Warren Issues Big Defense of 'Black Lives Matter'

She compares it to the civil rights movement
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2015 1:40 PM CDT
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at the 2015 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 in Springfield, Mass.   (Dave Roback/The Republican via AP)

(Newser) – On Sunday, Elizabeth Warren gave what the Washington Post is calling "the speech that Black Lives Matter activists have been waiting for." Speaking at the Edward Kennedy Institute in Boston, Warren compared the Black Lives Matter movement to the 1960s civil rights movement and called for all police officers to wear body cameras and be trained on how to de-escalate potentially violent situations, the Boston Globe reports. "It is a tragedy when any American cannot trust those who have sworn to protect and serve," she said. "This pervasive and persistent distrust isn’t based on myths. It is grounded in the reality of unjustified violence." Vox calls the speech a "full-throated defense of the movement," one that stands in contrast to how other candidates have handled the issue.

"We’ve seen sickening videos of unarmed, black Americans cut down by bullets, choked to death while gasping for air—their lives ended by those who are sworn to protect them," said Warren. "Peaceful, unarmed protesters have been beaten. Journalists have been jailed. And, in some cities, white vigilantes with weapons freely walk the streets." She also discussed economic inequality as it relates to racism, pointing out the widening wealth gap between black and white families. Activists praised the speech: "Warren, better than any political leader I've yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death—that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence and that the uprisings have been the result of years of lived trauma," says one. (Will this fire up those Biden-Warren rumors?)

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