The Black Lives Matter movement put forth a series of policy goals – demands – on Monday, framing the proposals as an end to the “war on black people.”
The platform, which is titled “A Vision For Black Lives: Policy Demands For Black Power, Freedom, and Justice,” is calling for reparations; an end to the death penalty, mass incarceration, and deportations; and added rights for trans people under current civil rights protections in a new policy paper to be released Monday.
They are also calling for drastic changes to U.S. educational policy, including free tuition and retroactive forgiveness of federal student loans.
No doubt their poster child President Obama will support their efforts and do all he can to implement their demands.
In May, Obama invited a group of Black Lives Matter activists to the White House to talk about “hate and divisiveness”
According to the Associated Press, 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 policing and criminal justice reforms.
“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 offenses, sex work related offense and youth offenses.
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.
Buzzfeed added that the groups include: Alliance for Educational Justice, Baltimore Bloc, BIG: Blacks in Green, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Black Leadership Organizing Collaborative, Black Women’s Blueprint, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), BlackBird, The BlackOut Collective, Center for Media Justice, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Dignity and Power Now, Dream Defenders, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, Freedom Inc., Highlander Research and Education Center, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, National Black Food and Justice Alliance, Open Democracy Project at Crescent City Media Group, Organization for Black Struggle, Organization for Black Struggle, Philadelphia Student Union, Project South, Southerners On New Ground, SpiritHouse Inc., The Worker’s Center for Racial Justice.
“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 reads.
Movement organizers said a website was on deck, featuring action items for leaders at the local, state, and federal level, including guidance for groups to act on legislation and key messages.
“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,” the statement reads. “We also recognize and honor the rights and struggle of our Indigenous family for land and self-determination.”
“We are dreamers and doers and this platform is meant to articulate some of our vision.”