Every Black August we honor freedom fighters. Demanding justice is key to Black liberation. We rise up in defense of all Black lives because protests and organizing are the only way we’ve ever secured any rights in this country.

The legacy and effectiveness of our movements means our right to protest has always been under attack, from the 10,000+ protestors arrested during the current uprising to Black political prisoners Mumia Abu Jamal, Josh Williams, and other protestors arrested during the Ferguson and Baltimore uprisings.

The current uprising has been met with police rioting, tear gas, physical abuse and violence, and bogus arrests. By June, we saw over 10,000 arrests with over 90 people facing federal charges.

The Movement for Black Lives demands all charges be dropped against protestors and political prisoners; a full investigation into all allegations of police and federal agent violence; the calling off of Operation Legend and militarization of police; all law enforcement agencies including ICE and CBP must stop arresting protestors; and passage of the BREATHE Act to divest from and end militarized policing.

From the Black Panthers to Ferguson organizers to the thousands being charged today by local and federal law enforcement, we are calling to free ‘em all!

Sign our petition now to free ‘em all. Please share widely.


VALUES & VISION

VALUES & VISON

Every Black August we honor freedom fighters. Demanding justice is key to Black liberation. We rise up in defense of all Black lives because protests and organizing are the only way we’ve ever secured any rights in this country.

Today’s uprising carries on the legacy of our ancestors who fought against our enslavement and for our civil rights, freedom fighters who became political prisoners and laid the groundwork for our current abolition efforts to defund the police and fund the people.

This uprising in defense of Black lives represents the largest social movement in U.S. history. We’ve galvanized real change across the country and the globe.

The current uprising in defense of Black lives has been met with police rioting, tear gas, physical abuse and violence, and bogus arrests. By June, over 10,000 people had been arrested and over 90 people faced federal charges for protesting. Amnesty International recorded 125 incidents of police violence against protestors during May-June 2020 in 40 states.

What’s more, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents causing harm at our borders and military units killing people overseas are now being turned against us in cities like Portland, Chicago, and Kansas City.

The Trump administration then scaled up its efforts to militarize the police, launching Operation Legend to expand the administration’s violent tactics in Portland to additional cities, many of them with sizable Black populations. They’re wielding federal law enforcement to silence and criminalize protest led by Black communities.

Our partners at United We Dream have documented protestors being targeted with bogus charges by local and federal police, while ICE and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) target immigrant protesters, threatening them with detention and deportation, including people with DACA.

OUR DEMANDS

OUR DEMANDS

The Movement for Black Lives demands:


  • All charges be dropped against protestors and political prisoners;
  • A full investigation into all allegations of police and federal agent violence;
  • The calling off of Operation Legend and militarization of police;
  • All law enforcement agencies including ICE and CBP must stop arresting protestors; and
  • Passage of the BREATHE Act to divest from and end militarized policing.

We demand justice for all protestors including Black disabled people and Black queer, trans, gender nonconforming, and intersex people who are more likely to be targeted for arrest and violence.

Law enforcement agents must be held accountable along with the institutions permitting the unlawful use of force on protestors.

From the Black Panthers to Ferguson organizers to the thousands being charged today by local and federal law enforcement, we are calling to free ‘em all!

We are guided by a Vision for Black Lives that recognizes we must abolish harmful and violent institutions to create a liberated society where we will have the resources we need to build new institutions that invest in people and community.

We will not back down or give up in the face of the government’s ruthless scare tactics. Instead, we will fight for our right to protest and continue building truly safe communities for all. We will defend every Black life.

Sign our petition now to free ‘em all. Please share widely.

TALKING POINTS

TALKING POINTS


We know the violent repression of the current uprising is part of a long history of the US government using the police and federal law enforcement to suppress social movements for peace and justice. From raids on Black Panther Party breakfast program sites, to the murder of Fred Hampton and countless other freedom fighters, to lifelong imprisonments of political prisoners such as Mumia Abu Jamal and 18 year old Josh


In June 2020, in Miami, FL, police arrested Alaa Massri, an 18 year old Muslim woman who rushed to help an injured protester. Police charged her with battery, resisting an officer with violence and disorderly conduct. They then forced her to remove her hijab for her booking photo against her wishes, confiscated it for seven hours, and disseminated her photo to news outlets all across town.


In July 2020, in Des Moines, IA, 20 police officers raided the residence of activist Viet Tran in the middle of the night and charged him with an obscure “dissemination of intelligence data” felony charge after Tran showed photos of a police bulletin displaying the faces of protesters police were targeting to the media.


This summer in Washington, DC, “Wanted posters” posted by the Park District are profiling Black people and must be taken down. They encourage widespread profiling, i.e. “does anyone recognize Black man in red shirt and bandana.”


Learning from our past and existing political prisoners, we cannot abandon people captured by the state while protesting or organizing for freedom and liberation.


Even if everyone arrested is not in our political or organizational ecosystem, we should demand their release as a matter of principle and as an abolitionist demand.


The past few months of 2020 we have seen a unique and intensive moment of uprising in the face of a series of indefensible acts by police. Punitive backlash is designed to suppress further protest and we must oppose it by defending those targeted and caged.

TOUGH Q&A

TOUGH QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Why are you calling for the release of all protestors? What about those charged with property destruction or violence?

We all have the right to mobilize in defense of Black lives. Our human and constitutional right to protest must be respected and protected. Violations of property should never be equated with the violation of human life.

Even if everyone arrested is not in our political or organizational ecosystem, we should demand their release as a matter of principle and as an abolitionist demand.

How does M4BL’s Amnesty for Protestors campaign relate to your work to defund the police?

Today’s uprising carries on the legacy of our ancestors who fought against our enslavement and for our civil rights, freedom fighters who became political prisoners and laid the groundwork for our current abolition efforts to defund the police and fund the people.

We are guided by a Vision for Black Lives that recognizes we must abolish harmful and violent institutions to create a liberated society where we will have the resources we need to build new institutions that invest in people and community.

Why do you refer to protestors who have been arrested as political prisoners?

We know the violent repression of the current uprising is part of a long history of the US government using the police and federal law enforcement to suppress social movements for peace and justice. We refer to these activists who have been arrested simply for protesting US government policy as political prisoners.

From raids on Black Panther Party breakfast program sites, to the murder of Fred Hampton and countless other freedom fighters, to lifelong imprisonments of political prisoners such as Mumia Abu Jamal and 18 year old Josh Williams from Ferguson, police are always used to protect white supremacy and destroy our movements.

Is this campaign only about Black protestors and political prisoners?

We are calling for all charges to be dropped against protestors and political prisoners, including many of our non-Black allies and supporters. Our partners at United We Dream have documented protestors being targeted with bogus charges by local and federal police, while ICE and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) target immigrant protesters, threatening them with detention and deportation, including people with DACA.

What is Operation Legend and how is it related to this Amnesty for Protestors campaign?

The Trump administration scaled up its efforts to militarize the police, launching Operation Legend to expand the administration’s violent tactics in Portland to additional cities, many of them with sizable Black populations. They’re wielding federal law enforcement to silence and criminalize protest led by Black communities.


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