[WSMDiscuss] Black Lives Matter Inland Empire Announces Break with BLM Global Network (LeftOutMag)

Thomas Ponniah thomas.ponniah at gmail.com
Fri Feb 12 17:19:35 CET 2021

thanks Jai

Thomas Ponniah, Ph.D.
Affiliate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
Harvard University
Professor of Philosophy and Politics &
Coordinator, Global Great Books Certificate
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
Phone: 905.821.8436
Email: Thomas.Ponniah at gmail.com / TPonniah at georgebrown.ca

On Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 11:13 AM Jai Sen <jai.sen at cacim.net> wrote:

> Friday, February 12, 2021
> *Black Peoples in movement…, **Movements in movement…, **The US in
> movement…*
> “The issue of greatest concern for us is the relationship between the
> Global Network and the Democratic Party.”
> *Black Lives Matter Inland Empire Announces Break with BLM Global Network*
> LeftOutMag
> February 4 2021
> https://leftoutmag.com/2021/02/04/breaking/, reproduced in
> https://www.blackagendareport.com/black-lives-matter-inland-empire-announces-break-blm-global-network
> and
> https://popularresistance.org/black-lives-matter-inland-empire-announces-break-with-blm-global-network/
> *Today [Feb 4 2021] Black Lives Matter Inland Empire announced its
> departure from the Black Lives Matter Global Network, highlighting several
> grievances, and perhaps, calling attention to the need for movement leaders
> and members of movement organizations to have broader conversations of
> transparency, collective organizing and accountability. The following is a
> statement* *from Black Lives Matter Inland Empire*.
> To our community,
> Recently, a group of BLM chapters known as the BLM 10 has come forward to
> voice their concerns and opposition to the Global Network. Those concerns,
> along with the egregious conduct the Global network demonstrated on Dr.
> Martin Luther King’s birthday, have brought us to the conclusion that
> continuing to remain silent would be an act of betrayal. While the issues
> and problems that have been raised have been well known within our circle
> for years, it prompted many questions & concerns for us locally. We’d like
> to let the community know everything outlined in the statement put out by
> the BLM 10 is valid
> <https://www.blackagendareport.com/blm-chapters-demand-accountability-trio-cashed-movement>.
> We’ve also reached out to the BLM 10 and offered to sign on in support.
> Hopefully, we can provide insight and clarification into our chapter’s
> history, our relationship with the global network, and our commitments
> going forward.
> When BLM IE first started, we were originally known as the Black and Brown
> Underground (BBU). In 2015 we were approached by an individual named
> Patrisse Cullors, who offered us an opportunity to join the Global Network
> and organize as a Black Lives Matter chapter.  After hearing her proposal,
> we believed that our work, direction, and principles aligned and agreed to
> join the network; renaming ourselves Black Lives Matter Inland Empire in
> the process. We were told that the organization we were joining was
> decentralized and leaderless, but we quickly discovered that was not the
> case. The Global Network is a top-down dogmatic organization that promotes
> certain chapters that choose to align with their direction and sequester
> the ones that don’t. For us locally, that chapter has been Los Angeles.
> *“Continuing to remain silent would be an act of betrayal.”*
> For years, the leadership of the Los Angeles chapter has aligned with the
> Global network and One United Bank to impose on various chapters,
> particularly ours. We believe that while doing this they received
> substantial donations and funding, despite them continually soliciting the
> community for donations. Together, the Los Angeles Chapter along with the
> Global Network have consistently tried to strong-arm other groups and have
> worked to undermine a grassroots movement by capitalizing on unpaid labor,
> suppressing any internal attempt at democracy, commodifying Black death,
> and profiting from the same pain and suffering inflicted on Black
> communities that we’re fighting to end. In spite of being ostracised,
> receiving no financial support, and the maltreatment from both the Global
> Network and Los Angeles Chapter we’ve maintained our composure while
> working to the benefit of our community and victims of state sanctioned
> violence.
> Clearly, we do not have the same beliefs or sense of ethics. We no longer
> feel, as we initially did, that our politics align. As a result, we are
> announcing that we are no longer associated or connected to the BLM Global
> Network. As an attempt to distance ourselves, we have decided to rename
> part of our organization The Black Power Collective while we restructure.
> The use of the BLM name, which we believed was intended to unify our
> struggle, has been commodified and debased. It is now being used to sell
> products, acquire book deals, T.V. deals, and speaking engagements. We have
> no interest in these pursuits, and we are opposed to the movement to
> substitute Black capitalism for white capitalism. It has become clear that
> the Global network and certain figures have platformed our struggles with
> the sole purpose of exploiting our labor.
> *“The BLM name is now being used to sell products, acquire book deals,
> T.V. deals, and speaking engagements.”*
>  Furthermore, the issue of greatest concern for us is the relationship
> between the Global Network and the Democratic Party. This is hypocritical
