The US government has targeted Black Lives Matter protesters
This is not a surprise, but the government will certainly have to respond to the people once again.
September 17, 2021
The US government has once again deliberately targeted black lives to “disrupt and deter” a global movement.
According to a report by Movement for Black Lives and the CUNY School of Law Creation Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Clinic (CLEAR) – the prosecution of protesters is at an all time high and “continues a century-old practice of suppressing black social movements through the the use of surveillance tactics and other mechanisms.
From May 31 to October 25, 2020, whether or not the protesters committed crimes, federal prosecutors filed 326 criminal cases against them.
“Much of the drive to use federal charges against protesters stems from top-down directives from former President Donald J. Trump and Attorney General William Barr,” the report said. “These directives, intended to disrupt the movement, were the main reason for the unprecedented federalization of protests related to the protests observed in 2020.”
Black Lives Matter legal experts highlighted how the federal government has used surveillance tactics and other mechanisms that target civil rights organizations. “The empirical evidence and findings in this report largely corroborate what black organizers have long known intellectually, intuitively, and through lived experience about the disparate policing and federal government prosecution of racial justice protests and related activities,” indicates the report.
Almost 93 percent of hundreds of federal criminal cases present findings that support “the government’s aggressive assertion of federal jurisdiction and its naked attempts to disrupt the movement to defend black lives.”
Then-President Donald Trump called on governors to deploy “Operation Legend,” a collaboration between federal and local law enforcement agencies delegated to “dominate” protesters during the 2020 civil unrest.
“Operation Legend has been expanded beyond its original, independent purpose to aid in the federal effort to disrupt movement,” according to the report. At the end of Operation Legend, the Justice Department reported that of 6,000 people arrested, approximately 1,500 had been charged with federal offenses.
In cities across the country, ranging from New York, Los Angeles, Kenosha, WI and Seattle, Washington, Black Lives Matter protesters would find themselves in demand for sunset curfews and weird actions that would involve pepper spray and physical force to disperse the crowds.
WATCH: The Birth and Rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement
Although data on the racial demographics of protesters is limited, black defendants made up 52% of protest-related prosecutions based on available data, according to the joint report.
“Historically, black protesters have most often faced government oppression and accompanying police violence due to our reluctance to accept the systemic contempt and mistreatment of black lives,” Dr. Amara Enyia , policy and research coordinator for The Movement for Black Lives, said in a press release.
The report ends with several recommendations, in particular to “put pressure for the adoption of the BREATHE law … call for an amnesty for all demonstrators involved in the uprising in support of the movement for the defense of black lives, … and get organized against anti-protest legislation in your state. or locality.