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  • founded by activists Alicia Garza, Opal to METI and Patrice Clause, The black lives matter movement came to life seven years ago in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.

  • The phrase black lives matter was first coined by Gaza in a Facebook post.

  • Recognizing the power of her words, co founder Patrice Coolers shared her words with the hashtag and the campaign kick started from there.

  • As the BLM calls gained momentum, people began taking to the streets to protest against institutional racism on violence towards black people.

  • In 2016 the NFL player Colin Kaepernick took the knee during the national anthem for the first time, a rebellion which would become synonymous with the movements on a global scale.

  • If the shooting of Trayvon Martin kick started the Black Lives matter campaign on the death of George Floyd in May of this year made it an internationally known movement.

  • Some of the biggest corporations in the world have now embraced the movement.

  • Or is it just the slogan on last night at the final presidential debate?

  • There can be no doubt with this movement has made sure racism is one of the central issues in the election.

  • I am the least racist person.

  • I can't even see the audience because it's so dark.

  • But I don't care who's in the audience.

  • I'm the least racist person in this room.

  • He pours fuel on every single phrase ist fire.

  • Every single one started off his campaign coming down the escalator, saying He's gonna get rid of those Mexican rapist.

  • He's banned Muslims because they're Muslims.

  • He has moved around and made everything worse across the board.

  • Joe Biden speaking last night there, I'm joined by Felicia Gaza from California, who has written a book about her experiences.

  • The Purpose of Power.

  • How to Build Movements for the 21st Century Issue Gaza.

  • He was proud of what this movement has grown into over the past few years.

  • I am.

  • I mean, I think this movement has captured hearts and minds around the world, and it is now a kitchen table conversation in every country in the world and rightfully so.

  • Black communities across the globe are struggling under the weight of our lives, not mattering, and it's more than time for us to close the gap between black lives and other lives and frankly, I will say that in my book I talk about the fact that movements and their purpose are to put more power into the hands of more people.

  • And I think this movement is well on the way to getting that done.

  • What is it?

  • Actually achieved well.

  • In 2015 we saw an unprecedented number of laws passed around criminal justice reform.

  • It was more than 40 laws in 26 states across this nation, and that would not have been possible without black lives matter.

  • This year, the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives matter introduced the Breathe Act, which is the 21st century version the My generation's version of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, which ensured dignity and justice for all people, regardless of race, class, gender or any other category.

  • And there's many more victories that we have left toe win.

  • I can say that in cities and states across this nation, black lives matter.

  • Activists are making sure that are organizing is changing rules but also changing culture, making sure that black people aren't criminalized unnecessarily, making sure that systemic racism is, uh, people are aware of it and making sure that people know that it infects every system that organizes our lives.

  • I would say that those air huge accomplishments and we're just getting started.

  • Okay, So, I mean, what do you think about the idea of the notion of the reality that it's been adopted by some of the world's biggest corporations Nike, Wall Street banks and kind of used as a slogan?

  • You take that seriously?

  • Well, it depends.

  • I mean, it's important that movements are able to break through the mainstream.

  • It is corporations and other entities that really shape the ideas and the values of so many people.

  • And so, you know, movements should not be obscure.

  • But at the same token, there is work that needs to be done by corporations to not just adopt black lives matter in symbol, but also to adopt it in substance.

  • And I often say the corporations who ask that there's work that they could do right there inside of their own company.

  • They can start by looking at how many black people work in their companies, and more than that, how many black people are in the C suite of their company.

  • I've also said many many times that it's important to make sure that if you do have black folks in your company that are only job is not to teach you about diversity and inclusion.

  • And I talk about this a lot in my book, The Purpose of power.

  • That symbol is often used in relationship to black communities, but that we rarely get to the substance.

  • It doesn't just happen on the corporate level.

  • It also happens in elections and with political parties.

  • So is the violence that the edges of this movement aren't tarnished it.

  • I'm sorry, can you ask, Has the violence that the edges of this movement tarnished it?

  • Well, let me say this.

  • Just today a story came out about the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis, and it turns out that there were right wing agitators inside of those protests who were firing shots at the police station.

  • They were also chanting alongside black lives matter protesters.

  • So I think what actually happens here is that too often, um, the media that covers our movement doesn't actually know the difference between people and some not all right wing agitators.

  • There has been some excuse me and sometimes doesn't do the work necessary to better understand who's a part of these protests and what's happening.

  • Thes agitators were charged today being a member of the Boogaloo Boys, which is a well known white supremacist organization here.

  • And so again, this isn't an isolated story.

  • We also saw a 17 year old boy show up at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and within a K 47 shoot two protesters.

  • This notion that Excuse me, this notion that black lives matter, protests are violent is actually not founded by you.

  • Your movement has called for things like defunding the police.

  • Now, obviously, you're no fan of Donald Trump.

  • But for that reason, Joe Biden has sort of moved away from you.

  • Is he going to make any difference to your not actually true?

  • That might be your opinion.

  • But what I heard Joe Biden saying yesterday was the same thing that we all feel, which is that Donald Trump stirs the pot and he dumps fire.

  • He dumps oil on the flames that he himself is stoking.

  • It is really important in this moment for not only the safety of activists who are fighting for justice and security and equality to not continue to spread these kinds of rumors for people's own personal gain.

  • We must weigh must leave there.

  • At least you can thank you so much for joining us.

  • We really do appreciate it.

founded by activists Alicia Garza, Opal to METI and Patrice Clause, The black lives matter movement came to life seven years ago in 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.

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Black Lives Matter: Co-founder Alicia Garza on the future of the movement - BBC Newsnight

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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