The Black Lives Matter movement has released an official agenda which includes demands pertaining to policing, reparations, and criminal-justice reforms. The 60 organizations affiliated with the movement officially called The Movement for Black Lives, but more commonly known under the Black Lives Matter placard, comes as the second anniversary of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown’s death on August 9, 2014, is approaching, reports NBC News.
The Movement for Black Lives agenda titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” was released Monday, and is described as a “clear vision of the world where black humanity and dignity is the reality.”
“We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform,” said Michaela Brown, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Bloc, one of the organization’s partners.
“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 consists of 40 recommendations on how to address six platform demands:
- End The War On Black People
- Economic Justice
- Community Control
- Political Power
The recommendations include an end to militarized police presence at protests and retroactive decriminalization and immediate release of drug, sex, and youth offenders. The Movement for Black Lives also wants a commission appointed that will study reparations for slave descendants, implement the passage of H.R. 40, and end capital punishment.
— Allen West (@AllenWest) August 1, 2016
As an organization, Black Lives Matter has been forced to articulate its demands as the movement has been active since 2012 with no real platform or signs of leadership until now. The organization’s presence has increased over the past two years, escalating with the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, and similar incidents of police disproportionately targeting and killing African-American men and boys.
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While some of the groups under the Black Lives Matter banner have clear-cut agendas, this is the first time the organization as a whole has articulated their wishes in regard to solving the social, financial, and judicial disparities people of color experience.
Social media has been a big part of the Black Lives Matter presence and the outcry has been large enough to get the attention of elected officials, including President Barack Obama, who have invited members of the movement to voice their concerns, criticisms, and solutions. What is interesting is that Black Lives Matter protesters were absent from both the Republican and Democratic conventions, even as Donald Trump calls himself the “law and order candidate,” a statement that reminds many of the Nixon era, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign brings up feelings that her husband’s administration implemented policies that helped lock away and criminalize African-Americans.
Pressure from the group can be credited for the ouster of Cleveland District Attorney Tim McGinty — who was criticized for fighting against prosecuting Tamir Rice’s killer and publicly smearing his mother — and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez for her mishandling of the Laquan McDonald shooting.
M. Adams, co-executive director of Freedom Inc., stated, “We recognize that not all of our collective needs and visions can be translated into policy, but we understand that policy change is one of many tactics necessary to move us towards the world we envision, a world where freedom and justice is the reality.”
[Photo by Charles Krupa/AP Images]