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Black Lives Matter (BLM)

A Report On Police Misconduct During The George Floyd Protests

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. Tens of millions of people took to the streets, not only in outrage, but with a fervent hope that people coming together and demanding justice would lead to safer communities for Black Americans—and for everyone. From day one of the protests, police unleashed horrors on protesters. Cops dressed in riot gear fired less-lethal weapons into crowds of unarmed civilians, sometimes within seconds of arriving at the scene. The weapons were “less-lethals” but they still resulted in gruesome, and in some cases permanent, injuries.

BLM Activists In Grand Rapids Face Repression And Need Solidarity

In April 2022, Patrick Lyoya was murdered by police officer Christopher Schurr. His murder garnered national attention — his funeral was attended by Al Sharpton, and Lyoya’s family was represented by Ben Crump. The movement in Grand Rapids mobilized, and held a 1,000 person demonstration demanding Schurr be fired and prosecuted. In response to the movement, Christopher Schurr was fired from the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) and charged with second-degree murder. However, two years have passed, and Schurr has still not gone to trial. Yet, in those two years several BLM activists have faced trumped up charges, including felony assault of a police officer.

The Mass Protest Decade: From The Arab Spring To Black Lives Matter

The 2010s were a decade of revolt. From Athens to Atlanta, Santiago to Seoul, a global wave of protest brought masses of people into confrontation with the status quo, demanding an end to neoliberalism, racism, climate change, and more. Yet despite this upswell of grassroots political activity, little lasting, positive change followed. What sparked the past decade of mass protest? Why didn’t it result in political transformation? Vincent Bevins, author of If We Burn, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a retrospective on the decade that set the world on fire, and how to adapt its lessons for the challenges ahead.

Prisoners, Unions Sue Alabama, Alleging ‘Modern-Day Slavery’

A group of current and former prisoners have sued the state of Alabama with the support of two unions who have signed on as co-plaintiffs, the Union of Southern Service Workers, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The lawsuit claims that Alabama’s system of prison labor amounts to a “modern-day form of slavery” that generates massive profits for private businesses and revenues for the state by forcing incarcerated people to work for little or no pay. Jacob Morrison and Adam Keller join Rattling the Bars to discuss the lawsuit and the importance of the fight for prisoners’ rights to the overall labor movement.

Black Educators Are Reimagining A Better School System

Woodbridge, VA - The plastic sign displayed prominently on De’Ana Forbes’ classroom door is especially fitting this week. In big bold letters: ​“Warning! History Teacher Zone. Your understanding of the past may be corrected at any time.”  It’s early in this sleepy suburb 45 minutes outside Washington, D.C., and the sun is still rising over Freedom High School as students jog inside from late-arriving buses, backpacks half-hung over shoulders with winter coats swinging. They push through crowded hallways and hurry to first period.  Forbes, 28, who teaches U.S. history and social studies, is one of many teachers across the country participating in the annual Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, held this year February 6 – 10.

From BLM To Generation U: Uprising Persists In Today’s Labor Movement

The BLM movement may have left the streets, but its spirit lives on in Generation U and the fight against worker exploitation — combining the dynamism of social movements with the strategic position of labor to fight capitalism. The United States is witnessing the phenomenon of Generation U. This generation is an expression of the shifted consciousness of young workers today — workers who are embracing socialist ideas, are in favor of labor unions, and who are challenging exploitation either through leaving their jobs in large numbers, or challenging corporate behemoths like Amazon and Starbucks directly in union drives. This dynamic moment of high labor militancy is all connected to the struggle for Black liberation within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, where we take to the streets or fight in our workplaces for a world where Black lives matter, which in this racist society they do not.

No COINTELPRO In Washington DC

The DC government is deploying COINTELPRO like tactics against organizations and individuals fighting to protect and expand our rights. Of course, this is not news to those who have been engaged in political work here for any amount of time, but now, thanks to one local organizer, there is proof. Suspecting she was being surveilled by the Metro Police Department (MPD), April Goggans of Black Lives Matter DC (BLMDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents the DC government had on her. After years of hiding, stalling and lying by MPD, April took the request to court. The most important hearing to date was scheduled for June 14, 2022 too determine if MPD is required to follow FOIA laws.

BLM Leader In Court To Challenge Racist And Retaliatory Charges

Tristan Taylor, a co-founder of Detroit Will Breathe (DWB) and a Left Voice member, is defending himself in court on Monday, May 23, against felony charges for protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020. Taylor is one of the Shelby 5, a group of protestors facing felony charges for demanding that Robert Shellide, the Chief of Police in Shelby Township, Michigan, be fired for posting violently racist remarks about the mass protests. Several additional protestors were charged with misdemeanors. On Taylor’s court date, Monday May 23, Detroit Will Breathe, an organization which was born in the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement, is calling their supporters to mobilize in support of a motion to get the felony charge thrown out. 

