Home | About | Donate

Black Lives Matter Has Become a Global Movement


Black Lives Matter Has Become a Global Movement

Janaya Khan

In the two years since its conception, the Black Lives Matter movement has transformed from a powerful, U.S.-based unifier to a globalized movement connecting black and oppressed people all over the world.

After the acquittal of George Zimmerman in July 2013 in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, three black women created #BlackLivesMatter to represent black people who were being terrorized by state-sanctioned violence, poverty and mass incarceration.


Disrupting a Bernie Sanders rally was a bad strategy straight out of Rove’s playbook. Bernie is the only viable progressive candidate that cares about black lives.

Try disrupting Republican and other conservative’s rallies. They are the ones killing and imprisoning black and brown people, not progressives.


I was actually thinking about that incident. It reminds me of how hard true democratic process is to people who aren’t used to it (a la David Graber’s Democracy Project). After all, when do people actually get the chance to voice such things on stage at ‘mainstream’ political rallies? Never, that’s when! So no wonder the Black Lives Matter people were a bit rusty at it, and failed to follow a true democratic form in attempting to make themselves heard. However, I think that one of the most important things to come out of that was just the fact that those folks were ABLE to do what they did. You ask why they don’t take it to a Clinton or GOP rally? Well, what do you think would happen if they tried taking the stage at such a place? Police would be on them in a second to escort them off the premises (if they were lucky… more likely they’d end up in a jail cell). I know that Mr. Sanders was disappointed that he didn’t get to talk, but he didn’t use or threaten to use violence against those seeking to make themselves heard with an important message. And that’s the very quality that makes him so neat! Give the BLM people time to get their democratic communication/civil disobedience skill honed, and in the mean time appreciate the way Bernie handled things. Tis a good sign.


I tend to see it somewhat differently. BLM participants being much more savvy to democratic process in the civil rights movement than most folks acculturated to the status quo. I doubt you’ll see precisely that form of assertion again, but rather continued pressure in a variety of ways now that a historical instance of ‘taking the stage’ made so painfully obvious the absence of recognition.


Ummmmm, no.


I appreciate your giving BLM the benefit of the doubt. But knowing how Carl Rove operates and with his enormous budget for dirty tricks, I think that discounting that possibility would be naive.


I’m hearing the right is running with a new tact, “Bernie is weak, he can’t control his own campaign stops.” Not good.


I can see that, @theoldgoat The audience wasn’t willing to listen to all voices, just Bernie. And he has a lot of things to say that should be heard, but he hardly has a monopoly on all things that should be heard. Left on left spats are always the most interesting to think about to me, since I think they represent cool opportunities to think about and refine true democratic process, which is an interesting subject!


Several things have emerged about those who disrupted Bernie Sanders in Seattle:

  • They are not any integrated part of Black Lives Matter, but loose cannons who call themselves “Outside Agitators 206”. Their purported “Black Lives Matter Seattle” page was made just the day before the action, a shady fly-by-night tactic. They’re deleting irate comments from irate African-Americans to portray themselves as opposed strictly by those they’d characterize as fairweather white liberals. They’re not of coherent principle: one of them, Marie Jenae, has been found on Facebook referencing a time when she was wearing buttons supporting Sarah Palin.
  • Black Lives Matter spokespeople have disavowed the disruption, denied any knowledge or planning of it, denounced it, and apologized to the Sanders campaign.
  • People aren’t forgetting why the NAACP gives Bernie 97 out of 100 for his actions on behalf of civil rights.
  • Bernie’s the better for having been willing to share the mic he was invited to with outspoken activists for five minutes, and offering them a slot after. He included them; they took advantage of that to shut him down. Well, that’s on them. We all know the Republicans and likely HRC too would have had jackboots block or tased those women. Bernie is co-aligned with the message of BLM even though Marie Jenae and Marissa Johnson abused it in a shady way. That shows he cares about democracy.
  • Bernie didn’t just march with MLK and call it a day, the way some accuse him of. He’s got a long track record with CORE and other civil rights action and legislation right on to the present day. Seems the people who are targeting him forget that, but just to clarify, he’s appointed Symone Sanders to be a spokesperson on the issue and integrated her feedback on how to clearly state a civil rights position that isn’t in the shadow of an economic platform.

I applaud Bernie’s handling of this as not perfect, but highly admirable and way ahead of the curve in US politics.

I also think that loose cannons do not set the standard to judge a movement by. Black Lives Matter still deserves our full support.


Thanks listtowardslight for confirming what I suspected to be a Rovian dirty trick.

Unfortunately, the damage was done and that purported slight of the BLM movement is what many will remember, as the tricksters well know. All they need to do is keep this information out of the MSM where there is no mention of these “Outside Agitators 206” and Bernie would lose black support.


I partly agree. Fortunately, Mr. Sanders is now integrating this message (and mission) into his campaign and the speeches that he gives. Since no one in power was listening to “Black Lives Matter!” those who disrupted the Sanders’ event did so out of good conscience. It reminds me of Medea Benjamin interrupting the usual warrior-leaders to expose the dangerous folly of their agendas. These disruptions are often the only way that the marginalized (those who oppose Official Narratives and the policies they justify) can be seen and heard. To Mr. Sander’s credit, he did not prove tone-deaf. It would be great if Black lives got behind Sanders… this nation needs someone who speaks Truth (perhaps not every necessary Truth, but certainly some of the key ones) to Power.


Thank you for solid information that helps to separate fact from falsehoods.