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New Report Concludes Feds Targeted Black Lives Matters Supporters

A report from the racial justice organization, The Movement for Black Lives released Wednesday, comes to the stunning conclusion that the Justice Department “deliberately targeted supporters of the movement to defend Black lives during the summer of 2020 uprisings in order to disrupt and discourage Black organizing.”

Source The Movement for Black Lives
Created in partnership with the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law, the report analyzed 326 criminal cases filed by federal prosecutors in connection with nationwide protests from May 31 to Oct. 25 of last year in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and found the White House to be the motivating force behind the prosecutions. 

Much of the drive to use federal charges against protesters stemmed from top-down directives from former President Donald J. Trump and Attorney General William Barr, states the analysis. These directives, meant to disrupt the movement, were the primary reason for the unprecedented federalization of protest-related prosecutions seen in 2020.

Furthermore, the report claims that rhetoric from the DOJ in the form of press releases regarding the Black Lives Matters protestors painted an image of “violent radicals” in stark opposition to the language used surrounding Covid-19 anti-mask protestors during the same time period when then-President Trump referred to anti-mask protestors as “very good people.”

That difference in language was matched with a difference in response according to The Movement for Black Lives.

… the government justified the expanded use of its authority and deployment of federal enforcement due to what it claimed was local and state leaders’ “abdication of their law enforcement responsibilities in deference to this violent assault,” read the report, going on to note that President Trump urged local officials to negotiate with anti-mask protestors.

Amara Enyia, The Movement for Black Lives’ policy research coordinator told the Associated Press that the point of it was to show how the U. S. government has continued to persecute the Black movement by surveillance, by criminalizing protests, and by using the criminal legal system to prevent people from protesting and punishing them for being engaged in protests by attempting to curtail their First Amendment rights.

 It is undeniable that racism plays a role,” Enyia said. “It is structurally built into the fabric of this country and its institutions, which is why it’s been so difficult to eradicate. It’s based on institutions that were designed around racism and around the devaluing of Black people and the devaluing of Black lives.

Read the entire report here.

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