of people along with us.”
Public Public Address urges people who are unable to protest in person to submit videos or photos of themselves protesting anywhere in the world. Submissions have been shot in people’s homes, backyards and even beds.
The site edits the submissions and weaves them together, creating one large virtual protest. It’s broadcast online every day and all day with no end date in sight.
The project has attracted more than 100 participants since its launch, according to Lazarus, an assistant professor of art and art history at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Lucie Duggan, a disabled and immunocompromised 16-year-old girl from Orlando, Florida, is one of the participants. She said she joined Public Public Address to take a stand against injustice.
“It is so important that everyone works as hard as they can to provide justice and equality. It’s made an impact in my life by allowing me to further a cause that is so important and dire,” Duggan told CNN.
“Even though we can’t provide our bodies to the cause, we are with the protestors in spirit. Hopefully this project encourages many able bodied people to take to the streets and demand change.”
Unable to walk without a cane or wheelchair, Duggan added that protesting was never an option for her until Public Public Address was launched.
“While we initially started this for Black Lives Matter, the core message of the project is that we want to give all people a platform to protest,” Versteeg told CNN.
“With the upcoming election … we think this will soon go far beyond Black Lives Matter and into something much bigger.”