Black Lives Matter releases six demands, 40 recommendations

Coalition of more than 60 organizations issues ‘A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice’

Black Lives Matter at Pride. (Photograph by Jennifer Roberts)

Black Lives Matter at Toronto’s Pride Parade. (Photograph by Jennifer Roberts)

Ahead of the second anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, that touched off a wave of protests nationwide, a coalition of more than 60 organizations affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement has issued a list of demands calling for policing and criminal justice reforms.

The agenda, titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice” was released Monday by the Movement for Black Lives. The platform also comes after both the Republican and Democratic conventions, during which Black Lives Matter activists were noticeably absent from protest lines.

“We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform,” Michaela Brown, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Bloc, one of the group’s partner organizations, said in a statement. “As the 2016 election continues, this platform provides us with a way to intervene with an agenda that resists state and corporate power, an opportunity to implement policies that truly value the safety and humanity of Black lives, and an overall means to hold elected leaders accountable.”

The agenda outlines six demands and offers 40 recommendations on how to address them. To address criminal justice reform, for example, movement organizers are calling for an end to the type of militarized police presence seen at protests in cities like Ferguson, and the retroactive decriminalization and immediate release of all people convicted of drug offences, sex work related offence and youth offences.

The group also is calling for the passage of a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves.

This is the first time Black Lives Matter has articulated its demands and has faced pressure to do so.

The Black Lives Matter movement dates to 2012, but ignited two years later when 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, on August 9, 2014. The incident, followed by other killings of black men and boys by police in cities including Baltimore and Cleveland, sparked racial tensions and weeks of protests that evolved into a national conversation about disparities in policing.

Fueled largely by social media, the movement has grabbed the attention of elected officials, including President Barack Obama — who has invited activists to the White House to discuss their grievances and possible solutions. Their efforts also have forced the issues of criminal justice reform and policing disparities into the 2016 election cycle, and were credited, in part, with the ouster of district attorneys in Illinois and Ohio earlier this year.



Black Lives Matter releases six demands, 40 recommendations

  1. “create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves.”
    As usual it’s about money. Note to the organizers. Become “Reverends” . Your pay out will be much greater and you can stay in the spotlight for years.

    If black lives matter why would you want all of the drug dealers, pimps, hookers and junior gangsters released from prison simultaneously? The inner cities they descended upon would be overrun with crime on a barely imaginable scale. It would however make a good plot device for an action movie. Beats Zombies.

  2. So they want they African tribes that sold them into slavery to pay reparations? I wish they’d stop trying to link U.S. problems with Canada. Stop quoting stats from the U.S. when making your demands here in Canada. You are nothing here but a self serving organization who claims to represent all Blacks, which is nothing but a falsehood. Black on Black violence is the biggest problem you have address it!

  3. What about compensation for white slaves and whites descended from indentured servitude?
    What about the fact that only 4% of Trans Atlantic slave trade happened in America (380,000 slaves), the other 96% landed in South America (10 million slaves)?
    What about the fact that only 1.4% of Americans even owned slaves during its peak?
    What about the the muslim Arab slave traders that participated in Africa far longer and to an overwhelmingly higher degree?
    What about the fact that most people in America are the result of immigration after slavery and the vast majority of Americans had nothing to do with slavery nor did their ancestors?
    What about the blacks that owned slaves in America?
    What about the fact that slaves were captured by other blacks and sold into slavery by blacks?
    What about other injustices? What about Irish that were discriminated against at Ellis Island or the Italians or lets go back further what about the victims of the Roman empire? Or how about the various African tribes that lost various wars against other African tribes? Where does it end?

    White America has let black America get away with blaming all of their woes on Whites for far too long. The actual history of slavery has been extremely manipulated by liberal media into filling white America with guilt for something that white America had nothing to do with.

  4. I have a problem with an agenda that has 6 demands and 40 recommendations. I think that 46 recommendations would be more legitimate as this group has not been democratically elected it has no authority and can not demand anything.
    I also have a problem with what they want – the retroactive decriminalization and immediate release of all people convicted of drug offences, sex work related offence and youth offences. – really ?
    While we’re at it why not get rid of all crimes and just let people do what they want to do.

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