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It has been nearly two years since the killing of Michael Brown Jr. by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, touched off outrage and a national movement to save black lives from state violence. Now, just days ahead of the anniversary of Brown’s death, a coalition of organizations that grew from that uprising have launched a policy agenda calling for deep criminal justice and policing reforms.
BY Trymaine Lee | PUBLICATION NBC News
The Movement for Black Lives — under the catch-all banner of the Black Lives Matter movement — has put together what it describes as a “clear vision of the world where black humanity and dignity is the reality.”
In the plan, titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice,” dozens of established activist and advocacy groups joined forces to offer six core demands and 40 policy priorities.
“Our grievances and solutions extend beyond the police killing of our people; state violence includes failing schools that criminalize our children, dwindling earning opportunities, wars on our trans and queer family that deny them of their humanity, and so much more,” Montague Simmons of Organization for Black Struggle and the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, said in a statement. “That’s why we united, with a renewed energy and purpose, to put forth a shared vision of the world we want to live in.”
INTERNATIONAL ACTIVIST MOVEMENT – Promotes Campaigns Against Violence Toward Black People
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.
Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody, including those of Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose and Freddie Gray. In the Summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge politicians—including politicians in the 2016 United States presidential election—to state their positions on BLM issues. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy or structure.
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