by Michael Lee
Published: May 3, 2021
Black Lives Matter released an updated set of demands and is giving people the opportunity to sign their name onto the new list.
“We are joining Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and others who are demanding Trump be immediately convicted in the United States Senate,” reads the first demand on the BLM website. “Trump must also be banned from holding elected office in the future.”
The group also called on former President Donald Trump to be permanently banned from “all digital media platforms,” arguing he uses the platforms “recklessly and irresponsibly to spread lies and disinformation.”
Turning their attention to Trump loyalists in Congress, the activist group demanded that all GOP lawmakers that “stoked Trump’s conspiracy theories and encouraged the white supremacists to take action to overturn the election” be expelled from Congress.
The organization also demanded that police departments across the country be defunded, reasoning there is a double standard in policing that was evident during the Jan. 6 riot.
“The police that met our BLM protestors this summer with assault rifles, teargas, and military-grade protective gear were the same police that, on Wednesday, met white supremacists with patience and the benefit of the doubt, going so far as to pose for selfies with rioters,” the group’s fifth demand reads. “The contrast was jarring, but not for Black people. We have always known who the police truly protect and serve. D.C. has the most police per capita in the country; more funding is not the solution.”
But the group warned that responses to riots should not target BLM specifically.
“In response to the coup, Politicians have already introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021,” the demand reads. “We’ve seen this playbook before. These laws are used to target Black and brown communities for heightened surveillance. Republicans are already busy trying to create an equivalence between the mob on January 6th and our Freedom Summer. We don’t need new domestic terror laws, facial recognition, or any other new police power for the state. Our government should protect righteous protest and stay focused on the real issue: rooting out white supremacy. There are enough laws, resources, and intelligence, but they were not used to stop the coup. Our elected officials must uncover why.”
The group’s last demand calls on lawmakers to pass the BREATHE Act, a proposed law named in honor of George Floyd that would reform law enforcement throughout the country while moving taxpayer dollars to a “new vision of public safety” that will “answer the call to defund the police.”
“The police were born out of slave patrols. We cannot reform an institution built upon white supremacy,” the demand reads. “We need a new, radical approach to public safety and community investment. President Biden has already drawn on the BREATHE Act in his executive actions calling for racial equity screens in federal programs, investing in environmental justice at historic levels, and engaging with system-impacted communities. The BREATHE Act paints a vision of a world where Black lives matter through investments in housing, education, health, and environmental justice.”