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For the first time since the activism started three years ago, organizations tied to the Black Lives Matter movement have released a list of demands calling to “end the war on black people.”
The demands issued by the more than 60 organizations affiliated with Black Lives Matters outlined concerns for equality, empowerment and reparations for the African-American community.
The groups offers detailed reasons for including each of the six demands, as well as recommendations for how to satisfy the needs on federal, state and local levels. Black Lives Matter is targeting legislative action on both federal and state levels to reverse what it says is the racial injustice bestowed upon the black community.
The list comes days before August 9, the two-year anniversary of the police shooting of Michael Brown, whose death created a firestorm and effectively mobilized the Black Lives Matter movement under its new “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan. Brown’s death triggered months-long, sometimes violent protests in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, but also sparked a national conversation about criminal justice reform and white police abuse against black civilians.
The agenda was also, not coincidentally, released following the conclusions of both major political parties’ national conventions. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both touched on violence against African-Americans but noted the importance of protecting police officers.
“Black Lives Matter!” chants echoed throughout the Wells Fargo Center as the “Mothers of the Movement” — mothers of unarmed African-Americans who were killed in altercations with police — endorsed Clinton on stage during the second night of the Democratic National Convention.
On the other side, Trump and Black Lives Matter don’t have the most pleasant relationship. Trump has called the movement “trouble,” saying that “in certain instances they are” responsible for instigating the recent police officer killings.
Following Trump’s record-breaking speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Black Lives Matter officials didn’t have the kindest words for the presidential nominee.
“The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump,” Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors told The Washington Times. “He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear.”
The Black Lives Matter website says the platform of demands was created “to articulate and support the ambitions and work of Black people.” They are looking to the government to make reparations, they say, and to fix the systems and institutions that criminalize and target African-Americans.
Here are the basic six demands:
Based in Atlanta, GA, Grant is a nonprofit professional and freelance writer passionate about affordable housing and finding sustainable approaches to international development. A proud graduate of the University of Maryland, Grant spent four months post-grad living in Armenia where he worked for Habitat for Humanity and the World Food Programme. He enjoys playing trivia with friends but is still seeking his first victory - he ceaselessly blames his friends lack of preparation.