Black Lives Matter Demands Slavery Reparations

'We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2016 8:33 AM CDT
Black Lives Matter Demands Slavery Reparations
Black Lives Matter protesters march in Philadelphia on July 26.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(Newser) – A coalition of more than 60 groups, including Black Lives Matter, is demanding slavery reparations—encompassing free tuition to public universities, among other things—in its first policy platform released Monday, reports the Los Angeles Times. The platform is the result of a year’s work and touches on everything from safe drinking water to military spending. It also calls for criminal justice reforms, the "demilitarization" of police, decriminalization of drug offenses and prostitution, the release of individuals convicted of those crimes, an end to capital punishment, investments in education and jobs for black Americans, and “a reconstruction of the economy to ensure Black communities have collective ownership, not merely access,” report Reuters and CBS News.

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"We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform," says an activist. The goal is to stop "increasingly visible violence against Black communities," the Movement for Black Lives adds in a statement. "Neither mainstream political party has our interests at heart." the coalition says. Even some of the most progressive politicians are against slavery reparations, for example. But the platform is seen as a response to the racial justice movement's lack of specific policy proposals, for which it had been criticized by the likes of Hillary Clinton, who last year said "I don't believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws." While "we recognize that not all of our collective needs and visions can be translated into policy," says one activist, "we understand that policy change is one of many tactics necessary to move us towards the world we envision, a world where freedom and justice is the reality." (Read more Black Lives Matter stories.)

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