An Insider Perspective In The Black Lives Matter Global Network Sham

On January 31, 2022, New York magazine published an article by Sean Campbell, “The BLM Mystery: Where did the money go?” A core demand of the article is one that many have made for many years: Show me the money! People have questions. I have a lot of answers. I am a former, and still supportive organizer in a legacy chapter (my own term) of Black Lives Matter - BLM Philly. I represented the chapter in the national network - the place that BLM Global Foundation in its several formations curated. Up until my separation from the chapter in late 2021, BLMGN was the owner/manager/user of the primary website, along with the social media and the newsletter.

We Urgently Need A Transformative Approach To Public Safety

On Tuesday, October 26, Black Lives Matter joined fellow civil rights leaders to engage with and discuss tangible policy proposals to transform current approaches to public safety with senior officials from the White House and the Department of Justice. While we appreciate the invitation to speak and discuss solutions, we call on the White House to be courageous as it moves towards Executive Action to move us towards the kind of transformation that this moment demands — the kind of transformation that the spirits of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dijon Kizzee, Wakiesha Wilson, Andrew Joseph III, and so many others demand. A transformational approach to public safety requires that we not expend energy tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally unjust system, but we upend it and dare to imagine and build new systems that invest deeply in resources: like youth programs, good jobs, mental healthcare, housing…resources that actually make our communities safe.

Two DC Officers Indicted For Murder Of Karon Hylton-Brown

Washington, DC – After months of fighting for justice in the police murder of Karon Hylton-Brown, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. announced the indictment of Terence Sutton for second-degree murder, one of the DC Police officers involved with this gross negligence of their duties and complete disregard for this young man’s life. He was also indicted with federal charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, along with his supervisor Andrew Zabavsky. We stand in solidarity and full support of Karon Hylton-Brown’s family as they continue their fight for justice and accountability for all. Since his death on October 23rd, 2020, organizations, volunteers and supporters of his family have pushed for an investigation into his death. Not only demanding MPD exercise their due diligence as required by law to investigate, but to hold the officers accountable for their behaviors that caused his death.

Met Gala Protest: Interview With An Activist

A photo-journalist and activist who was at the Met Gala told Left Voice about the brutal police attack on protesters and gives a perspective on AOC’s participation in the event. The Met Gala, a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that is also a gathering of celebrities, politicians, and the wealthy and well connected took place on September 13. The bourgeois press coverage focused on the celebrity spectacle, nearly ignoring the horrific police attack on abolitionist activists protesting outside the event, many of whom were arrested. Left Voice spoke with Prince, a photo-journalist and activist who was on the ground.

How The US Government Stokes Racial Tensions In Cuba

Havana - “A Black uprising is shaking Cuba’s Communist regime,” read The Washington Post’s headline on the recent unrest on the Caribbean island. “Afro-Cubans Come Out In Droves To Protest Government,” wrote NPR. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal went with “Cuba’s Black Communities Bear the Brunt of Regime’s Crackdown” as a title. These were examples of a slew of coverage in the nation’s top outlets, which presented what amounted to one day of U.S.-backed protests in July as a nationwide insurrection led by the country’s Black population — in effect, Cuba’s Black Lives Matter moment. Apart from dramatically playing up the size and scope of the demonstrations, the coverage tended to rely on Cuban emigres or other similarly biased sources.

Movement For Black Lives: Feds Targeted BLM Protesters

The federal government deliberately targeted Black Lives Matter protesters via heavy-handed criminal prosecutions in an attempt to disrupt and discourage the global movement that swept the nation last summer in the wake of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Movement for Black Lives. Movement leaders and experts said the prosecution of protesters over the past year continues a century-long practice by the federal government, rooted in structural racism, to suppress Black social movements via the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms. “The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known intellectually, intuitively, and from lived experience about the federal government’s disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests and related activity,” the report stated.

Black Lives Matter DC Responds To Brutal Beating Of Black Man By Officer

On Sunday August 1, 2021 we were alerted to a video of a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer brutally punching Kimon Johnson in the head in Southeast D.C. This kind of brutality is not new for MPD, in the District of Columbia, and certainly not near Good Hope Rd. and 16th St. Southeast, but it is always unacceptable. It mirrors the experience of Derrick “Quan” Johnson at almost the same location on December 26, 2019. Quan was also not charged for the original stop or the second retaliatory one. Like Quan, we are so very glad he is still alive. As we predicted, his response to this brutal incident Chief Contee did little more than give a measured response at the August 9, 2021 press conference. As we explained when he was confirmed and have since learned about his complicity in the misconduct by the Gun Recovery Unit (Jumpouts) against almost only Black people, we could hardly expect more from him.
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