By Staff of M4BL – No matter where you are in the world, the name Martin Luther King, Jr., is synonymous with freedom, equality, and hope. On January 16, we’ll commemorate his life, legacy and the contributions of other civil rights warriors whose resistance to oppression pushed the country toward equality. But this year will be different. Just four days after MLK Day, we’ll witness the inauguration of a President who is the antithesis of everything Dr. King stood for; a demagogue who galvanized millions by spewing hate and promising to harm the most vulnerable in this nation. The threats of mass deportation, the dismantling of Obamacare, the registration of Muslims and the criminalization of women’s health, are loud and clear.
By Movement for Black Lives. As we enter 2017 , under an administration motivated by hate and greed, we renew our commitment to you, and to our fight for justice. We know that Black people have always made a way, even when the odds were against us – as they are now. An administration full of racist, sexist, fear mongers are moving into the White House – and we should all be concerned about their potential impact on our lives. We are just beginning to see the effects of the fear and violence they support. In the last 30 days, we’ve seen an increase in hate crimes and hate speech against Black people, the vandalizing of Black churches, and vigilantes taking up arms in our communities to incite violence and fear. In the face of all this, millions of Black folks across the country are asking, “What can we do?”
By Todd Richmond for Associated Press – Prosecutors charged a Milwaukee police officer Thursday with killing a black man in August, alleging the man had thrown his gun away and was unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot. Dominique Heaggan-Brown, who is also black, was charged with reckless homicide in the Aug. 13 death of Sylville Smith, which sparked two days of riots on Milwaukee’s north side. In the days after the shooting, both the police chief and the mayor had said that police video clearly showed Smith had a gun and was turning toward officers when he was shot. Thursday’s criminal complaint echoed that, but went on to describe a second shot, fired into Smith’s chest after Smith no longer had his gun.
By Staff of Socialist Alternative – The victory of Donald Trump is being met with shock, fear, and anger. Especially for immigrants, muslims, people of color, women, and other oppressed people who Trump has singled out for attack, the question of how to defend themselves against the coming attacks is sharply posed. A wave of demonstrations is being organized across the country to fight back against Trump. These protests must be the beginning of coordinated nationwide mobilizations to organize millions into a massive grassroots movement.
By Leah Fried for Labor Notes – Extracting wins from the boss has never been easy—and union membership hovering at a low 11 percent isn’t making it any easier. But a good way to boost our numbers and power is to partner with people who are organized in other ways, building a broader movement as we build our unions. For several years the Chicago Teachers Union has put incredible effort into building unity—not only among its members, but also with parents and neighborhood groups.
By Kirsten West Savali for The Root – As previously reported by The Root, Snell was fatally shot by an LAPD officer Saturday on the same block on which he lived: LAPD officers say the incident began when they saw a vehicle with paper plates, which they believed to be stolen. The car did not stop when they pursued, and police report that two male passengers fled on foot in opposite directions. Two officers split up to chase them, reports CNN.
By Kirsten West Savali for The Root – Arabs for Black Power—a circle of organizers from the United States and Arabic-speaking regions—has released a statement in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. The Movement for Black Lives, or M4BL, is raising global consciousness about state-sanctioned and state-perpetuated violence against people of color in the United States, as well as actively working to dismantle the institutional and systemic oppression that makes these extrajudicial killings just another day in North America.
By Julia Craven for The Huffington Post – WASHINGTON ― “Don’t offer support” for the “concrete policy positions” of Black Lives Matter protesters, the chief organization charged with electing Democrats to the House of Representatives warned its candidates in an internal memo leaked online on Wednesday. The document was posted online by Guccifer 2.0, a hacker who has claimed to be responsible for the Democratic National Committee email leak.
By Martha Biondi for In These Times. Three years have passed since the July 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin prompted Oakland, Calif., organizer Alicia Garza to write an anguished Facebook post ending with the words “Black lives matter”—words that would channel an outpouring of outrage on social media. A year later, the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., ignited a local rebellion of Black citizenry, and a social movement took shape. That the Ferguson Police Department left Brown’s fatally wounded body on the street for hours encapsulates the disregard for Black suffering that continues to drive protest nationwide. Already, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the violence it exposes feel like a fixture of our media and social landscape, the images jarring and unrelenting
By Raul Alcaraz-Ochoa, Jorge Gutierrez, Alan Pelaez and Deborah Alemu for Telesur TV. An Open Letter to the Immigrant Rights Movement: In light of the brutal murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Delrawn Smalls Dempsey, Alva Braziel, Joyce Quaweay, Skye Mockabee and Korryn Gaines, anti-Blackness, patriarchy and transphobia need to profoundly and urgently be addressed within immigrant rights organizing, now more than ever. Although non-Black Latinx solidarity with Black lives has increased and grown, there is still a lot of work to be done. How do Latinxs and the immigrant rights movement navigate anti-Blackness? First of all what is anti-Blackness? “Anti-Blackness is not simply the racist actions of a white man with a grudge nor is it only a structure of racist discrimination—anti-blackness is the paradigm that binds blackness and death together so much so that one cannot think of one without the other,”
By Dream Defenders. On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.