Pepsi Won’t Drive the Resistance but These Apps Can Help


This article was originally published in TMO Media and republished with permission.

This time around, at this point in history, the revolution is devotedly televised, meme-fied, and commodified. It is televised because our numbers are difficult to ignore; meme-fied because this generation is set up as a perpetual hunt for punchlines; and commodified because, now, activism sells and the corporate powers that be want to tap into these newly discovered cash flows with their feminist t-shirts and seemingly woke branding.

In one of the most recent materializations of activist commodification, Pepsi fell flat on its face with its attempt to co-opt protest culture. It did not take any think-pieces or collaborative social deconstruction to immediately understand all that was problematic with having Kendall Jenner, and Pepsi by extension, represent the savior of the revolution.
Marginalized communities will be the first to tell you that the fight for enfranchisement is a long and perennially difficult trajectory. It requires maintaining perpetual visibility and showing up for the interests of not only your own people but for the communities who are in need of allies. A Pepsi cannot do that. If that were the case, Black men across the country would always keep a case in their vehicles for any “routine” traffic stops.

The generations before us never had an easy cure for strained government/police power-civilian relations. We do not either. But there are some technological innovations that are here to make the journey just a little bit easier for us by covering some of the details that we may forget about before heading out to a protest or executing any plan of action. Basically, if you want to be part of Generation Resistance 2.0, here are some apps for that.


This is not so much an app as it is a service, but it is easily utilized from your mobile device so it’s got all of the trappings of cellular convenience. Resistbot is a free service that turns your text messages into faxes, which are then sent to members of Congress. First, users must text the word “resist” to 50409. The automated bot will then intake their names and zip codes in order to determine the appropriate public officials for contact purposes. Users are responsible for drafting their own letters for politicians, and Resistbot handles the rest with respect to ensuring that the written communications reach the right hands. If reaching out to political figures is something that has always seemed like an elusive process to you, then Resistbot has just made the process of hounding elected representatives to the point of meaningful action that much easier.

[Read More: ‘Why Some are Unhappy with Zaid Ahmed’s #BlackLivesMatter Stanford Essay‘]


Available for both iOS and Android, this free app tracks how your local lawmakers have voted on proposed legislation. It also helps you communicate with these lawmakers via text, phone call, or video messages (to be recorded and sent).

Zello Walkie Talkie

Available for iOS and Android, this free walkie talkie allows you to send voice notes to large groups of other Zello Walkie Talkie users much like a traditional walkie-talkie. This can prove to be extremely helpful with respect to organizing and coordinating with a large group for a protest or any other demonstration.


Talk about details we don’t think about when we’re ready to rise up—where do we pee!? This free app for iOS and Android locates the restrooms nearest to you at any given point. Thus, it is an essential resource for long protest days or, you know, LIFE. Dragging this one to the “essential” folder icon in my brain.

My SOS Family

This one is important. This free iOS and Android app alerts your emergency contacts when you need help with just the tap of a button. To use it, users must first set up an account with their phone number and e-mail. In addition to protesters, the app is great for children, travelers, the elderly, and all others who may need quick help in vulnerable situations.

Find My Friends

This free app available for iOS and Android, allows users to easily locate their friends in a crowd in the event that they lose each other. Sticking together is the key in situations of potential chaos. What if your friends get lost in a city they don’t know? What if they get arrested? With this app, you can always know where they are, courtesy of complicated satellite science. Don’t have iOS? I guess just texting them works too.

[Read More: ‘American Authoritarianism: The Politics of Donald Trump’s Budget Cuts]

I’m Getting Arrested

This free Android app gained its fame during the Occupy Wall Street protests and has proved to be a helpful resource from the United States all the way to Egypt. This app allows users to alert their loved ones, with the quick tap of a button, that they are being arrested—an expedient process that is necessary for the course of police interaction. If you’re heading to a protest and the police will be there, have this app on deck so your family knows where to find you in the unfortunate event that your hands are cuffed and your phone is out of reach.


This free Android app allows users to blur the faces of bystanders in any photos they may take of themselves, not just at protests or demonstrations. To be certain, posting photos with unblurred faces is not an issue—it is legally understood that if you’re standing in a public space (especially for public events), your expectation of privacy regarding your countenance is exceedingly minimal. Nonetheless, securing the privacy of the people around you is just a nice thing to do. This app allows you to share photos of yourself to social media without plastering the faces of unsuspecting strangers to your newsfeed as well.

