Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an 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. The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters during 2014-16. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy. Concurrently, a broader movement involving several other organizations and activists emerged under the banner of "Black Lives Matter" as well.

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 Jonathan Ferrell, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile.

News Wire – November 2016 and earlier

BREAKING – July 20, 2016: BYP100 Chicago locks down at Homan Square. One of the nations largest "Black Sites" where over 7,000 people have been disappeared here. Most of them Black. We are here calling for full divestment from policing and investments in Black communities. #FreedomNow #FundBlackFutures

Background Reading

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