October 28, 2016

American Friends Service Committe backs Movement for Black Lives platform

This is the second major organization recently to endorse the platform of another major group not in its primary field. Earlier 350, the ecology organization, endorsed the MBL platform. We have long argued that such confluences are essential for creating a strong national movement, but we haven't seen anything like this for years

AFSC - The Board of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization dedicated to peace with justice, has endorsed the policy platform put forward by the Movement for Black Lives.

“Following a clear movement of the spirit, the Board enthusiastically approved AFSC's support and endorsement of the platform of the Movement for Black Lives, noting its consistency with AFSC's values and history,” said Board Clerk Phil Lord. “The Board asked staff to look at work they are already doing and consider what more AFSC might do to contribute to the achievement of the Movement for Black Lives' platform.”

The Movement for Black Lives Platform includes six demands: ending the war on Black people; reparations for harms; investments in education, health, and safety and divestment from criminalizing and harming Black people; economic justice for all and collective ownership for Black people; that the most impacted in our communities control laws, institutions, and policies; and full and independent Black political power and Black self-determination.

“In many ways the Movement for Black Lives Platform is aligned with our key work areas at AFSC: building peace, immigrant rights, addressing prisons, just economies, and ending racism and discrimination,” said General Secretary Shan Cretin. “In fact, we were honored to be listed as an organization working on policy around the Invest-Divest demand in the Movement for Black Lives Platform. Our work on ending mass incarceration, economic activism, and militarization is also directly related to the platform."

“AFSC was one of the few predominantly white peace organizations to actively support the Civil Rights Movement,” said Chief Diversity Office Ewuare Osayande. “It was AFSC that aided in the publication of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “Letter from a Birmingham jail,” in which he roundly criticized the white liberal religious establishment for its efforts to dictate the terms and the tempo of the movement.”

“In the coming weeks and months AFSC staff will explore how we can best use our history and resources to serve the Movement for Black Lives, including in domestic and international policy circles,” Osayande continued.

The Movement for Black Lives Platform was produced by a national network of more than fifty organizations engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement to end state-sanctioned killings of African Americans and institutional oppressions that condone them. The network has called on like-minded organizations to endorse the platform in order to strengthen the movement and widen its influence.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I support BLM and consider myself part of the larger "movement" for real Democracy, for real self-determination of people's and their nations, for eliminating war and violence in general, for creating an economy that serves all the people and planet, for equal rights for all, special privileges for none. All these things require a political change and are part of the Green Party platform and yet those of the "movement" seldom seem to recognize Greens at all, after all they are doing something more important....? Some even imagine that one or the other major parties are going to do something help them. It seems to me that a movement without a political party representing their interests is like a bus with no wheels. Meanwhile the Green bus is ready to roll but is practically empty. This is the result of allowing a usurious system to influence human behavior negatively, our money system makes people less cooperative, less willing to help one another etc. etc. Usury, as Dante noted, is the anti-art, an extraordinary form of violence doing the most possible harm with the least possible effort.