There you have it. These may not be liquid, carbonated antidotes for social justice harmony, but they’ll help you with some of the legwork in your important journey of resistance. Whether you’re mid-march and your bladder is howling, or you’ve got a lot on your mind and want to unload it on your appropriate representative, this list has got you covered with free technological support.

By Elizabeth Jaikaran

Elizabeth Jaikaran is a freelance writer based in New York. She graduated from The City College of New York with … Read more ›

Oak Creek: A Story of Hate, Hope and Healing

Every year on August 5th, the Sikh American community remembers one of our community’s most devastating tragedies in recent memory — the Oak Creek massacre. On this day in 2012, a white supremacist gunman entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, a gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin where he shot and killed six worshippers and severely injured others. This violent attack was the deadliest mass shooting targeting Sikh Americans in U.S. history, and at the time, was one of the worst attacks on a U.S. house of worship in decades. Six worshippers — Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, and Satwant Singh Kaleka — were killed on that horrific day. An additional community member, Baba Punjab Singh, was severely paralyzed and ultimately passed away from complications related to his injuries in 2020. Others, including Bhai Santokh Singh and responding police officer and hero, Lt. Brian Murphy, were seriously wounded during the shooting. 

[Read Related: Oak Creek Gurdwara Massacre’s 4th Anniversary: Young Sikhs Express Optimism for the Continued Struggle Against Hate and Ignorance]

In 2022, the community came together to demonstrate that we are undaunted. My organization, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) joined in supporting the anniversary observance at Oak Creek: a remembrance event centered around the theme of “Heal, Unite, Act.” The Oak Creek Sikh community hosted a series of in-person events, including the 10th Annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Anniversary Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on Friday, August 5, 2022. The program included a representative from the White House, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, and representatives of the families who lost loved ones. Being there in Oak Creek 10 years after the tragedy was deeply meaningful — both to see the inspiring resilience of this community and to remember how much remains to be done.

In D.C., SALDEF continues to fight for policies that improve the lives of Sikh Americans. I had the honor of chairing the most recent iteration of the Faith-Based Security Advisory Council at the Department of Homeland Security, providing recommendations at the request of Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. Consequently, the three subcommittees published a report that emphasized the importance of greater accessibility, greater equity, and greater transparency in counterterrorism efforts that for too long revolved around surveilling populations like the one that was senselessly attacked at the Oak Creek gurdwara in 2012. Leading the FBSAC as a Sikh woman, and representing a community that was highly targeted alongside Muslims by both white supremacists and in post-9/11 counterterrorism profiling, was an opportunity to push the Council to advocate more fiercely for further information-sharing between communities and law enforcement, extending grant opportunities for security for Gurdwaras and other houses of worship, and building trust between the government and Sikh communities. In addition, I advocated for accountability for the damage needlessly caused to Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Hindu (MASSAH) communities by federal agencies historically pursuing “counterterrorism” objectives which has resulted in eroded trust rather than the development of strong partnerships. 

Although we have made great strides in this country, there is still more to do. Through our work we have partnered with many across the nation to come together and find solutions through tenets central to Sikhism and America — unity, love, and equality. SALDEF continues to strongly endorse the policy framework articulated across the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350 / S. 963); Justice for Victims of Hate Crimes Act; and the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Improvement Act (H.R. 6825). We believe strongly in mandating federal agencies to create dedicated offices to investigate domestic terrorism; allowing prosecutors to feasibly indict perpetrators of hate crimes; and allowing religious nonprofits to access federal funding to enhance their own security.

[Read Related: Anti-Sikh Hate is on the Rise: Here’s What we can Do]

While 11 years have passed, the effects of the Oak Creek shooting are never far from the minds of Sikh American advocates and the community we serve. SALDEF will not stop taking a stand against senseless violence and hate crimes. We continue to work in unity with our community and movement partners, and fight for better policies that will actively keep all of our communities safe. Through tragedy, we find hope. We know there can be a world where people from all backgrounds and cultures can practice their faith freely and, even though it has eluded the Sikh American community in the past, we still believe this world is possible.

Photo Courtesy of Amrita Kular

The opinions expressed by the writer of this piece, and those providing comments thereon (collectively, the “Writers”), are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Brown Girl Magazine, Inc., or any of its employees, directors, officers, affiliates, or assigns (collectively, “BGM”). BGM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Writers. It is not the intention of Brown Girl Magazine to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. If you have a complaint about this content, please email us at This post is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you’d like to submit a guest post, please follow the guidelines we’ve set forth here.
Avatar photo
By Kiran Kaur Gill

Kiran Kaur Gill is an accomplished professional with exemplary executive experience. In her role as Executive Director, she is responsible … Read more ›