In news that can only be described as obvious AF, the country responsible for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the 1985 MOVE bombing, and hip-hop cops, targeted Black Lives Matter protesters with over-the-top prosecutions in an attempt to discourage justice after Minneapolis police murder George Floyd, according to a new report.
The report, released by the Movement for Black Lives and shared with the Associated Press, found that protesters were prosecuted harshly and that the federal government continued practices rooted in structural racism including going as far as to spy on those involved in the global movement.
“The empirical data and findings in this report largely corroborate what Black organizers have long known intellectually, intuitively, and from lived experience about the federal government’s disparate policing and prosecution of racial justice protests and related activity,” the report conducted by the “coalition of more than 50 activism and advocacy civil rights groups and professional associations representing Black communities” found, the AP reports.
Titled “Struggle For Power: The Ongoing Persecution of Black Movement By The US Government”—published in partnership with the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (Clear) clinic at City University of New York (Cuny) School of Law—the report found that as protests grew across the country, so did police presence, the deployment of federal law enforcement and prosecution of protesters.
The report also noted how policing has always been a tool of white supremacy that is used to discourage Black folks from calling for change through legal protests.
“We want to really show how the US government has continued to persecute the Black movement by surveillance, by criminalizing protests, and by using the criminal legal system to prevent people from protesting and punishing them for being engaged in protests by attempting to curtail their first amendment rights,” Amara Enyia, the Movement for Black Lives’ policy research coordinator told the AP.
“It is undeniable that racism plays a role,“ Enyia said. “It is structurally built into the fabric of this country and its institutions, which is why it’s been so difficult to eradicate. It’s based on institutions that were designed around racism and around the devaluing of Black people and the devaluing of Black lives.”
The Movement for Black Lives calls for amnesty for all protesters involved in BLM protests and is “demanding reparations from the government that include an acknowledgment and an apology for the long history of targeting movements ‘in support of Black life and Black liberation.’”
They are also pushing for the passage of the BREATHE Act, which would defund the police and reinvest and reimagine public safety in Black communities.