In a recent statement, a significant group of the Black Lives Matter movement known as Black Lives Matter Grassroots has declared its support for “the resistance in Palestine” following the attacks on Israel by Hamas over the weekend. Here’s the whole story.
BLM Grassroots issued a statement standing in solidarity with Palestinians. They wrote, “We must stand unwaveringly on the side of the oppressed.”
Apartheid and Unimaginable Violence
The statement from BLM Grassroots proclaimed that the Palestinians, who have endured decades of what they described as “apartheid and unimaginable violence,” should not be condemned for their resistance but rather understood as an act of self-defense.
The group drew parallels between the struggles of Black Americans in the United States and the oppression faced by Palestinians in Israel.
The statement, shared on BLM Grassroots’ Instagram page, read, “Black Lives Matter Grassroots stands in solidarity with our Palestinian family who are currently resisting 57 years of settler colonialism and apartheid.”
The caption corrected the timeline to “75 YEARS.”
Shared Experiences of Black Americans
The group highlighted the shared experiences of Black Americans, noting that they, too, understand the meaning of being surveilled, dehumanized, having property seized, families separated, and people criminalized with impunity.
The post added, “We, too, dream of a world where our people may live freely on decolonized land. May the borders, checkpoints, prisons, police, and watchlists that terrorize our communities crumble, and may the world we build from their ashes honor those who have fallen in struggle.”
The group urged the United States government to redirect the $4 billion in annual spending from the Israeli military to repair the damage caused by the U.S.-backed wars, military air strikes, coups, and destabilizing interventions against oppressed people worldwide.
Black Lives Matter Grassroots is distinct from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), which activist Patrisse Cullors formerly led.
However, BLM Grassroots shares and promotes the broader BLM message in the United States and abroad.
The Group Has Many Chapters
BLM Grassroots represents a coalition of 26 BLM chapters across the United States and the United Kingdom.
Using Funds for Personal Use
Last year, BLM Grassroots filed a lawsuit alleging that Shalomyah Bowers, the leader of BLMGNF, had defrauded local chapters and used their funds for personal gain.
Personal Piggy Bank
The lawsuit claimed that BLMGNF leaders failed to allocate resources as initially planned, locked BLM Grassroots out of BLM’s primary social media accounts, and used the funds like a “personal piggy bank” to the tune of $10 million.
Twitter Users Expressed Their Views
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “They lost thousands of followers for this post and had to limit the comments. This is a small group, and whoever is running this page is ignorant and doesn’t represent the opinion of the majority of Democrats, Black people, or progressives as a whole.”
BLM Is Like a Corporation
Another user added, “I really didn’t know BLM is like a corporation. I’m broken that the money isn’t going to the movement but to people who are buying million-dollar homes and misappropriating funds.”
They Have Lost It
A third user commented, “Head of Black Lives Matter lost it. It’s a sensitive matter that they should either remain neutral or go by American wave.”
A fourth user wrote, “The unjustified tolerance given to BLM over the years has only led them to be more extreme. Like a petulant child constantly testing limits.”
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