The creation of the new BLM Coalition will mean putting issues of police racism, poverty and internationalism at the heart of campaigning, says DELIA MATTIS
BLM Coalition is a coalition of black-led activist groups from across Britain that officially formalised in December 2021.
The BLM uprising of 2020 brought us together, but it is our determination to dismantle institutional racism and white supremacy and our need to campaign for our communities that has held us together.
It took us until now to formalise as a coalition because we have seen the pitfalls of organisations sprouting up but refusing to be accountable and opposing clear processes and we have made sure that all of our groups are fundamentally in favour of these things.
Alex Ruddock of BLM Portsmouth stated: “If we are to take on a position where we are representing our communities, it is only right that we do so with integrity and have full accountability and clear processes.”
As well as national campaigns the coalition will focus on community campaigning to empower people who feel locked out of the system.
Poverty and ill-health are inflicted on our communities and we will run initiatives that help to tackle the issues that disproportionately affect us.
Campaigns around education and inclusion for our youth are among our key objectives and we endeavour to support projects that empower, upskill and offer opportunity to those with the most need.
Another objective is tackling police racism and brutality. We want to create a platform where information and knowledge can be shared and campaigns against this disproportionality can be supported.
We also seek to work in collaboration with other experienced organisations such as Black and Asian Lawyers for Justice, Black Sox and others to raise awareness and build campaigns for the betterment of our communities.
Mel Mullings of the RMT black members committee stated: “The mental health of our youth is being affected by institutional injustices that they face on a daily basis.
“We need to campaign for mental health impact assessments for our youth that are affected by disproportionate school exclusions in inner cities and constant police harassment and bullying.”
Internationalism is an integral part of our movement. Black Lives Matter as much in the far-right-led Brazil, where the majority of the population is black, as much as it does in Britain.
Sixteen million Quilombolas (direct descendants of enslaved Africans) are living in more than 6,000 territories and have been denied their right to their land. More than 2,000 Quilombos are living in Amazonian territories across seven states in Brazil.
The Quilombolas and indigenous people are responsible for the preservation of the Amazon and of all other Brazilian biomes.
The legal Amazon lost 10,476 km of forest between August 2020 and July 2021 due to criminal fires. Elda Cardoso of Frente Preta UK said: “This criminality is encouraged by [Jair] Bolsonaro’s climate denial and must be stopped if we are to retain the forest that is known as the ‘lungs of the Earth.’
“We must support the indigenous and Quilombolas in solidarity just as we support our black brothers and sisters in the UK. Climate Justice without racial justice is just nonsense.”
Our groups have been instrumental in several of the Kill the Bill campaign protests and more recently have joined forces with the People’s Assembly on national days of action, and the October 2021 Manchester protests against the Tory government.
We know only too well that our campaign for the liberation of black communities has to be a campaign of solidarity and allyship.
The People’s Assembly has demonstrated both and so our partnership continues and 2022 will see this partnership building for a mass protest against state racism.
The Tory government is embarking on a programme of fascism and racism and it will take every bit of our movement to rise up and stand firm against them.
We cannot and will not allow this racist government to take away our human right to protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was in part a direct response to the BLM uprising last year and we can never allow our long-held traditions of protesting to be weakened at a sweep of their Tory pen.
We’ll be calling on everyone, community members, trade unions, campaigning organisations, parliamentarians, absolutely everyone, to help us defeat Tory racism and we firmly believe that this is a fight that we can win.
If the people decide that these Tory laws are unacceptable, like with the poll tax we will resist and make their laws ungovernable.
It is completely unfathomable that we will have to ask for the permission of the state to protest against it.
Only in places like North Korea would you find such ridiculous laws like this and I don’t believe for a second that the people will accept such authoritarianism as a part of British life.
For more information email [email protected] or follow Twitter @BLM_Coalition; Facebook and Instagram: @blm.coalition.