Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors on government surveillance and her upcoming book


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Within the final 12 months, members of the federal government have accused the Black Lives Matter group of being a terrorist group, calling these related to it “Black Identification Extremists.” An August FBI report, referred to as “Black Identification Extremists Possible Motivated to Goal Legislation Enforcement Officers,” broadly categorized black activists as a menace to nationwide safety.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, described it to TechCrunch as COINTELPRO COINTELPRO was a federal surveillance program that focused civil rights leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and members of the Black Panther Get together. Within the current day, strategies of presidency surveillance can entail something from social media monitoring to the gathering of location knowledge.

“We take this actually significantly, however we’ve seen this earlier than,” Cullors instructed me. “The unlucky actuality is black of us through the 50s, 60s, 70s didn’t have social media. They didn’t have the benefit to know the FBI and CIA are spying on them. We’re realizing it in actual time.”

Whereas stories like which might be”deeply disturbing,” Cullors mentioned, Black Lives Matter is in a time the place its motion is alive and properly. For instance, LA’s Black Lives Matter chapter is presently taking over the district legal professional, who has but to prosecute a single officer for the homicide of black residents.

“Our DA has not prosecuted one cop,” Cullors mentioned. “Black Lives Matter LA is actually holding our district legal professional’s toes to the fireplace.”

Over in Toronto, the Black Lives Matter chapter not too long ago received its combat to get cops completely out of colleges within the metropolis. The Toronto District College Board launched a College Useful resource Officer program in 2008, which introduced law enforcement officials into colleges. Following criticism and calls to take away the law enforcement officials from Black Lives Matter and different activists, the college board voted late final month to finish this system.

“We’re on this motion second the place over 40 chapters throughout the globe are engaged in marketing campaign actions, profitable new insurance policies for black individuals,” Cullors mentioned. “Our decentralized, localized management construction has actually allowed for Black Lives Matter constructions in their very own communities to tackle the state and tackle a number of the most egregious acts in opposition to black individuals.”

Cullors mentioned she can be happy with the response of some black authorities officers. Cullors pointed to how Consultant Karen Bass grilled Legal professional Common Jeff Classes concerning the FBI report on “black identification extremists” throughout an oversight listening to earlier than the Home Judiciary Committee in November.

Subsequent 12 months, Cullors has plans to go on a e book tour for her upcoming memoir, When They Name You a Terrorist, co-authored with asha bandele. Her aim with the e book is for it to promote no less than 250,000 copies within the first 12 months and “attain as many of us as doable,” she mentioned.

“This e book is for younger black ladies around the globe,” Cullors mentioned. “These of us who’ve lived by means of state violence and over-policing — for black ladies who’ve witnessed relations die due to the struggle on medication and incarceration. It’s my providing to this era to inform one other story about black activists and the expertise we had as youngsters.”

Featured Picture: Picture by Jason Kempin/BET/Getty Photographs for BET/Getty Photographs

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