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Black Lives Matter Joins a Long Line of Protest Movements that Have Shifted Public Opinion — Most Recently, Occupy Wall Street


Black Lives Matter Joins a Long Line of Protest Movements that Have Shifted Public Opinion — Most Recently, Occupy Wall Street

Peter Dreier

Throughout American history, advocates for racial justice and economic justice have sometimes been at odds, but they’ve also found common ground. In recent weeks we’ve watched this tension play out in a surprising way, when Black Lives Matters (BLM) activists disrupted Bernie Sanders rallies to demand that the socialist senator from Vermont focus more attention on racial inequities.


Excellent article, Mr. Dreier.

From the article:

“Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter reflect two parallel, overlapping, but distinct branches of progressive politics. Their commonalities are greater than their differences. Like OWS and other major protest movements, Black Lives Matters seemed to come out of nowhere, but was in reality a response to long-simmering concerns.”

Following Dr. King’s brilliant and incisive analysis, the thing missing from the equation of poverty and racism is militarism. And I look forward to Mr. Sanders broaching that topic. It could be that he fears losing the segment of the voting public that has sons and daughters in the military, or still believes that murdering civilians in other lands makes our citizens safer.

Since the greatest compliment to a teacher is having one of his or her students expand their understanding beyond what the Teacher revealed, I would add that a 4th component is missing from the trio defined by racism, militarism, and poverty. It’s sexism and the all too frequent displays of misogyny that range from rape as ubiquitous war crime to Hollywood’s glamorizing of women as not just sex objects, but targets of male wrath. This portrait is found in everything from violent video games, to pornography, to soft porn like those T.V. crime shows that feature dead female bodies at 5X the rate of deceased male ones.

Interestingly enough, U.K’s version of “Law and Order” does NOT have this same Male-Female ratio from what I’ve observed. And I do view media AS a social historian or sociologist would… by making note of its dominant images and related messaging (both overt and subliminal).

Lastly, it’s refreshing to read an analysis that notes the CONTRIBUTION made by Occupy Wall Street (along with that being currently made by Black Lives Matter). What a contrast to the fiery hell and brimstone critique leveled against O.W.S by George Lakey’s piece published yesterday on C.D.


If Sanders wins the Democratic Nomination he’ll have BLM to thank for pushing him to speak on the issue of our broken criminal justice system that targets Black lives and intentionally reaching out to the Black community, for unless he wins them and the Latino community over into his coalition he cannot win the Democratic Nomination.

He blew it last weekend. He should have been at Ferguson along side Dr. West. Maybe Symone Sanders will make sure he doesn’t blow the next opportunity to really ally himself with the Black community the way RFK did in '68 when he went to Dr. King’s funeral.


Sanders’ response to the Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle, in which he stayed on stage with them respectfully, including through a 4 1/2 minute ‘moment’ of silence for Michael Brown, may have won him the Democratic nomination. Contrast this with Hillary’s ‘head them off at the pass’ response.

And now a word from Roy Orbison for the Bride of Monsanto and Mistress of Goldman Sachs:


Nothing better illustrates the shattering of the American polity than anti-Black racism. It remains along with a bizarre dominionist Christianity and a true know-nothing hatred of immigrants the prop and mainstay of the whole conservative movement. Without this a few elitists would never be able to attract any sizable popular following. This is the southernization of our politics.
I can’t think Mr Sanders, ironically the one real candidate for president who cares at all, or anyone else can do much in the short term with this historical reality. But I will vote for him for precisely that reason.


It required the outrage with and following Michael Brown’s [death] to get the DOJ to recognize the basic research compiled community organizing in Ferguson to prepare and generate a report about the municipal structures and fine /infraction patterns linking the local government to ‘revenue’ generation on the backs of Black Lives subjected to legacy institutionalized racism of equally institutionalized impoverishment.
Perhaps all of us would benefit from reminding and familiarization of an emblematic case of institutionalized racism, what it’s patterns look like and how it operates behind the counters and in the many meeting rooms of government buildings, which are supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people.
A link to the DOJ report on Ferguson: http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf


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while I totally agree with the BLM movement I wasn’t impressed wit hthe take over of someone else stage as previously stated. However, this is one of teo larger groups both for people of color and the general population with serious needs to be addressed and that is deaths and victimizations without legitimate actions by the law enforcement agencies concerning so called law enforcement officers and individuals within law enforcement. Be it illegal seizers, deaths, assault [and the gamut] to illegal investigations, blanket immunity of informants and undercover agents as well as side ways prosecutions that never should have made it into court. There is an epidemic of abuse in this country with untold numbers of victims and it needs to be addressed and prosecuted as well as solid laws made and upheld on a federal level to force states to not allow their law enforcement agencies to be willing to ignore or cover the type of massive corruption in the system today


Hillary meets with BLM in private-Jeb Bush meets with BLM in private-and it is reported-see its not only Bernie Sanders being targeted,BLM is going after other candidates-really! Chris Hayes shows Hillary speaking about money in politics???and then Bernie Sanders-And Chris Hayes pronounces -see they are both addressing the same issues.----You will see this all over the media to suggest Hillary is Bernie but more electable. Bernie Sanders said- No one running will tell you this but I will. I cannot get things done if elected president-there needs to be a grass roots movement to make real change-change the congress and get money out of politics. Isn’t it interesting that the Clinton’s and Obama have done next to nothing to build a strong party???Do leaders in the black and Latino community really want to address the real issues?Or are they in it for themselves ego and make money. When BLM says its not economic-they are in effect saying -don’t rock the boat. Just like Hillary and Obama make change on the edge but don’t rock the boat. Bernie Sanders is rocking the boat-and his most important message is not income inequality but we need a movement.Are you listening 99%----Because the 1% is organized and will do everything to keep the 99% divided in fragments and buy the leaders off!