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If you're wondering what white privilege looks like, these images paint a stark picture.

For close to two weeks now, the streets of cities across the United States have been filled with the chants of Black Lives Matter protests.

“I can’t breathe,” they yell, in reference to some of the last words spoken by unarmed black man George Floyd, who died after an officer restrained him with a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes.

Protests have spread across the world, including around Australia over the weekend.

Indigenous lives matter. Post continues below video.


Video via Mamamia

But before them, a very different type of protest was taking place by those who felt disgruntled by government restrictions put in place to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic.

People in the US, and yes, in major cities here in Australia too, held signs demanding their freedoms back. They wanted to get haircuts, or play golf, or in the most extreme cases believed the pandemic was created by elites to control the masses.

A month on, people are marching against police brutality and systemic racism.

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To see photos of the different causes side-by-side is to see, well… white privilege, where the inconvenience of a global pandemic is the most pressing, dangerous or inconvenient thing you can imagine.

To protest over a haircut seems frivolous at the best of times, and in contrast to the “I can’t breathe” chanting, it puts that privilege on full display.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
Protesters blame 5G technology for the Coronavirus during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Anti-Lockdown Protest at Parliament House on 10 May, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Image: Getty.
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BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
Protesters in Melbourne. Image: Getty.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
A man protests lockdown measures in Nevada, USA. Image: Getty.

BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
A man places a candle at a vigil with a portrait of David Dungay during a protest against Aboriginal deaths in custody in Sydney. Image: Getty.
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Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
A demonstrator's sign during a anti-lockdown protest in Pennsylvania. Image: Getty.

BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
At a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Brussel, protestors remember Lamine Moise Bangoura, who was killed by police while being evicted for failing to pay rent. Image: Getty.
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Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
Strip club DJ Jack Slammy of Nevada displays a sign as people gather for a protest caravan along the Las Vegas Strip. Image: Getty.

BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
According to figures by The Guardian, 432 Indigenous Australians have died in police custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991. Image: Getty.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
A woman and her dog protest in Washington. Image: Getty.
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BLM protests:

A protest in Cardiff, Wales. Image: Getty.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
This man from Pennsylvania protested because he wanted a haircut. Image: Getty.
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BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
A BLM protest in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image: Getty.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
Protesters in Maryland demand hugs in a pandemic. Image: Getty.

BLM protests:

Black Lives Matter protests Australia
Sydney, Australia. Image: Getty.
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Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
Demonstrators demand Gov. Larry Hogan lift restrictions that have closed certain businesses - and places of worship - in Maryland. Image: Getty.

BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
Children pose for a photo during a Black Lives Matter protest in London. Image: Getty.

Anti-lockdown protests:

anti-lockdown protest
A protesters holds a sign comparing New York's lockdown laws to Nazi Germany. Image: Getty.
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BLM protests:

black lives matter protest
A sign at a New York City Black Lives Matter protest. Image: Getty.

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If you have the means to do so, you can actively help the Black Lives Matter cause in Australia and the United States by donating to organisations working towards racial justice, such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance and the Justice for David Dungay Fund to support the family of David Dungay Junior, an Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney jail. You can also donate to the Black Lives Matter Global Network here. If you can, consider regularly donating to Indigenous-run organisations and First Nations causes.
Other active ways to help include signing petitions, attending peaceful protests, listening to BIPOC, raising their voices, educating yourself on racism and privilege and ensuring we are all taking part in the conversation to dismantle systemic racism.

Feature images: Getty.

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