by David Ramsey
1. End the war on black people.
2. Reparations for past and continuing harms.
3. Divestment from the institutions that criminalize, cage and harm black people; and investment in the education, health and safety of black people.
4. Economic justice for all and a reconstruction of the economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership, not merely access.
5. Community control of the laws, institutions and policies that most impact us.
6. Independent black political power and black self-determination in all areas of society.
Up until now, the movement had famously opted to forgo hierarchies in favor of a diffuse coalition that more resembled Occupy Wall Street than, say, the ‘60s-era Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. The movement’s decentralized approach has been criticized in the past, and its activists have butted heads with both civil rights leaders and the Obama administration. But on Monday morning, Black Lives Matter made a decision to be a movement with a plan, a platform, and concrete demands. ...
This is a really, really big deal. By shedding its previous identity as a largely reactionary, structureless movement, Black Lives Matter seeks to definitively lead the national discussion on the safety, health, and freedom of black people. Painting the movement with a broad brush is a seismic shift. And it’s a shift that Occupy Wall Street never put in motion, a failure which many point to as the reason for the movement’s eventual dissolution. The list of demands set forth by M4BL explicitly unifies organizations across the United States—and though the goals are purposefully lofty, it’s a significant move towards harnessing the power of local groups into something bigger.