REPORT: Black Lives Matter Movement to Hold Virtual Convention in August

According to the AP, Black Lives Matter groups will hold a virtual national convention, on Aug. 28.

Organizers say the convening will produce a new political agenda that builds on the protests calling for officials to defund police and invest in Black communities.

The Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 organizations is organizing the event.

Organization leader Jessica Byrd states “What this convention will do is create a Black liberation agenda that is not a duplication of the Vision for Black Lives, but really is rooted as a set of demands for progress,”

On their website, the “2020 policy platform” is explained:

The organization explains:

Black life and dignity require Black political will and power. Despite constant exploitation and perpetual oppression, Black people have bravely and brilliantly been a driving force pushing toward collective liberation. In recent years, we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait.

In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country came together in 2015 with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda. We are a collective that centers, and is led by and rooted in, Black communities. And we recognize our shared struggle with all oppressed people: collective liberation will be a product of all of our work.

We are intentional about amplifying the particular experiences of racial, economic, and gender-based state and interpersonal violence that Black women, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, intersex, and disabled people face. Cisheteropatriarchy and ableism are central and instrumental to anti-Blackness and racial capitalism, and have been internalized within our communities and movements.

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) launched the Vision for Black Lives, a comprehensive and visionary policy agenda for the post-Ferguson Black liberation movement, in August of 2016. The Vision, endorsed by over 50 Black-led organizations in the M4BL ecosystem and hundreds of allied organizations and individuals, has since inspired campaigns across the country to achieve its goals.

After three years of consultations, writing retreats and Zoom sessions, research and outreach, we are relaunching the Vision for Black Lives 2020. We will be rolling out revised, updated, and expanded policy briefs for each of the six planks of the platform over the coming months, leading up to a National Black Convention in August of 2020.

We begin with the first plank of our Vision: End the War on Black People, released on Juneteenth as we converge across the country in resistance to police and state sanctioned violence.

This document does not represent the entirety of our Vision – it is only the first section of six, and focuses on state violence. We will be re-releasing revised and expanded policy briefs in each of the remaining sections of the Vision – Reparations, Economic Justice, Invest/Divest, Community Control and Political Power – over the course of 2020

We Demand an End to the War Against Black People:

We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people. We call for not just individual accountability of officers after a murder, but entire police departments.

President Trump recently tweeted opposition to a proposed “Black Lives Matter” mural near Fifth Avenue in NYC.

“NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue,” Trump wrote on Twitter “This will further antagonize New York’s Finest, who LOVE New York. . . . Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!”