White Women Line Up To Form Human Shield To Protect Black Protesters

| Resist!

Above photo: White women in Louisville form human shield to block police from Black protesters. Tim Druck.

A viral image shows the human shield blocking the Louisville Metro Police from getting to Black demonstrators.

Injustice and discrimination tend to be described in binary terms: good vs. evil, female vs. male, Black vs. White.

However, at one of the at least twenty anti-police violence demonstrations held across the country on Thursday, an act of alliance disrupted that line of thinking by showing White bodies on the line to protect Black lives.

In an image captured by photographer Tim Druck, scores of White women in Lousiville lined up arm-in-arm to form a human shield separating the Louisville Metro Police from protestors expressing their angst about the murder of Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people at the hands of the police).

Taylor was fatally shot by police as they barged in her home in March with a no-knock warrant and killed her while she was laying in her bed. The police were wrong about not only the suspect but also the apartment that they entered.

Using their bodies as sacrificial lambs, they offered up their White privilege for the safety of Black men, women, and children.

The photo went viral as it dismisses a divisive narrative that people of different races can’t get along. More poignantly, that white women like Amy Cooper, have no respect for Blackness if it does not serve them.

One organization, the Kentucky National Organization for Women, had over 100,000 shares from their Facebook profile.

“This is a line of white people forming a barrier between Black protesters and the police. This is love. This is what you do with your privilege,” the post states. 

Druck told the Courier Journal that Chanelle Helm, who is the lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Louisville, used a bullhorn and said, “If you are going to be here, you should defend this space.” After the command, they instructed those present to form the line facing police at 6th and Jefferson streets. 

“She was asking for white folks to use their privilege, and put their bodies between police and the other demonstrators,” Druck said. “And people responded. They didn’t, they didn’t need to be convinced. Everybody willingly and enthusiastically did it.”

  • rgaura

    Beautiful expression of solidarity! Rise in love and protect!

  • zak1

    We need more stories like this

    Chris Hedges recently predicted that we may soon see increasing efforts to foment racial antagonism as a way of dividing the public and derailing the protest movement

    On top of that, the commercial media industry naturally gravitates to division over solidarity, because such conflict is visually more dramatic and plays better on television

    (Which is why, if you have eight hours of peaceful mass protest, what you’ll likely see instead on TV is the odd broken window, or five minutes of a burning trash can – and the commercial media outlet will present these disparate images as presumably representing what happened – this is the subliminal way our media cumulatively distorts our picture of the world)

    So independent, noncommercial media needs to counteract such stories, such images, and their cynical implied narrative about “the crude and unwashed masses”

    Instead, let’s amplify these images of solidarity, let’s echo moments like this – more and more, we need solidarity to go viral

  • pajarito

    So beautiful, the leadership of women in solidarity with people of color – tears of joy and gratitude for these women and the black lives they protected.

  • mwildfire

    (Which is why, if you have eight hours of peaceful mass protest, what
    you’ll likely see instead on TV is the odd broken window, or five
    minutes of a burning trash can – and the commercial media outlet will
    present these disparate images as presumably representing what happened –
    this is the subliminal way our media cumulatively distorts our picture
    of the world)
    I was in Seattle in ’99 for the WTO events. On November 30, five thousand people did direct action, blocking all 13 entrances to the convention center, while 40,000 peaceful marchers marched through the streets, and at some point some number–a dozen, a hundred?– of black-clad people broke windows of chain stores and sprayed graffiti. That evening I watched the local TV coverage, flipping between the three local stations. There were no commercials. 90% of the coverage was the window breaking and graffiti, over and over, interspersed with occasional scenes of DA people fighting cops. At the very end there was a brief glimpse of the march, perhaps one second. At no point, of course, were any protesters interviewed or the reason 50,000 of us were in Seattle mentioned.
    In 2002 I went to the World Social Forum in Brazil and led a workshop called Corporate Control of the Media, or something like that. There were people from a dozen countries, and their stories were mostly quite similar, except for someone from Turkey talking about journalists being ARRESTED (imagine that happening here!) and someone from I think Philippines saying media there used threats of unfavorable coverage as blackmail.

  • Robert Riley

    Journalists in the US are arrested regularly at demonstrations, even when they are clearly wearing press badges.

  • Jon

    I think she was being sarcastic, knowing full well it happens.

  • Jon

    Secession need to be on the table, but not by raising an army like the southern racist hot-heads did in 1860.

  • Robert Riley

    Oh, maybe you’re right. I wasn’t sure!

  • Jon

    She is a frequent commentator and is smrat,so I am quite sure it was sarcastic.

  • mwildfire

    it was sarcastic, but also I think it was less common then. But I think also, in Turkey it wasn’t necessarily at demonstrations–the cops would be sent to close a station and arrest reporters after they said something the authorities didn’t like. According to one person at a workshop, and I’m not positive it was Turkey but I think so. So far we haven’t seen that here but I think a couple have been quietly murdered. Gary Webb, Michael Hastings…no doubt others.

  • Jon

    Yes indeed! Webb and Hastings, along with many naturopathic physicians.