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‘A Vision for Black Lives:’ 60 BLM Affiliate Organizations Issue New Set of Demands Calling for Reparations and Criminal Justice Reform

Photo courtesy of Politico.com

Photo courtesy of Politico.com

Birthed from protest against the ongoing issue of police brutality, Black Lives Matter has grown to become an international movement aimed at drawing attention to the mistreatment and violence against Black bodies at the hands of police.

In the face of recent criticism over its heavy focus on police violence, BLM, along with 60 other organizations affiliated with the movement, has issued a fresh set of demands calling for slavery reparations, criminal justice reform, and an end to the death penalty, among other things.

The new policy platform, titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” was released Monday by the Movement for Black Lives. The agenda’s unveiling comes on the heels of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, during which Black Lives Matter protesters were seemingly absent.

“We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform,” said Michaela Brown, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Bloc, one of the movement’s partner organizations. “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.”

According to Buzzfeed, other organizations affiliated with the movement include the Alliance for Educational Justice, BIG: Blacks in Green, the Black Leadership Organizing Collaborative, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), The BlackOut Collective, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, and many more.

The new policy paper details six demands and offers nearly 40 “comprehensive and visionary” recommendations to address them. These new requests go far beyond past demands that solely focused on police killings of Black Americans; an end to mass incarceration and deportation, added rights for trans people under current civil rights protections, and sweeping reforms to the U.S. education policy are a few of the other demands outlined in the agenda, the publication reports.

But with demands also come suggested solutions. For instance, to tackle criminal justice reform, organizers of the new policy recommended an end to the militarized police presence often seen at demonstrations in cities like Ferguson, Missouri, and the retroactive decriminalization and immediate release of all citizens convicted on drug charges, sex work-related offenses, and/or youth offenses, according to ABC News.

At the top of the list of demands is the push for a bill that would create a commission solely dedicated to studying reparations for the descendants of enslaved Black Americans.

“In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait,” a release from the Movement for Black Bodies read.

“We also stand with descendants of African people all over the world in an ongoing call and struggle for reparations for the historic and continuing harms of colonialism and slavery,” it continued. “We also recognize and honor the rights and struggle of our Indigenous family for land and self-determination.”

There’s a strong case for reparations today, considering that the institution of slavery created the economic basis for modern capitalism and transformed the U.S. into one of the wealthiest nations in the world, Atlanta Black Star reports. But a 2016 Fusion Issues survey found that 62 percent of millennials said they were opposed to the government providing reparations to African-Americans for slavery, while 32 percent supported the measure. When broken down along racial lines however, 62 percent of African-Americans and 40 percent of Latinos said they supported reparations, while a mere 21 percent of whites expressed favor.

According to movement organizers, a website featuring action items for leaders at the local, state, and federal levels is currently up and running. The “action toolkit” also includes a step-by-step guide on how groups can design powerful movements for action in their own community.

“If you’ve been marching in the streets or been on the sidelines, this is your opportunity to join the movement for justice, and make sure today is different than yesterday,” the document reads. “We can create a future where Black children live in peace and not under a police state. We will honor those we’ve lost by fighting for the world we can build together, the world we know is possible, the world we deserve.”

What people are saying

7 thoughts on “‘A Vision for Black Lives:’ 60 BLM Affiliate Organizations Issue New Set of Demands Calling for Reparations and Criminal Justice Reform

  1. Ben Watson says:

    Slavery didn't create the success of capitalism. In fact, the REJECTION of capitalism is the very reason the South lost the war.

  2. Keep Hope Alive, Reparations for African American, BLACK LIVES MATTER. Ask yourselves, Who is Environmental Justice Advocates of MINNESOTA? What is the focus of Fusion Issues? FEMA MINNESOTA Duluth – Federal prison camp facility. Camp Ripley – new prison facility. Investigate the capabilities of this FEMA Camp in MINNESOTA. Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Control issues with nuclear fusion:- The goal of scientists for the last 50 years has been the controlled release of energy from a fusion reaction. If the energy from a fusion reaction can be released slowly, it can be used to produce electricity. It will provide an unlimited supply of energy that has no wastes to deal with or contaminants to harm the atmosphere — simply non-polluting helium.

  3. PL Carter says:

    Wonderful and excellent!!!

  4. I support this platform of BLM as well as their position regarding police murder of innocent African Americans. BLM should not have to stop or change their advocacy for police accountability and justice especially when the police callously murder, maim, brutalize and disrespect African Americans of ALL ages and genders. They are right on point to with their advocacy work answer ALL African Americans and Americans of good will should support them.

  5. Dennis Moore says:

    ""When broken down along racial lines however, 62 percent of African-Americans and 40 percent of Latinos said they supported reparations, while a mere 21 percent of whites expressed favor.""
    WHY WHITE PEOPLE ARE ECONOMICALLY AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS COUNTRY!!

    This Gov't stole land from the Indians and gave it to who? White Immigrants (free of charge).
    This Gov't then stole the Indians gold and gave it to who? Now termed, “White People”.
    This Gov't allowed people to "legally" be enslaved for hundreds of years, and that benefited who? White People.
    This Gov't(and their allies) colonized an entire continent, and where did the profits go? White People!
    Hispanics graciously allowed Whites to settle on some of their land, and now it's call “The American Southwest”
    SO now…..LET'S Stop making bigots & racists rich with OUR tax dollars!!
    THROUGH::
    Institutionalized Discrimination:
    You know the unjust and discriminatory mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals by organizations such as governments, corporations, financial institutions, public institutions, and other societal entities.
    Our government is still awarding (bid & no-bid) contracts in the $$Billions annually.

    TO WHO
    WHITE PEOPLE!
    #WARDOGS #ONLYINAMERICA

    And these same “White, Trump Like, People” NOW, have the audacity to boast, and take pride, in how well they are doing in America.
    Those are OUR TAX DOLLARS putting food on everybody's table but ours!!

  6. Paul Philpot says:

    We gave you 40 mules and an acre or was that 40 acres and 1 mule and you sold it all for crack get a jobbbb be

  7. Eddie Casey says:

    dont you have to work to pay taxes?

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