Tag Archives: Trayvon Martin

#BlackLivesMatter makes some people angry. Isn’t that good?

A new wave of activism is rooted in a different spiritual tradition to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

By Alexis Buchanan. Published 6-7-2016 by openDemocracy

NYC action in solidarity with Ferguson. Mo, encouraging a boycott of Black Friday Consumerism. Photo via Wilimedia Commons

NYC action in solidarity with Ferguson. Mo, encouraging a boycott of Black Friday Consumerism. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Black Lives Matter (BLM) began in 2014 as a hashtag after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case and evolved into a social movement. Since its inception, it has grown to 28 chapters in over 17 states in the USA, and one international chapter in Toronto. There’s no denying that the movement wants to disrupt the status quo, and that makes some people angry. They have shut airports and stopped Black Friday sales with their protests against police brutality.

BLM have also interrupted several events on the current US Presidential campaign trail, including Hillary Clinton in February of 2016 and Bernie Sanders last year. And everyone has seen the violence that has erupted at Donald Trump events where Black Lives Matters protestors clashed with his supporters. BLM are described by some political candidates as a “mob,” or as “trouble,” or as “disgraceful.”

Continue reading

Share

2015: The Year That Black Lives Mattered, At Last

Written by Terrance Heath. Published on December 26, 2015 by Campaign for America’s Future Blog, republished by Common Dreams on 12-27-15.

Over 3000 protesters gathered in the Mall of America Saturday in support of the BlackLivesMatter movement. Image via Facebook.

Over 3000 protesters gathered in the Mall of America on December 20, 2014 in support of the BlackLivesMatter movement. Image via Facebook.

Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Laquan McDonald. Sandra Bland. Walter Scott. Rekia Boyd. Tamir Rice. Most Americans have at least heard their names, and the stories of how they died. We have seen videos and images of their deaths, or of the aftermaths. They are African-Americans who have been killed by police, or died in police custody, in just over a year. There are many more.

We know their names because of the ⌗BlackLivesMatter movement, born after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The ubiquity of smartphones and mobile internet access put the tools of the media in the hands of savvy, young, blacks who used them to demand America pay attention to what had long been going on — and going unheralded — in black communities, where the police acted as an occupying force, and court systems turn jails into debtors’ prisons with endless, exorbitant fees and fines.

This was the year that #BlackLivesMatter mattered. It arrived precisely at a moment of crisis that called for a movement that values and demands respect above respectability, doesn’t hesitate to disrupt “business as usual.”

Continue reading

Share