> at best, as the Democratic Party has historically rejected and ignored
> BLM’s demands and has made it clear that they are pro-police, pro-prison,
> and committed to capitalism. From Obama’s support of police and his
> double-cross of Erica Garner, to “Top Cop” Kamala Harris’ denial of justice
> for Matrice Richardson, even going back to the 1994 Crime Bill authored by
> Joe Biden along with the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act that stripped basic
> human rights from countless Black people*—*the Democratic Party has
> literally created the conditions that led to the formation of this
> movement. Even now, the Democractic party continues to support imperialism,
> killing African heads of state, bombing Somalia, abusing immigrants
> (including those of the Black diaspora), and spreading the U.S. military
> throughout Black and Brown countries around the world. This is a party that
> is a threat both here and internationally. To ally with them is to ally
> against ourselves.
> The BLM10 statement calls out the lack of financial transparency and power
> moves by Patrisse Cullors and others. The actions demonstrated by the
> Global network have provided proof that the Global Network is essentially a
> steering committee acting in the best interest of various fractions within
> the Democratic Party. Additionally, the creation of the Black Lives Matter
> Political Action Committee is a violation of our collective agreement. This
> agreement was composed of two rules: 1. We do not work with police, 2. We
> do not endorse politicians. We had hoped that those rules would protect our
> struggle from being corrupted by the nonprofit sector or absorbed into the
> Democratic party. However, it now appears that the same fate that many
> activist groups before us fell victim to is the same fate that the BLM
> Global Network are destined to face. They have not only aligned with a
> political party, they’ve used the finances they acquired from a massive
> uprising during a global pandemic to create the aforementioned BLM PAC.
> *“The Global Network is essentially a steering committee acting in the
> best interest of various fractions within the Democratic Party.”*
> We believe that all finances should be clear and transparent to the Black
> community. We also believe they should be controlled by chapters that
> adhere to a democratic structure along with community checks and balances.
> Leaders that appoint themselves can no longer serve or be seen as leaders.
> We can not accept charismatic figures imposing themselves as dictators, nor
> can we support personality cults.  In the spirit of Audre Lordre and Ella
> Baker we believe that, ‘’…the master’s tools will never dismantle the
> master’s house” and that “…strong people don’t need strong leaders.”  To
> that end, it is imperative that we engage in the struggle with our own
> tools and work to build a stronger people.
> We would also like to address the violent rumor-mongering directed towards
> a member of our group who was maliciously accused of being a member of law
> enforcement. These slanderous accusations came from a leader of BLM LA and
> a figurehead of the Global Network. These accusations were nothing but an
> attempt to duck accountability for the way members of national leadership
> have treated victims of police brutality and a violation of their own
> policies. The bullying and attempts to silence smaller chapters and
> individuals who speak up must end.
> Let us be clear, we are not the authors of the discord within our
> movement.  Malcolm X encouraged us to handle our differences behind closed
> doors, but all attempts at that have failed. This corruption has thrived in
> part due to our silence and for that we must apologize.
> *“Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies
> whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no
> easy victories…”* - Amilcar Cabral
> *This open letter previously appeared in **leftoutmag*
> <https://leftoutmag.com/>*.*
> *Please join the conversation on Black Agenda Report's Facebook page at *
> *http://facebook.com/blackagendareport*
> <https://www.facebook.com/blackagendareport/>
> *Or, you can comment by emailing us at **comments at blackagendareport.com *
> <comments at blackagendareport.com>
> ____________________________
> Jai Sen
> Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of
> International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of
> Ottawa
> jai.sen at cacim.net &  <jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca
> Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282
> 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)
> *Check out something new** – including for copies of the first two books
> below, at a discount, and much more : **The Movements of Movements
> <https://movementsofmovements.net/>*
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and
> hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only
> also at The Movements of Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – *The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our
> Dance*.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press
> <http://www.pmpress.org/>; hard copy only also at The Movements of
> Movements <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*  (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration
> with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN
> <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>
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> and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
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