Here Are The Black Lives Matter Movement’s 6 Core Demands, As Outlined In Its New Agenda
The Black Lives Matter movement took a major step Monday, releasing a list of its demands and policy priorities. The activist group dedicated to fighting police brutality against people of color and rebuilding the black liberation movement began four years ago after Trayvon Martin’s death in Florida and has grown as young black men and women continue to die and face violence at the hands of law enforcement. Black Lives Matter’s core demands extend far beyond the police though, seeking to completely change systemic racism in America.
More than 50 organizations from across the country worked together to form the agenda, saying on The Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) website, “We can no longer wait.” The platform’s release comes just before the second anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri that happened Aug. 9, 2014 and thrust the movement forward.
“It’s us saying that we’re not backing down,” Dara Cooper, an organizer with the National Black Food & Justice Alliance, told the Associated Press’ Errin Haines Whack. “In the tradition of our ancestors and elders who have been in this very long struggle, we’re going to keep working toward what we deserve.” She continued, “Black life is undervalued and assaulted in myriad ways. Policing and mass incarceration has so much to do with it, but it’s also the education we receive, the type of food we have access to, the ability to be self-determining through land ownership. … We fight against things, but we also need to be fighting for something.”
The new platform outlines six major demands, with 40 recommendations for how to make them happen:
- End the war on black people
- Reparations for the past and present
- Divestment from institutions that harm black people and investment in their education, health, and safety
- Economic justice
- Community control of the law
- Black political power
In order to end the war on black people once and for all, the agenda says America needs to end the criminalization of black youth, capital punishment, the money bail system, mass surveillance of black communities, and for law enforcement to be demilitarized.
The platform as a whole is thorough and comprehensive, giving the movement concrete goals to strive toward and detailed demands to ask of legislators. It also highlights how much needs to change in order for black people to truly have equality in this country, which won’t happen quickly or all at once, but needed to be articulated so there’s something to strive toward.