Black Lives Matter didn’t start with George Floyd. It will not end with him.
Following his murder on 26 May 2020, the movement began to set the course that ultimately stirred global citizens to join together to fight against the sole reason why George Floyd was killed. Against a system--against the American court s
ystem which is inherently racist and oppressive towards African American groups. The same system that allowed Derek Chauvin (former police officer) and his accomplices to abuse their power and let another black person to fall as a victim of police brutality.
First co-founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi in 2013, Black Lives Matter (BLM) is inspired by other similar movements that advocate for equal rights, justice and freedom from prejudice, discrimination and oppression that affect specific groups of people by the system. The movement started with an online campaign (#BlackLivesMatter) after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the police officer that was responsible for it was acquitted.
From then on, it only started to grow. BLM engages in direct action as a strategic response to make people uncomfortable enough in order for them to address the obvious issue. In 2014, Black Lives Matter demonstrated against the deaths of numerous African Americans by police actions, including those of Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Ezell Ford, Laquan McDonald, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Antonio Martin, and Jerame Reid, among others. It continued further for endless other victims of police brutality and racism every consecutive year until the present day.
The video on George Floyd being in a chokehold which would lead to his death has yet again brought American citizens to project their voice on the ongoing problem through organised protests throughout the nation. However, the social movement sparked global protest from supporters and allies alike in countries such as the UK, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands and others, both physically and virtually.
Black Lives Matter organisation has called upon the US Federal Government to put forth legislative changes through several policy demands and effective solutions to not only provide African Americans with the equal rights as citizens to live in America, but as well as giving them equal privileges in terms of education, employability, healthcare, etc in comparison to their opposite race, the Whites. Through their structural movement, petitions to get justice for victims such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and donations for their funerals were set up. On top of that, BLM is collaborating with other black freedom and racial justice organisations (e.g. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Color of Change, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), and many more).
Several specific policy demands through BLM in the US are: