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A Black Lives Matter mural is defaced with red, white and blue paint in Washington state – CNN

The 140-foot mural is on the side of a building in downtown Spokane, Washington -- sponsored in part by Terrain, a local arts nonprofit. Terrain, along with digital advertising agencies 14Four and Seven2, hired 16 artists to decorate and paint each letter in Black Lives Matter, according to CNN affiliate KXLY.

To some, though, it was insulting. The mural, completed less than two weeks ago, was vandalized on Wednesday.

But the community isn't letting the negative response hinder the effort. A fundraiser to restore the mural has already raised more than $10,000.

Artist Nicholas Sironka designed and painted the "A" in "Black" of the mural, a letter that received the brunt of the white paint. He wasn't surprised the mural had been vandalized, he told CNN.

"I just feel that the whole Black Lives Matter now to me has more meaning, unity of purpose. Everybody is unified to one purpose and that is eradicating inequality and injustice and all those things put together," he said.

Kiantha Duncan, vice president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, said she had a visceral reaction to seeing the photos.

This isn't the only BLM mural that has been defaced in recent weeks. In Spokane, a mural of George Floyd was defaced with white paint, though it has now been restored.

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A Black Lives Matter mural is defaced with red, white and blue paint in Washington state - CNN

From Bloody Sunday to Black Lives Matter, the role of the Black church is shifting – POLITICO

We dont really know when the economy will get better, but there are three directions it could go. We break them down and why the future of the largest economy in the world is virtually in the hands of Congress.

What is missed often about what these movements have in common is we may not be of a religious tradition, but we absolutely are of a spiritual tradition, Khan said, citing the examples of Lewis and Ella Baker, another civil rights forbear with ties to the church. There is something inherently supernatural and spiritual about the work of social justice and the work of change.

The goals of the Black Lives Matter movement also intersect with the objectives of many liberation-focused Black churches: self-sufficient, politically empowered Black communities, equal access to resources and deep regard for public safety.

Al Sharpton, Baptist minister and founder of the National Action Network, said that to suggest that the movements conflict with the church is a new phenomenon would be rewriting of the movement.

This is nothing new, Sharpton said. Martin Luther King used to call it 'creative tension.' We need the push and pull between different disciplines and different tactics to come up with the best way.

Sharpton pointed out that of the Big Six civil rights leaders of the 1960s who coordinated the first March on Washington James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, A. Phillip Randolph, Whitney Young, King and Lewis only one, King, was a preacher. Many, as in the case of Roy Wilkins, were often hostile to the church as an organizing tool and felt it got in the way of the movements goals. Its a pattern that repeats itself in the Black Lives Matter era, Sharpton argued.

It's not like you don't have church leaders that don't disagree with me, he said. And it's not like you don't have Black Lives Matter folks that say he ain't with us even though he's black, and he says he is. There's searching on all sides. Can we make it all work is the challenge.

Two of Black Lives Matters founders, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza, have spoken at National Action Network events and gone on Sharptons show to show operational unity. Younger activists have deferred to Sharpton in their organizing, as was the case in Minneapolis during George Floyds funeral, where it was accepted that Sharpton would deliver Floyds eulogy.

Activists of all generations, genders and sexual and religious orientations are united, moreover, in their view of how Lewis civil rights record has informed the work they have done and continue to do. His legacy proves especially critical now, following the more than two months of protests against racism and police violence that have made Lewis quintessential phrase good trouble newly relevant.

Speaking at Lewis' funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church, former President Barack Obama, weighed in from the pulpit on the biggest political issues of the day: Voting rights, fair Congressional representation and the presence of federal agents in Americas cities.

We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, Obama, the nation's first Black president, said.

Yet Lewis work, Obama continued, vindicated the faith in our founding.

Several organizers said Lewis legacy has helped them push the boundaries of what could be possible in their work.

Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, evoked Lewis words from his speech at the first March on Washington in her address to the Democratic National Committees platform meeting on Monday.

Hearkening back to Lewis, we are now involved in a serious revolution, Cullors said, borrowing language from his March on Washington address. Cullors encouraged the Democrats to embrace sea changes recommended by the Black Lives Matter movement, namely the BREATHE Act, which would limit federal ability to deploy police forces to cities and dramatically decrease the defense budget.

It's not enough just to have a seat at the table, we want to create a table or we want to flip the table over, said Angela Peoples, an organizer and director of Black Womxn For, an organization that aims to galvanize the political power of Black women and gender non-conforming folks. But even being able to name that as something that we want or that we even think is possible is only because those that have come before us have pushed their existence and their reality to see beyond what's possible.

This was true even in the face of bodily danger, something that has been associated with Lewis legacy as a protester. Jesse Jackson, former presidential candidate and founder of the multiethnic organizing Rainbow Coalition said that Lewis became immortal on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965. During that day, Lewis skull was cracked by a state trooper with a billy club.

John never stopped fighting, Jackson said. He had no fear and was always a really gentle and tough-minded person.

He also had his eyes on the future, even in his final days: one of the last pieces of legislation Lewis supported was the Justice in Policing Act, which aims to limit police violence. The bill, which would establish a national standard for police tactics and limit officers use of force, passed in the House on June 25, exactly one month after Floyd was killed.

Kayla Reed, director of the organizing group Action St. Louis and co-creator of the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, said Lewis legacy inspired her career of activism.

I think it highlights what is possible, Reed said. When we think about how some people put a beginning and end to movements, that movement [work] is actually a lifelong commitment.

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From Bloody Sunday to Black Lives Matter, the role of the Black church is shifting - POLITICO

The three reasons Black Lives Matter marchers refuse to quit – CNN

Even if there aren't tens of thousands of people flooding the streets as they did at the beginning of the summer, the demonstrators carry on -- unafraid of police presence and unrelenting in the face of potential coronavirus infections.

Each has their own reason. Some personally experienced the sting of police brutality. Some demand things need to change.

For their unique motivations, all of them agreed -- this work has become a vital part of who they are.

Here are three reasons why they still march.

To maintain momentum

Before the pandemic, 22-year-old Tyrell Taylor and 12 of his friends used to get together and do anything they could to stay active. Those meetups came to a screeching halt once New York started shutting down in March.

To beat the boredom, they formed a group called MBR, or Mind, Body, Results, for organized bike rides.

After the death of George Floyd, those leisurely rides became acts of protest.

The group meets every Friday at 6 p.m. with a few exceptions. They've occupied the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Square Park and Times Square, among other iconic New York locales. At their largest protest, Taylor and his friends rode with 1,000 cyclists.

Clogging the streets with bikes is both disruptive and peaceful, Taylor, a graduate student at Medaille College, told CNN. Their bikes have become their platforms for anti-racism.

"Our main focus is to be a community, a family," Taylor said, "Without that, we're just a bunch of strangers yelling 'Black Lives Matter' and that's not what we want to create, we want people to know and be familiar with what they're going into the protest to achieve."

Taylor has had to cancel protests at times, but the group would come back the following week stronger. Quitting would mean throwing away almost two months of progress, Taylor said

"I would say, even if you feel like it's getting repetitive, if you're getting tired of doing it, continue to do it, because they're waiting for you to stop," he said. "And knowing that they're waiting for us to stop, makes us want to go twice as hard."

Taylor said he thinks now the movement for Black lives is peaking.

"People are falling off, but it's our job to maintain this peak."

To be an ally

"You have to understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint," he told CNN. "I'd say the focus and organization is actually much stronger than it was on day one."

Kilgore, who is White, said his community appears to be progressive, but the Black Lives Matter movement has laid bare inequalities in education, income and opportunity within the city.

"Racism is still deeply ingrained in every institution of this city," he said.

It's a start, said Kilgore, who support defunding the police department, but "not enough to satiate people's thirst for true equality." The announcement came around the same time police began to fine protesters for blocking the street.

"I plan on staying the course as long as it takes to achieve radical change here in St. Pete," he said. "I am in it for the long haul."

To disrupt the status quo

Fargo, North Dakota, didn't have a formal Black Lives Matter chapter until a few days after the death of George Floyd, when four residents coalesced to found the organization's Fargo-Moorhead branch.

They've had to become a family fast.

Before they joined the Black Lives Matter board, they advocated for Black lives in Fargo in different ways: Kiara Jackson is president of North Dakota State University's Black Student Association, where she met fellow board member and graduate student Frederick Edwards Jr. There's Faith Dixon, who runs a daycare and nonprofit in Fargo, and Jamaal Abegaz works with the local Democratic Socialists group.

For their differences in background and age, they're a formidable team. They've led several marches since May 30 in their predominantly White community and met with local officials to plead for change.

Their work energizes them. It's also made them targets, they told CNN.

They've been told their protests "make the town look bad." Abegaz said he's received death threats.

"Just the simple act of saying that things need to change and that we're not going to go along with the status quo puts our lives in harm," Abegaz said.

Dixon said they've been painted as the enemy, which intimidates residents from joining them.

"We are citizens of this community which we love," Dixon said. "I own a business here. Our families are here. Why would we want to see a city we care so much about be ruined ... We're four individuals that have a right to speak and have a right to protest, and why is it such a huge fight just to do that?"

The demonstrators will hold as many more protests as it takes for those changes to come, Dixon said. Their work has become a part of who they are.

"We're organizing for our lives," Abegaz said. "We have to live, so we're not going to live under somebody's boot."

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The three reasons Black Lives Matter marchers refuse to quit - CNN

NBA season restarts with a nod to Black Lives Matter and 2 games that went down to the wire – CNN

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NBA season restarts with a nod to Black Lives Matter and 2 games that went down to the wire - CNN

A man held a Black Lives Matter sign in Harrison, Arkansas. He posted the racist responses to YouTube. – USA TODAY

Rob Bliss, holds a Black Lives Matter sign in Harrison, Arkansas. Bliss posted a video of the reactions he received to the sign.(Photo: Rob Bliss)

Rob Bliss stood outside a Walmart Supercenter in Harrison, Arkansas - dubbed "America's Most Racist Town" - and held a sign for everyone to see.

The words on the sign? "Black Lives Matter."

Needless to say, it caused quite a stir.

Bliss, a 31-year-old white man from Los Angeles, endured abarrage of hate speech during his project, which is now a viral rage on social media.He went to Harrison shortly after Independence Day and recorded the reactions of townsfolk, condensed days of vitriol down to just over two minutes,and let it fly on YouTube.

The video, which has been viewed more than 920,000 times on Bliss page, is a bleak bombardment of hate.One person warns Bliss not to be around after dark. Anothercalled him a derogatory term for Jewish people. A few brought up the fact he was white and asked why he was holding the sign at all. Most looked like they were on their way to or from shopping, driving typical trucks, SUVs and compact cars, launching salvos of venom.

Federal agency: Supporting 'Black Lives Matter' isn't partisan or political

A lone man rolled down his window while driving by Blissand said, About 10 minutes I'm going to be back. You better be (expletive) gone. Bliss said he feared the man was going to get a gun.

Bliss, no stranger to viral video famewith videos like "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman,"said videos like his help the conversation around the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protests against racial inequality and police brutality have continued across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the knee of a former Minneapolis officer.

I think people assume that real racism doesnt really exist anymore, Bliss said. That its more like, its institutional or its implicit or its subconscious, when really, one of the reasons why I like this video is you can see this is very real. This is very present and its very visceral. Its like Level 1 racism and were still at this level in many places around the country.

Across the US: Black Americans report hate crimes, violence in wake of George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter gains

Bliss videofeatures a near-constant torrent of insults, threats and racial epithets directed at Bliss. The end features a solitary upbeat moment, in which a person gives Bliss a note saying, "Don't give up hope."

There were others who were kind, Bliss said. Some people offered Gatorade to help him beat the brutal heat and others gave the occasional thumbs up.

Bliss said most of the video was shot at theWalmart Supercenter. At one point in the video, Walmart employees confronted Bliss and asked him to leave.

As a company committed to racial equity, we stand in solidarity with the Black community, and are appalled some chose to express themselves in such a hurtful way, Walmart said in statement to USA TODAY in response to the video.

Still, Bliss was asked to leave the premises because we have a policy prohibiting solicitation and demonstrations on Walmart property for both individuals and organizations, the company added.

Fact check: Kroger is not charging customers a Black Lives Matter tax

Its important we come together during these difficult times and display kindness and understanding while respecting our differences, Walmart said in a statement. Respect for the individual is a core value at Walmart, and we will continue to demonstrate that principle in how we operate our business.

Bliss said hes received threats of legal action from people who dont want their faces in the video.

Leadership in Harrison responded to the video on Tuesday. In a joint statement, Boone County Judge Robert Hathaway, city Mayor Jerry Jackson and Harrison Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Bob Largent said, The video does not represent Boone County nor the City of Harrison.

While we cannot excuse the reprehensible behavior and words of individuals recorded in the video, we know for certain that they do not reflect the views of the majority of the good people of our communities, the group said.

Walmart: Walmart will stop selling 'All Lives Matter' merchandise

They added, It is obvious there is still work to be done in our area and across the nation. We must constantly strive to do better, and we pledge our continued efforts in that regard.

Harrison was recently featured in the Boston Globe after Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched to the Harrison town square in June. The protest, despite the presence of armed counter-protesters, was largely peaceful, the Globe reported. A single armed Black man led a march consisting mostly of white people, and police held back and quieted counter-protesters, according to the Globe.

Harrison is a town of just over 13,000 and is more than 95 percent white, according to U.S. Census data. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the city is the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2019, the SPLC tracked 15 hate groups in Arkansas -- five were in Harrison.

Shedding some of the towns racist reputation can start with getting rid of a billboard, Bliss said. The still image for the video is Bliss holding his sign in front of a billboard for White Pride Radio.

If thats not Harrison, Arkansas, then they as a city, as a town, need to take it down, he said. Go get a cherry picker, a ladder, whatever you need to do. If thats not you, then take that down and support each other in doing that. If it remains up, the whole town is complicit in allowing that to remain.

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A man held a Black Lives Matter sign in Harrison, Arkansas. He posted the racist responses to YouTube. - USA TODAY

Instead of demonising Black Lives Matter protesters, leaders must act on their calls for racial justice – The Conversation AU

The intensification of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US in recent months has led to radical reform and action.

The police officers responsible for the killing of George Floyd were all charged with serious offences, including one with second-degree murder. The city of Minneapolis voted to replace its police force with a new system of public safety, while other cities have slashed their police budgets.

The BLM and Stop First Nations Deaths in Custody protests across Australia since early June have similarly called for charges against police officers and prison guards responsible for deaths in custody, as well as an end to racialised police violence.

Another major protest is scheduled for today in Sydney amid warnings from Prime Minister Scott Morrison that demonstrators would be breaking the law by attending after organisers lost their appeal to overturn the Supreme Court ruling blocking it.

Organisers offered to call it off if Premier Gladys Berejiklian committed to an investigation into the 2015 death of Aboriginal prisoner David Dungay Jr.

The co-chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Nerita Waight, said last month,

we cannot be silent while police violence is unchecked and continues to kill our people.

There has also been a push to implement the 339 recommendations of the almost 30-year-old Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which call for the use of arrest and imprisonment as a last resort, safer police and prison practices, independent investigations into deaths in custody and Aboriginal self-determination.

In recent decades, however, governments have defunded many First Nations organisations and programs that would enable successful implementation of these recommendations.

Read more: Can you socially distance at a Black Lives Matter rally in Australia and New Zealand? How to protest in a coronavirus pandemic

While there has been no movement on these larger structural issues just yet, the BLM protests have resulted in smaller victories.

This month, the South Australian government committed to funding a custody notification service to ensure all Aboriginal people who enter police custody have access to a call to the Aboriginal Legal Services.

This service was recommended by the royal commission and has saved First Nations lives in other states and territories.

Another victory has been the initiation of a NSW parliamentary inquiry into how First Nations deaths in custody are investigated.

Ken Wyatt, the federal Indigenous affairs minister, has also met with Aboriginal peak organisations to discuss incorporating justice targets in the new Closing the Gap measures.

Yet, these targets have not yet reined in police powers and the discriminatory over-policing of First Nations adults and children.

Overwhelmingly, the Commonwealth and state governments have responded to the BLM protests in Australia with condemnation.

Police commissioners and political leaders in several states have sought to block protests to prevent the spread of coronavirus, threatening arrests and issuing fines.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott said of the move to push ahead with todays rally,

its actually arrogance and its probably the most dangerous act that anybody could do during a pandemic is organise a mass gathering.

Government leaders say they understand the cause and support the BLM movement, but not the means.

Yet, they still have not responded to the movements demands for mitigating police violence against First Nations people.

In fact, when police attacks on Aboriginal people have been captured on phone cameras and televised in recent months, they have been defended by the police, commissioners and ministers.

There have been at least five First Nations deaths in custody this year, with two in the last month alone.

There are also increasing concerns for the lives of First Nations people in prisons as COVID-19 has begun to spread in institutions and youth detention centres in Victoria.

Read more: 'I can't breathe!' Australia must look in the mirror to see our own deaths in custody

Urgent and systemic change is required to claw back decades of extended police powers in NSW under the Law Enforcement Powers and Responsibilities Act and redress the lack of accountability for the 438 First Nations deaths in custody since 1991 and the 99 deaths investigated by the royal commission.

However, there are internal and external factors preventing this type of structural change.

On the one hand, the police have considerable power in Australia to influence decision-making at the parliamentary level and the way the tabloid media report on policing. The police unions also run active campaigns to defend officers charged in deaths in custody cases.

On the other hand, there has been a national silence about racialised police violence and deaths in custody of First Nations people. Gomeroi scholar Alison Whittaker describes this silence as embedded in colonisation and white supremacy.

The BLM movement has stimulated critical discussions in Australia on racial injustice and how First Nations people have challenged and resisted racialised policing and custodial practices.

It has also opened up conversations on the historic role of the police in the assimilation, enslavement and massacre of First Nations peoples. These practices have disrupted First Nations cultures, laws, families, connections to Country, languages, health and well-being.

This is precisely why a holistic, nationwide truth-telling process is so critical to hold the police to account for enforcing policies to eliminate First Nations people in the past and today. We must decolonise our legal system to remove assumptions about the central role of the police in managing First Nations communities.

Read more: Despite 432 Indigenous deaths in custody since 1991, no one has ever been convicted. Racist silence and complicity are to blame

Truth-telling is not a one-off event, but a process of ongoing exchange. This requires reforming the education system: for instance, by emphasising diversity and cultural competency in the law and justice programs that produce the next generation of police and legal professionals. It also requires a commitment to independent investigations for deaths in custody and police violence.

Truth-telling can be a mechanism for structural change and reparations, as well. This requires resetting police strategies to reduce their disproportionate surveillance of First Nations people and ensuring police accountability.

Enacting policies, such as the NSW Police Aboriginal Strategic Direction 2018-2023 to improve relationships between officers and Aboriginal communities, is meaningless if Aboriginal people are still being disproportionately stopped and searched as part of police detection targets.

In the absence of truth-telling processes, police accountability and government commitments to de-centre the police from the lives of First Nations people, the BLM street protests will continue. Its the only way for First Nations people and their allies to be heard, to educate and to elevate calls for justice.

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Instead of demonising Black Lives Matter protesters, leaders must act on their calls for racial justice - The Conversation AU

Black Lives Matter Group: Apology to Family of Man Who Died – The New York Times

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. A Black Lives Matter chapter in North Carolina has apologized to the family of a Black man who died last year for demanding the release of jail and body camera footage leading up to his death.

We apologize for any hurt that our support of the legal petition by several news outlets and publications for the release of this footage may have caused the Neville family or his loved ones, Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem said on Facebook Thursday. We want to fully impart to them that we meant no harm in any way, and we wish to honor them and the dignity of John Neville.

Prosecutors said John Neville, 57, died in December due to a brain injury after he was placed face down and restrained by officers in a manner that made him unable to breathe. The family had opposed releasing the footage from Forsyth County jail, but released a statement through their attorneys this week saying they now want the video released, news outlets reported.

Before his death, Neville had been arrested by Kernersville police on a misdemeanor charge of assault on a female. Six people, including five detention officers and a jail nurse, have been charged in connection with his death.

Brienne Neville, John Nevilles daughter, declined a request for comment by the Winston Salem-Journal on the groups apology.

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Black Lives Matter Group: Apology to Family of Man Who Died - The New York Times

UMTV’s The Culture sheds light on the Black Lives Matter movement – University of Miami

A group of University of Miami students take a deep dive through film, photography, and journalism into the history of police brutality and social justice issues Black people are facing in the United States.

As many students around the nation and globe engage in protesting violence by police against Black communities, a group of students at the University of Miami is documenting as much of it as possible.

Jayda Graham and KiAnna Dorsey, executive producers of The Culture, UMTVs award-winning channel which highlights the Black experience at and beyond the University of Miami, have banded together during the summer to lead the charge on a special edition project titled Black Voices Matter. UMTV produces nine different shows, including a weekly live sports show and newscast, a late-night comedy program, and two Spanish-language programs.

We felt like it was really important for us to talk about the issues that Black people are facing in America, said Jayda Graham, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. I think this is a very unique time in history. Not only are we dealing with these social issues, but were also dealing with a pandemic thats disproportionately affecting black people.

Graham said it feels like an explosion of issues all at once and the U.S. is being forced to recognize what Black people have always been dealing with.

The 30-minute special project will highlight the history of the Black Lives Matter organization and its mission after the killing of teen Trayvon Martin. Members of The Culture will also share their personal perspectives of protests and rallies from their respective cities and towns.

Even though were in the midst of a hard time and everybody is social distancing, I feel like thats whats making this project extra special, said Dorsey, a sophomore majoring in motion pictures with a minor in Spanish. I also think its really special to know people from all over the University are on board.

UMTV station manager Gianna Sanchez, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, frequently met virtually with Dorsey and Graham to assist with the planning and visual aspects of the project. Sanchez coordinated with every show under the UMTV umbrella so that they would be a part of the project.

It was important for UMTV to show its support of Black voices rather than just make one simple post about it, Sanchez said. All nine shows came together to make one united project, but it was important for The Culture to lead and to have this experience.

The unique project captures voices from across the University, including President Julio Frenk, Black student leaders, and faculty and staff members.

Its a combination of national and UM news, while also putting the focus on Black stories, Sanchez said. While showcasing those difference aspects, we end the show on a positive note by showcasing the things that have changed because of the proteststips on how you can be proactive, self-care advice, and helpful ways you can be an ally.

As Graham and Dorsey return to campus this fall semester, they plan to keep consistently creating similar content to keep their followers and supporters aware of Black community news.

We are pushing the envelope and telling the stories that need to be told, Graham said.

Black Voices Matter can be viewed online Friday, July 31, on the UMTV website.

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UMTV's The Culture sheds light on the Black Lives Matter movement - University of Miami

Orlando Hudson says he won’t wear Black Lives Matter shirt – SCNow

DARLINGTON, S.C. Former Major League Baseball All-Star second baseman Orlando Hudson says he will not wear a Black Lives Matter shirt.

Hudson, a native of Darlington, spoke alongside South Carolina Highway Patrol Col. Chris Williamson, also a Darlington native, at a conversation on policing event held Thursday evening at the Dominion Church.

"I've been asked to wear that shirt," Hudson said. "The reason I won't wear that shirt is not because black lives don't matter but because we have lost our identity as a black culture. We leave our women [and children] fatherless. We rape our women. We sell drugs to our own people. And it hurts."

"It seems black lives only matter when you have a Caucasian cop killing a young black man, then everybody wants to march for injustice," Hudson continued. "Where's the [march for] injustice when our mothers are raising two or three kids and the father is running around doing what he have to do?"

Hudson asked where was the march for injustice when gang-bangers were killing each other over a street corner or a block.

"They call that street cred," Hudson said. "When the white man kill us, they call that injustice."

No one in the room, Hudson said, created the injustices that African American people face today. Those have been going on for 400 years.

Hudson said most people have virtually unlimited opportunities for education.

"Now, we're in a time now where an African American brother can get an education but we'd rather see how many likes we can get on Snapchat," Hudson said. "We'd rather see how much love we can get on Instagram."

Instead of reading books, it's TikTok videos, Hudson added.

Hudson also expressed a desire for African Americans to desire to become doctors and lawyers and not focus all their efforts on becoming professional sports athletes.

Hudson imagined a conversation between Christ and God in which Christ tells God not to get angry about the lack of unity in the world because Christ was going to send a pandemic to force people to become unified.

Hudson also expressed a desire to see more people put God first in their lives. He implied that people needed to spend less time waiting in line at Walmart and more time in church.

Hudson also spoke about NBA forward LeBron James. He said he absolutely adored James both on and, particularly, off the court. Hudson said he admired James for making it to the NBA despite being the child of a teenage single parent.

James was born on Dec. 30, 1984, to 16-year old Gloria James.

"He understood being a young black man, playing this game that he loved playing, 'I can't make too much noise right now because they got an opportunity or a chance to run me out of here. I've got no leverage,'" Hudson said, partially speaking as James. Now that James has achieved success and the financial security that comes with it, Hudson said, "they can't shut him up."

Others speaking during the conversation included Williamson he showed a video of what to expect during a traffic stop and also talked about unity and togetherness South Carolina state Rep. Robert Q. Williams, Darlington County Schools Superintendent Tim Newman, Darlington Police Chief Kelvin Washington, and Darlington Mayor Curtis Boyd.

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Orlando Hudson says he won't wear Black Lives Matter shirt - SCNow

This Black Lives Matter Activist Is Running for Congress. Can She Bring Down a 20-Year Incumbent? – Mother Jones

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Cori Bush smells tear gas when there isnt any. Loud noises frighten her, reminders of police brandishing sniper rifles, firing rubber bullets, and revving the engines of armored vehicles. When the video of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyds neck began to circulate, Bushs reaction was instinctual: Dont look at it. She looked anyway.

For 400 days in 2014 and 2015, protesters gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, to register their outrage over the police killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown. For most of those days, Bush joined themat first, in her capacity as a registered nurse to tend to protesters injuries, and later as a community organizer on the front lines. She went out again in 2017 to organize after another white police officer was acquitted of murder in the 2011 shooting death of a Black man during a car chase in north St. Louis. This year, as Americans across the country protested Floyds killing, a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of FlorissantBushs hometownran over a Black man with his unmarked SUV before getting out of the car to repeatedly kick him. And so Bush and her fellow Ferguson activists organized yet another demonstration against police brutality. During a June gathering, she tweeted that she had been pepper-sprayed in the eyes by the cops.

Its a reminder that we didnt finish the work, Bush, 43, tells me.

After Browns killing, Ferguson voters replaced several members of the city council, which now, like Ferguson itself, is majority Black. The city swore in its first Black police chief in 2016, and, two years later,the much-criticized county prosecutor who oversaw the investigation into Browns killing lost his seat in a primary. But for all the headway theyve made at home, Ferguson activists have had little ability to rewrite the countrys broken criminal justice policies. Theres only so much you can do when you dont have that pen in your hand, Bush says.

Half a decade after the Ferguson protests, Bush is in the final days of her second primary challenge against Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who has held the St. Louis-area 1st congressional district since 2001. The race features two Black leaders with very different ideas about how to create change. Clay is a consummate insider who has spent decades building political power, which he has used to secure tangible, if incremental, progress on issues including police abuse. Bush, who is also an ordained minister, has little patience for incremental measures. She believes the district that helped turn Black Lives Matter into a national movement should have an activist in its congressional seat, someone who stands unwaveringly with BLMs demands.

Bush began her career as a preschool teacher making minimum wage. After a decade with the same company, shed worked her way up to become the schools assistant directorbut she still made only $9 per hour. She quit that job in 2001, when she became ill while pregnant with her second child. Not long after giving birth, she and her then-husband were evicted from the home theyd been renting. For several months, they lived out of the familys Ford Explorer with their 14-month-old son and newborn daughter.

When her children were small, Bush got stuck in a cycle of debt with predatory personal loans. She borrowed small amounts$250 here, $500 thereto cover rent, utility bills, and car repairs. I remember one day I was sitting outside of the PayDay Loan officeI just remember thinking like, Who speaks up for people like me? Bush recalls. Why do I keep having to live like this?

So for Bush, her crusade for office is personal. She supports Medicare for All because she gave up her employer-sponsored health insurance to run for officeand has to pay out of pocket for two hospitalizations for a suspected case of COVID-19. She supports tuition-free college because she had to pay off student loans. And she supports a $15 minimum wage because she made far less than that for so long. Ive struggled paycheck to paycheck, asking, Wheres our progress? Bush narrates in her first television ad. As a Black mom, Im sick of having to say, Just make it home safely.

The thing isClay supports these things, too. Hes been a cosponsor of Medicare for All since former Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) first introduced it in 2003. He sided with progressives by voting against Trumps replacement for NAFTA. He cosponsored the Green New Deal. In the most recent session of Congress, he signed onto Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezs (D-N.Y.) bill that would cap credit card interest rates at 15 percenta limit that some of his more moderate colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee found preposterously low.

Then theres criminal justice. Two months before the 2014 Ferguson uprising, Clay had joined a majority of Democrats in voting against a measure that would have ended the transfer of military equipment to police. But in the days that followed Browns death, he co-authored a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding the Justice Department investigate the shooting and any patterns of police misconduct. The DOJ did investigate, ultimately clearing the officer who killed Brown but issuing a damning report that determined Ferguson police were routinely stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them. The St. Louis American, the local Black newspaper, endorsed Clays reelection bid in 2018, observing that his insider game in Washington had helped bring about the probe, which ultimately resulted in a consent decree under which the city agreed to legally binding reforms. St. Louis will be better served by having an experienced congressman with nearly two decades of seniority, the paper concluded.

This year, while Bush was protesting Floyds murder, Clay and many of his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus were shaping the Democrats landmark police reform legislation. The measure stops short of activists demands to defund the police, but it would establish a national registry of police misconduct, end qualified immunitywhich prevents citizens from suing individual officersand ban chokeholds. Clays contributions to the bill would mandate deescalation training for officers, require that deadly force only be employed as a last resort, and provide for the appointment of an independent prosecutor anytime deadly force is used. The bill passed the House on June 25, exactly one month after Floyd died.

It is the role of an activist to push us as far as they can push us. It is our role to legislate, and that is a different role, CBC chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)herself a longtime civil rights activisttold Politico in June, as the bill was working its way through the House. We are very committed to making a difference, and that is different than making a point. You can either make a point, or you can make a difference.

Bushs run against Clay doesnt neatly follow the pattern of successful progressive primary challenges, which have lately excelled on two planes. One is ideology: Former marketing executive Marie Newman defeated Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) this past March on the premise that no sitting House Democrat should oppose abortion rights. Another is representation: Two years ago, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) unseated Rep. Michael Capuano, a bona fide progressive, by arguing in part that her life experience would help her better serve her majority-minority district. Jamaal Bowmans recent win against New York Rep. Eliot Engel succeeded on both frontsas did Ocasio-Cortezs 2018 victory over House Democratic caucus chair Joseph Crowley.

Bush is challenging Clay on a third dimension: The rigorousness with which he fights for his constituents. As an example, she points to the Houses police bill. I think theyre too soft, she says of its provisions, criticizing the lack of any real defund language. Bush has also slammed Clays coziness with corporate interests. Three-quarters of the nearly $750,000 Clay raised through June of this year came from political action committees, nearly 80 percent of which are backed by big business. His top campaign contributor is Quicken Loans, a mortgage giant that Clay is charged with overseeing from his perch on the Financial Services Committee. In 2015, the Justice Department sued Quicken for originating hundreds of home loans for borrowers who werent eligible for them. (The company agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle the case without admitting wrongdoing.)

Clay maintains that his fundraising has no bearing on how he votes. But Fight Corporate Monopolies, a progressive group, placed a six-figure television ad buy to revisit an episode in which Clay sided with financial services companies to fight against a rule that would force investment advisers to act in their clients best interests. (The rule took effect, but a GOP-appointed judge later gutted it, and Clay has since joined other Democrats in calling for its reinstatement.)

It doesnt always align perfectly with a voteoften, stagnation is in return for a corporate donation, says Morgan Harper, a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau adviser who recently waged an unsuccessful primary challenge against Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) and now advises Fight Corporate Monopolies. We need someone who is fighting for progressive policies that make sure the economy is working for everyonewith the maximum level of aggression thats possible.

The CBC counts some of Congress most progressive lawmakers among its members, including Pressley and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who regularly oppose the positions of Democratic congressional leaders. But many CBC members align closely with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and are staunch defenders of institutional norms like seniority. Few so closely embody that guiding principle as Clay, who won his seat upon the retirement of his father, a civil rights activist and founding member of the CBC who served in Congress for 32 years. Between the two of them, a Clay has represented the district for more than half a century.

CBC allies view that longevity as an asset. Seniority has played an important role in the rise of the CBC, a source close to Clay says. The reality is that elevating those CBC members who have been there for 10 or 20 or 30 years has played a key part in the CBCs ability to gain chairmanships and leadership roles and become as powerful as it is today.

Bush sees things differently. If that seniority is not benefiting the people directly anymore, then its time to retire, she tells me.

In recent cycles, the CBCs political action committee has supported some long-serving white incumbents over their Black opponentsit backed Capuano and Engel, for instanceand its members generally do not take kindly to primary challenges. This cycle, Justice Democrats, which played a role in Ocasio-Cortezs and Pressleys 2018 victories, endorsed challengers against two CBC members: Clay and Beatty. Some members of the CBC were livid. Clay told TheHill that Justice Democrats actions were a bunch of B.S. and insulting to his constituents, likening their attempts to devastate the party to the Russian trolls of 2016.

They want to come back again this year? he told the Washington Post, referring to the progressive groups supporting Bushs second attempt to oust him. Thats fine. Im going to kick their [posterior] again, okay?

Clay defeated Bush by nearly 20 points in 2018, but hes nevertheless taking this years primary seriously, launching a series of sharply negative attacks in the final days of the race. His campaign circulated a mailer that notes Bush failed to pay taxes four times in recent years, that shes been evicted three times, and that her nursing license was suspended. In essence, the fusilade amounts to criticism of Bush for being poor. Bushs campaign says her license was suspended because she couldnt afford to pay her taxes, and shed been evicted because she couldnt afford her rent. The Clay campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Those attacks may have less efficacy than Clay imagines in this political moment, when Americans are attuned to the legacies of systemic racism more than ever before. And a sea of new donors have appeared on Bushs side: She raised $170,000 in June as nationwide protests raged, an amount that accounts for nearly a third of all the money shes brought in this cycle. She received an endorsement from Bernie Sanders, for whom she served as a national surrogate, as well as from the recently victorious Bowman.

Notably absent from this growing list of supporters is Ocasio-Cortez, who hasnt weighed in on the race this time around. But Justice Democrats is giving Bush more financial support than it did last cycle: In addition to the $40,000 the group helped her raise, its independent expenditure is now running a TV ad on her behalf.

Bush thinks the momentum is on her side. Because of the work that we did [in Ferguson in 2014], such a foundation was laid to where some of this is easier for peopleso more people have been activated, she says. Now people are looking for those candidates. Theyre like, Okay, youve been actually doing this work. That has been a huge boost to our campaign.

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This Black Lives Matter Activist Is Running for Congress. Can She Bring Down a 20-Year Incumbent? - Mother Jones

Survey posted to help determine location of ‘Black Lives Matter Street’ in Buffalo – WKBW-TV

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) In response to a teenager's letter, Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen sponsored a resolution to name a street in Buffalo "Black Lives Matter."

Mekhi Edwards, a 17-year-old student at Frederick Law Olmsted School, wrote the letter suggesting that young people in the city come together and paint "Black Lives Matter" on a street. The letter reads as follows:

Mekhi Edwards

On June 23, the resolution went before the council and each member voted yes to move forward with the resolution.

In addition to renaming a street or section of street, the resolution would also name Mekhi Edwards Honorary Youth Chairperson of the project.

The common council has created a survey which can be found here, to collect the opinions of City of Buffalo residents to help decide the location of Black Lives Matter Street.

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Survey posted to help determine location of 'Black Lives Matter Street' in Buffalo - WKBW-TV

Dodgers to Auction Off Opening Day Black Lives Matter Jerseys – NBC Southern California

The Black Lives Matter movement is a turning point in thehistory of our country.

The Los Angeles Dodgers know a lot about history, especiallywhen it comes to racial inequality. The organization that broke the colorbarrier in sports by signing Jackie Robinson on April 10, 1947, announced thatthey would auction off game-worn jerseys featuring the MLB's Black Lives Matterpatch that was worn by the team on Opening Day.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is responsible for the auction that is currently available at Dodgers.com/auctions. The team announced that all of the net proceeds from the auction will be donated to the California Funders for Boys & Men of Color Southern California: Our Kids, Our Future Fund.

The auction features game-worn jerseys from entirety of the team's 30-man roster and coaching staff from their 8-1 Opening Day win over the rival San Francisco Giants.

Fans can place a bid on their favorite player's game-wornjersey, or a player or coach they feel a connection with. Among the featuredgame-used jerseys are reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger,, JustinTurner, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Joc Pederson,Walker Buehler, A.J. Pollock, Ross Stripling, Alex Wood, and manager DaveRoberts.

The auction includes other Dodger memorabilia as well andwill run through August 9th.

The Dodgers Foundation has been an integral part of the community since 1995, and recently won ESPN's Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award. Their newest auction is part of a continued display of solidarity with social justice organizations.

Earlier this month, many of the white players on the Dodgers delivered a powerful video with a strong message speaking out against racial injustice in America, and showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as their black teammates. As part of the video, the players wore specialty "In This Together" t-shirts, and matched all funds raised from the sale of those t-shirts.

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Dodgers to Auction Off Opening Day Black Lives Matter Jerseys - NBC Southern California

Fact Checking Kennedy And Markey On Their Black Lives Matter Claims – WBUR

Massachusetts voters were the first to elect a Black person to the U.S. Senate, in 1966. But in 2020, amid a national reckoning on racism, they almost certainly will reelect Sen. Ed Markey, a white man who has spent more than four decades in Congress, or replace him with Rep. Joe Kennedy, a white man who would be the fourth member of his family to become a senator.

The incongruity of the current moment and this Democratic primary matchup crystallized during a debate this week.

"Let's just get real for a moment," moderator Latoya Edwards of NBC Boston said. "There are Black and brown people watching right now, Black mothers like me who are looking and saying, 'In this time of social justice, representation optics matter.' ... They see two white men vying for the U.S. Senate seat to represent Massachusetts."

Edwards pressed the candidates to "give us specifics on what you've done, and what you will do, to show that Black lives matter."

Markey and Kennedy took similar approaches to what may be a key question in their contest, each beginning with an anecdote meant to demonstrate early allyship that was principled, not popular. But closer examinations of the episodes Markey and Kennedy recounted suggest they may not have been quite as bold as they would have voters believe.

'One Of The First Democrats To Declare That Black Lives Matter'

In Kennedy's telling, he used one of the biggest opportunities of his political career to take a stand that others in his party shied away from.

"When I was asked to give the Democratic response to Donald Trump's first State of the Union with that national platform I was one of the first Democrats to declare that Black lives matter," Kennedy claimed.

In reality, Kennedy didn't make his own declaration that Black lives matter on that night in January 2018; rather, he quoted demonstrators who use "Black lives matter" as a rallying cry.

Kennedy included the demonstrators, along with police officers, in a section of his speech that lauded various people for actions he considered admirable. Here's an excerpt, with emphasis added:

You swarmed Washington last year to ensure no parent has to worry if they can afford to save their child's life.

You proudly marched together last weekend thousands deep in the streets of Las Vegas and Philadelphia and Nashville.

You sat high atop your mom's shoulders and held a sign that read: "Build a wall, and my generation will tear it down."

You bravely say, "Me too." You steadfastly say, "Black lives matter."

You wade through flood waters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.

You fight your own, quiet battles every single day.

You drag your weary bodies to that extra shift so your families won't feel the sting of scarcity.

You leave loved ones at home to defend our country overseas, or patrol our neighborhoods overnight.

Kennedy's remarks signaled support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but there is a meaningful difference between actually "declar[ing] that Black lives matter" and merely attributing the phrase to others even approvingly said Daunasia Yancey, the founder of Black Lives Matter Boston.

"We need more," Yancey said. White allies such as Kennedy and Markey may have done "more than what everyone else did" in the past, she added, but in her view that is "because mostly what everyone else did was nothing."

"The back-and-forth trying to get a medal for caring is silly, and it's not useful," Yancey said.

In a statement, Kennedy spokesman Brian Phillips Jr. said, "Joe was proud to use one of the Democratic Party's highest platforms to recognize the BLM movement and the activists driving change in every corner of the country."

As for timing, Kennedy's claim to have been "one of the first Democrats" is hard to evaluate because it is imprecise. It is certainly true that many politicians were slow to adopt the phrase "Black lives matter" until it was mainstream enough to be emblazoned inside and outside Fenway Park.

It is also true that, as Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton wrote in 2016, "The second day of Hillary Clinton's Democratic National Convention could have been subtitled 'Black Lives Matter.' "

Glanton continued:

[Clinton] made it clear where she stands on the controversial issue when she invited nine mothers who have lost children at the hands of police or by street violence to speak on her behalf.

The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and others collectively made perhaps the most impassioned plea yet on Tuesday for rallying around Clinton's presidential bid: She isn't afraid to say that black lives matter ...

Their remarks brought many of the delegates to tears. Chants of "Black Lives Matter" swelled from the convention floor.

Clinton's top competitors in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, also said"Black lives matter" during the campaign. Then-President Barack Obama repeatedly defended the phrase against critics who said it diminished other lives.

And Markey used it at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event that year.

So, while Kennedy was ahead of some in 2018, he also was in the company of some of his party's most prominent members.

'It Hurt My Career'

Asked during Sunday's debate what he has done "to show that Black lives matter," Markey started byciting his support for creating a majority-Black state Senate district in 1973. He was a freshman in the state House of Representatives, at the time.

"I had to make a decision to take on the Democratic state leadership to make sure there was a Black Senate seat, and I did," Markey said. "And it hurt my career."

Any price Markey may have paid for his stance would appear to be modest, however. He won reelection the following year and styled himself as a political maverick when he ran successfully for Congress in 1976.

"In the end, it didn't hurt his career," Markey Campaign Manager John Walsh allowed, "because he didn't last there very long. He moved" on to Washington.

Though things worked out, Markey did assume some political risk. Redrawing the 40-seat state Senate map to create a majority-Black district meant that an existing member of the chamber would likely lose his place and jeopardizing a fellow lawmaker's reelection chances is no way to make friends.

In an interview, Markey said he acquired a "pariah-like status," though he acknowledged that was not because of his support for a majority-Black district alone. Bucking party leaders became "the pathway that I walked, and the first vote on that pathway was the Black Senate seat."

The most significant vote was not related to racial justice but rather to judicial reform, Markey said. In that standoff, he so aggravated some fellow Democrats that they stuck his desk in a State House hallway, in a show of protest.

Markey spun the incident into a campaign slogan: "The bosses may tell Ed Markey where to sit. No one tells Ed Markey where to stand."

Bill Owens, who became the first Black state senator in Massachusetts, has endorsed Markey for reelection to the U.S. Senate this year. In a campaign video, Owens vouches for the notion that Markey stuck out his neck during the debate over a majority-Black district 47 years ago.

According to Owens, senior Democrats in the state Legislature "began to threaten [Markey] that he would lose his seat and that he would not be able to be elected ever again in Massachusetts."

Those threats proved hollow and, though Markey could not have been certain of their emptiness at the time, his "decision to take on the Democratic state leadership" may have been eased by powerful allies.

Then-Gov. Francis Sargent was a vocal supporter of creating amajority-Black state Senate district. He vetoed a redistricting proposal because it failed to create one, saying, "I will not approve a plan that, in effect, disenfranchises a large number of the commonwealth's citizens."

The push for a majority-Black district also had the influential backing of Massachusetts' senior U.S. senator at the time:Ted Kennedy.

And while Owens credits Markey for supporting a majority-Black district, he said in an interview that "the guy who was the leading member of the white community that we relied on was Barney Frank," a state representative at the time, before his 32-year tenure in Congress.

Frankaccused the state Senate president of squashing bills in retaliation against lawmakers who advocated for a majority-Black district. But Owens said he "could not imagine" that Markey was targeted.

So, although Markey strained relations with some important colleagues in the state Legislature, he also had political heavyweights on his side and ultimately parlayed his "troublemaker" reputation, as Walsh described it, into higher office.

'I Will Always Give People Credit Who Stand For The Right Thing'

Whether Markey and Kennedy merit profiles in courage,"I will always give people credit who stand for the right thing, regardless of what the description is," saidSetti Warren, executive director of Harvard'sShorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

"I don't doubt either Congressman Kennedy's or Senator Markey's commitment to seeing progress being made for Black people in our state and our country," he added.

Markey has cosponsored a reparations bill filed by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and is partnering with Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Boston on legislation that would end qualified immunityfor police,the legal doctrine that shields public officials from personal liability for acts committed in the line of duty.

Kennedy is a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus and is partnering with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York on a bill that would facilitate prosecutions of police officers for civil rights violations.

Still, Warren echoed Yancey's call for figures such as Markey and Kennedy to do more, saying "the policies and the efforts that have been promoted by many politicians have not worked."

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Fact Checking Kennedy And Markey On Their Black Lives Matter Claims - WBUR

From the renegade to Black Lives Matter: How Black creators are changing TikTok culture – NBC News

In early June, Erynn Chambers stepped onto her porch, just outside the front door of her North Carolina home, opened TikTok on her phone, and began to film herself.

"Black neighborhoods are overpoliced, so of course they have higher rates of crime," she sang to her own tune. "And white perpetrators are undercharged, so of course they have lower rates of crime."

Chambers, 27, who started using the short-form video app during quarantine, had just watched a TikTok by drag queen Online Kyne discussing the manipulation of statistics to make Black Americans appear more violent. Chambers, an elementary school music teacher, set her frustration to music.

"It went viral pretty much overnight," Chambers said. "It was incredible."

Chambers refers to her content, made under the user name @Rynnstar, as "edu-tainment" education and entertainment and she uses it, in part, to raise awareness of the American Black experience. She's one of a number of Black creators on TikTok who have used the app as a platform for advocacy against racism. Chambers' post has nearly 2 million views and was reposted countless times.

But TikTok sits uneasily at the intersection of viral social media, celebrity and activism. The platform has long been accused of elevating white voices over Black voices. While Black creators have been integral to the rise of TikTok some of the most popular dances, challenges and trends were born in the imaginations of Black TikTokers their work hasn't always gotten the same level of attention as that of their white peers.

Black creators said that their content wasn't highlighted on the "For You" page at the same rate as that of their white peers and that their videos have been taken down and audio-disabled without explanation, and experts say they often don't get credit for trends and challenges they start.

Over the last few months, however, in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd in police custody in May and Breonna Taylor in March, TikTok has made some forays into elevating Black creators on the app. Yet some worry that there's a flip side to the elevation of activism: burnout.

In early June, just days before Chambers' viral video was posted, TikTok posted an apology to its Black creators, saying it was sorry to those "who have felt unsafe, unsupported, or suppressed." TikTok promised long-term action to make the platform more diverse and to elevate Black creators. The apology came after a TikTok Blackout in May, an on-app protest against the suppression of Black voices, as protests against police brutality and racism took place worldwide.

Since then, some users of TikTok, including many Black creators, have reported seeing a more diverse and inclusive "For You" page, TikTok's infinite scroll homepage, which feeds users a constant stream of videos. In the past, the "For You" page has been accused of what might be called infinite whiteness.

But grading the app's move toward inclusiveness and how successfully it's amplifying Black voices differs across content creators. Some say they are optimistic that a more inclusive TikTok is in the works; others describe the battle for representation as simply exhausting. Each of the half-dozen Black TikTok creators who spoke to NBC News said they've experienced burnout but some, who say they are tired of arguing with followers and fighting for representation, are considering leaving the app altogether.

One frustration that can lead to burnout is the lack of credit given to Black creators who originate trends on the app, said University of Southern California assistant journalism professor Allissa Richardson, author of "Bearing Witness While Black: African Americans, Smartphones and the New Protest #Journalism."

"I saw a ton of Black youth creators complaining that even though they made up these dance challenges, they were increasingly being pushed to the bottom of the search results on TikTok," Richardson said.

Most famous is the renegade, a dance phenomenon that helped propel white creators like Charli D'Amelio to over 70 million followers. It was created by a Black 14-year-old named Jalaiah Harmon. Although the trend was, for a time, the most popular on the app, Jalaiah was recognized only toward the end of the trend's life cycle by mainstream media and TikTok alike, garnering profiles in the The New York Times and Teen Vogue. She now has over 1 million followers on TikTok.

TikTok isn't the only social media platform to have come under scrutiny over its handling of race. YouTube, Twitter and Reddit have been accused of allowing hate speech to thrive.

"TikTok is acknowledging the problem. They're not saying it's not real. They're saying we have work to do," said Bria Jones, 26, a fashion, beauty and lifestyle TikTok influencer based in Kansas. Jones, who goes by @HeyBriaJones on the app, has grown a base of more than 278,000 followers in just under a year.

Mutale Nkonde, a fellow at Stanford University's Digital Civil Society Lab who is a member of TikTok's independent advisory board, the Content Advisory Council (she doesn't work for TikTok), said she has been impressed with TikTok's proactiveness in addressing racism on the app.

"They're really leading in terms of seeking out people who will push back against the technology when the technology is not doing right by Black people," Nkonde said.

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The issues of racial bias and content suppression of Black creators on TikTok reached a boiling point on May 19, when Black TikTok creators held a Blackout to uplift their content and raise awareness that their videos were underrepresented.

During the Blackout, users changed their profile pictures to the Black Lives Matter raised fist. Black creators used specific hashtags like "#ImBlackMovement" and posted videos about their content and experiences on TikTok. In solidarity, some white creators agreed not to post content to help amplify their Black counterparts.

June 1 brought the TikTok apology.

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, along with some of the app's engineers, also held a video conference last month with around a dozen Black creators, including Jones, to learn more about their experiences.

"I do feel like they are making changes," Jones said. Other Black creators said they're noticing more equality on the app, too.

High school activist Deonna Blocker, 17, who goes by @Deesymone on the app, estimates that she now sees 70 percent Black creators on her "For You" page and 30 percent white creators. However, because every user's "For You" page is different based on the content a user interacts with, it's unclear whether any other user is being shown the same breakdown of content.

"I think they're definitely doing a better job at presenting Black creators. Before ... my ['For You' page] was very white, and I would very rarely see a Black creator," Deonna said. "Once everything went down with George Floyd and even Juneteenth and the Blackouts ... it went up significantly." Deonna's videos calling out racism and highlighting Blackouts have gotten thousands of views.

Improvement can be creator-specific: TikTok's "For You" homepage feeds each user a unique stream of content. While some Black creators say they're seeing changes noticing more engagement and increases in followers others say they believe they're shadow banned on the app, or blocked from reaching the main TikTok feed without any kind of notification from TikTok.

TikTok told NBC News it unequivocally does not shadow ban users.

Nkonde, the advisory council member, said the app has also told her it doesn't engage in shadow banning. But she said that if shadow banning still occurs as a glitch in the system, it must be addressed.

"If your app is just going to have all of these glitches and all of these glitches impact Black people, your app is still racist," Nkonde said.

Emily Barbour, 25, who is @emuhhhleebee on the app, said she feels as though she's being gaslighted when she's told that the app is working to highlight Black creators. Some videos Barbour has posted that she felt would typically get high levels of engagement have hardly made a blip on the radar of other TikTokers.

"It's exhausting, because it's just following along this pattern that's been going on for decades, years, centuries, where Black people aren't being heard and everybody's pretending it's not happening," Barbour said.

Chambers, who created the viral song, had used her platform to convey a wealth of information, from linguistics to history to activism, long before this spring's Black Lives Matter protests. But Chambers said that after the May Blackout and the June apology, she noticed that her account was starting to pick up traction. Her account has more than 400,000 followers.

Other TikTokers, like Jones, moved toward activism after Floyd's death.

"I started speaking on Black lives, and I started speaking on my experiences, and I started this series where I talked about my experiences with microaggressions, and that went very, very viral and brought in a lot of new followers for me, and those were just straight up stories I experienced," Jones said.

Jones said she shifted her TikTok's focus to include education when she interacted with followers who told her they had changed their behavior after learning from her.

But a large following can be excessively demanding.

"When you've got 400,000 people who want to hear you and are expecting to hear from you, it can be exhausting," Chambers said.

All of the creators who spoke to NBC News said they have experienced burnout at one point or another especially those whose pages have been elevated and whose follower counts have skyrocketed.

"People assume because you're willing to speak up about something, you're now an ambassador to everybody else in your demographic, and it's not true. ... It does contribute a lot to the burnout, because I don't know everything. Not one of us knows everything," Barbour said.

Barbour said that for Black creators, sharing their trauma in the name of education can feel draining and that having to argue with followers about their experiences can lead them to want to quit altogether.

"It's so unrealistic to assume because you like this Black creator and because they speak up about these things that they're going to speak up about everything and give their opinions about everything," she said. "It can't work, especially considering this is an app and it's something we're not getting paid for."

Frustration and burnout aren't the only side effects Black creators experience when their content isn't elevated and they're not given credit for their work, said Richardson, the journalism professor.

"For some of these kids, they do want to have that level of clout that will enable them to do other things that they love," she said. "And without that necessary audience, those eyeballs, without that metric in place to prove that they are an influencer, they're denied the lucrative endorsements that maybe their white peers receive more regularly."

Jones said she believes a more equitable TikTok is coming, particularly after the meeting with other Black creators and TikTok executives last month.

"It's a difficult issue, because it's so much deeper than an algorithm," Jones said. "It's a society thing. It's going to take a lot of work."

TikTok executives told Jones that they planned to check in with the creators who were invited to the meeting after 90 days to discuss whether they've seen improvements in the app's equity.

Jones said she's optimistic that the future of TikTok is one in which Black creators are on a level playing field with their white counterparts.

"It will come in time. I don't know what that timeline's going to look like, but I'm very hopeful TikTok has the resources and brainpower on their team to make this happen," she said.

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From the renegade to Black Lives Matter: How Black creators are changing TikTok culture - NBC News

Police reveal identity of man killed at Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas – Insider – INSIDER

The police have identified the protester killed Saturday night during a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas, as Garrett Foster, 28.

Chief Brian Manley of the Austin Police Department confirmed Foster's identity Sunday evening, the Associated Press reported.

Witnesses said Foster, who was armed, was shot by the driver of a car that had sped toward the gathering of protesters.

According to the police, the driver of the vehicle and other witnesses said Foster was shot only after he pointed his rifle at its driver.

Another witness disputed that, however.

"He was not aiming the gun or doing anything aggressive with the gun," Michael Capochiano, a 53-year-old accountant, told The New York Times. "I'm not sure if there was much of an exchange of words. It wasn't like there was any sort of verbal altercations. He wasn't charging at the car."

The driver who killed Foster is said to have driven off after the shooting amid a spray of return fire from at least one other protester. The police took the driver, whose identity has not been revealed, into custody before releasing the person.

Foster was transported to the local Dell Seton Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, a police representative said at a press briefing earlier Sunday.

Capochiano told the Austin-American Statesman that a person driving a vehicle honked their horn and sped down Austin's Congress Avenue, hitting an orange barrel and driving through the crowd.

"There were people around the car, yelling, and people sounding like they were frightened," he told the paper.

As the Austin-American Statesman reported, a car horn could be heard in the background of a video livestreamed to Facebook just before eight gunshots. The video shows protesters running away from the vehicle, screaming.

A vigil for Foster was held Sunday in Austin, drawing hundreds.

"I'm here to show solidarity for the movement that he died for and also to remember him and to continue the fight," one attendee, Mark Bell, told the local television station KXAN.

Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police violence have erupted across the US since the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While most protests have been peaceful, they've sometimes turned chaotic and even deadly.

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Police reveal identity of man killed at Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas - Insider - INSIDER

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans support protests against racial injustice – USA TODAY

Do protests ever enact real change? Yes. But not all movements are created equal. Here's the ingredients of a successful movement. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the recent protests againstracial injustice, a new Gallup poll released Tuesday revealed.

The nationwide protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man whose neck was pinned under the knee of a white police officer for nearly nine minutes in May.

Portland protesters:Wall of Moms sue Trump administration over use of tear gas, rubber bullets

The poll found that 65% of U.S. adults support the protests. Additionally, 53% said the protests"will help" public support for equality and racial justice versus 34% who said they would "hurt"and 13% who saidthey will "make no difference."

The poll also reports that approximately one in 10 respondentssaid they had participated in a demonstration in the last month. Among younger respondents, that number jumps to one in four.

In terms of support for the protests, 92% of Black Americans said they support the protests, while89% of Asian Americans, 70% of Hispanics and 59% of white respondents said they do.

Fact check: Kroger is not charging customers a Black Lives Matter tax

Additionally, 54% of those surveyed said the protests have changed their views on racial justice and equality in some way, while 47% stated the contrary.

Thesupport for the protests comes as the White Houseand Attorney General William Barr try to paint the protesters as"violent rioters."

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Barr offered an unmitigated defense of the deployment of federal officers to Portland, Oregon, where he said "a mob"hijacked legitimate demonstrations against police brutality.

A "Wall of Vets" joined the "Wall of Moms" group in downtown Portland, Oregon, to protest racism and police brutality. Storyful

'I'm going to answer the damn question': Barr, House Democrats face off over Portland, politicization

Barr called protestsin Portland"an assault on the government of the United States," countering Democratic lawmakers who have characterized federal officers' actions against protesters as unconstitutional, politically charged fearmongering.

While some of the demonstrations grew unruly, overall, the protests have been largely peaceful, according to researchconducted by the marketing firm Ipsos and teams from the Universities of Chicago and Oxford.

The poll also revealed partisanship in terms of support and participation for the protests, with 95% of Democrats supporting the demonstrations, compared with 69% of independents and 22% of Republicans.

Respondents who affiliated as being Republicanalso were only 1%likely to participate, and only 14%stated they felt a connectionto the protests' cause,according to the poll.

Weekend protests: Man shot to death in Austin, Seattle police declare riot, armed militia in Louisville

The results were based from a web study of36,463 U.S. adults, conducted between June 23 and July 6. Ithas a margin of error of 1.4percentagepoints. "The margins of error for white, Hispanic, Black and Asian American survey respondents were 1.6, 6.6, 6.4 and 8.8 percentage points, respectively."

Contributing:Kristine Phillips, Kevin Johnson USA TODAY

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Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans support protests against racial injustice - USA TODAY

Ernest Lacy’s Relatives Add Their Voices To The Milwaukee Black Lives Matter Movement – WUWM

WUWM's Chuck Quirmbach talks with the relatives of Ernest Lacy. Ernest died in a police van in 1981 in Milwaukee.

A Black family whose son was killed while in Milwaukee police custody 39 years ago is taking a bigger role in the Black Lives Matter protests. The relatives of Ernest Lacy are speaking up.

Ernest died in a police van in 1981, after being taking into custody for a rape that was later determined the 22 year old did not commit. At a later hearing, then-community activist Howard Fuller called for charges against the officers who had forced Ernest to the ground.

"We know they had handcuffed him and that [Officer Thomas] Eliopul was no longer concerned about arresting him. He was trying to hurt him," Fuller said.

Eliopul was eventually fired. Four other officers were suspended, in a legal case that took about four years.

Ernest's death has been revisited in Milwaukee before, when Black men have died while in police custody. With the death in May of George Floyd while being held down by Minneapolis police, Milwaukee activists are pointing to the similarities of the Ernest Lacy case.

There are dozens of Ernest's relatives still living in the Milwaukee area. Several came to a rally and march Wednesday in Washington Park to mark what would have been his birthday.

Nephew Justin Lacy says his uncle's death continues to have an impact on the Lacy family.

"Man, it affected our family so much because Ernest Lacy was an individual from the stories I heard from my family, my grandmother, my father, my sisters he was a giving and lovable individual, Justin said.

Ernest's brother, Cecil Lacy, says Lacy's Law, passed in Wisconsin after Ernest's death, requires police to seek medical help for anyone in their custody. Cecil contends the law is not being followed.

"Absolutely not. ... And that's what motivated me to get out and speak up on the law because I feel like it is on the books, but it's just being ignored, Cecil told WUWM.

Ernest's mother, Myrtle Lacy, says she was sad her son was not there for his birthday, but she also called it a happy day because about 100 people were on hand.

"It's a happy day because we see people who are determined to help someone. And I feel that with everyone's help, and of course God's help, we'll make it, Myrtle said.

But she says she's not criticizing all police officers. "I guess I'm a little different than a lot of people as far as the police are concerned. There are a lot of police officers that I think are just great. We have police officers in our family, and I look up to them and I respect them and I know that they have a job. But I also know that there are officers who [don't] give people the chance to live. And for those kinds of people, I think that people need more training, they need to be taught that you just don't kill people for no reason, Myrtle said.

The main focus of the Milwaukee area Black Lives Matter rallies has been on deaths in police custody. And after some brief speeches Wednesday, there was this chant about the man who died nearly four decades ago: "Say his name! Ernest Lacy!

What followed was a march of a few miles to 23rd St and Wisconsin Avenue where Ernest died.

There were more speeches there, and the group blocked eastbound traffic for about an hour. Cecil Lacy sang part of a song his sibling taught him The Greatest Love Of All, first recorded by George Benson in 1977.

Cecil suggested the rally and march would not be his last, as the local Black Lives Matter movement now counts more than 60 consecutive days of hitting the streets with plans to keep going.

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Ernest Lacy's Relatives Add Their Voices To The Milwaukee Black Lives Matter Movement - WUWM

Black Lives Matter, other nonprofits offer free bus trip to Commitment March on Washington next month – PennLive

Seats are available on a free bus trip to Washington, D.C. for Harrisburg-area residents interested in participating in the Commitment March on Washington whose rallying call is Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.

The march will take place on the 57th anniversary of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.s I Have a Dream speech.

I grew up a target of racial profiling, said Black Lives Matter organizer Claudie Kenion. The 51-year-old said hes been pushing back against racism since the 1980s, but his fight was reignited by the death of George Floyd when restrained by a Minneapolis police officer.

Black Lives Matter is working with local central Pennsylvania nonprofits UniteCentralPA and reloved to fill up to 100 bus seats. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the march in Washington that will descend on the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28.

Were tired of being mistreated, Kenion said. Were gonna fight until the world wakes up. This movement is not dying again, no more. In Harrisburg, the mayor and city officials, and police, they are starting to work with us.

The rallying call Get Your Knee Off Our Necks gets to the heart of the matter, he said.

Were trying to educate people on systemic racism, Kenion said. As soon as people see the word Black, our movement becomes a problem; they dont understand. Were not supporting violence or looting. It takes a small fraction of people to mess up our message. Were not a Marxist group, no thats not us. Were looking to sit down and talk to people. Having a professional dialogue goes a long way.

Personally, Kenion recalls being expelled when he was in middle school. He said a classmate called him a racial slur, but that it was Kenion who was kicked out for defending himself when the classmate took a swing at him.

Students, both black and white, defended him, he said. But he was the one who had to leave school to attend another one.

I think that we are at a historic point in America, said reloved Founder and CEO Heather Norton. The Civil Rights Movement has, unfortunately, had to continue 57 years later after Martin Luther King gave his I Have A Dream Speech. Now is our opportunity to speak up and use our voices to make the change that we so desperately need.

Donations to help pay for the trip have been pouring in, Norton said. All participants riding along will be provided free face masks and hand sanitizer. The groups also will be handing out gift bags once in D.C. that include sunscreen, water, snacks, and other items provided by Lowes and Costco in Harrisburg.

To ensure the safety of passengers during the coronavirus pandemic, Norton said the buses will be fumigated and sanitized.

Anyone who has an underlying health issue is asked to stay at home, Kenion said.

We were told by Al Sharptons group that they are going to go through with the march no matter what, he said. The (owner) of the charter buses said as long as we are in the green phase, we can fill up all the seats on the bus. If we are in the yellow phase, we have to seat every other seat.

The groups will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Temperature checks will be done on the morning of the event. Masks are required to be worn roundtrip while on the bus. And, participants must sign a COVID-19 waiver before departing.

The free trip is available until all seats are filled.

This movement isnt just about statistics, Norton said. Its about sitting down with our neighbors and having conversations, and not turning the other way when we see something or hear something thats unjust. We need to broaden our focus and it starts at the community level. Its not just speaking out about the criminal justice system; its about funding education, access to medical care, and fixing the mental health system.

Click on this link to register for the event.

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Black Lives Matter, other nonprofits offer free bus trip to Commitment March on Washington next month - PennLive

How the NYC mayoral candidates have responded to the Black Lives Matter protests – City & State

Over the last two months, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has been a leader of protests against systemic racism and police brutality. Among elected officials, Williams has been the most effective at channeling activists emotions and its led to some progressives hoping that the democratic socialist Williams would run for mayor in 2021. A mayoral campaign is unlikely, but many candidates are running to succeed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and they have all had to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Heres a brief look at the top candidates and what theyve done.

The New York City Council speaker attended protest marches, ushered through a package of police reform bills, such as a law criminalizing chokeholds by the police, and he negotiated a city budget that shifted millions of dollars away from the NYPD though he expressed disappointment that he could not cut the agencys budget even more. Johnson is now being accused of retaliating against council members and nonprofits who attacked his measures as insufficient, but he denies the charges.

The New York City Comptroller joined marches against racism and harshly criticized the NYPDs tactics during protests. He initially proposed reducing the departments budget by $1.1 billion over four years, then decried the council and the mayor for not reaching $1 billion in cuts in one year.

The Brooklyn borough president has helped paint Black Lives Matter murals around the city, and has joined marches and bike rides against racism. The former NYPD captain has criticized the tactics of certain police officers and certain protesters, while emphasizing that the Black Lives Matter movement should also look at street violence and not just police violence.

The former nonprofit executive has made defunding the NYPD a top priority of her campaign and has proposed creating a new organization of first responders. Morales joined protest marches and later testified to the state attorney generals office on the NYPDs conduct.

The former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama has been using his expertise to talk about racism in housing discrimination. Donovan has criticized the NYPDs tactics controlling protests, and joined a march on his own.

The retired Army general and former city veterans services commissioner has aligned herself with police unions in blaming city political leaders for an increase in violence. Sutton opposes defunding the police and has said that protesters should get city permits, though she called herself an ally of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The former chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board is no stranger to NYPD oversight, and is now likely to enter the mayoral race with police reform as part of her pitch. In July, she became one of the most high-profile New Yorkers to call for NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to be fired.

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How the NYC mayoral candidates have responded to the Black Lives Matter protests - City & State

Police surveillance of Black Lives Matter shows the danger technology poses to democracy – The Conversation UK

US police forces have been turning to technology to track down Black Lives Matter protestors. Content from social media platforms and affiliated sites has been instrumental in the authorities being able to identify protestors based on photos of their faces, clothes and hair, or on the fact that they posted while at the protests. Meanwhile, drones have been added to the polices own means of capturing footage of the protests.

Making technology-driven state surveillance part of the polices response to democratic protest sets a dangerous precedent. There is a risk that the power this gives to police to target protestors could be abused and have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and assembly. This is particularly true in the case of Black Lives Matter, given alleged evidence of the infiltration of US law enforcement agencies by white supremacists.

Whats more, the amount of data on people that is gathered by technology and potentially available to law enforcement is set to grow thanks to the rapid expansion of internet-connected devices (known as the Internet of Things, or IoT).

The Internet of Things could, if left unchecked, give authorities seemingly unlimited ways to mine for information on people, both users of the technology and bystanders. Voice operated assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home record our conversations; smart watches and fitness trackers monitor our movements, and even many traditional home appliances now collect data on us, from smart fridges to washing machines.

The growing prevalence and variety of these devices means a huge amount of data can be compiled on us by corporations in the name of improving user services or targeted advertising. But thanks to recent surveillance laws, state authorities can also request and gather a large amount of this data. And government bodies are already starting to capitalise on the new capabilities provided by the Internet of Things.

For example, some IoT technologies, such as internet-connected Amazon Ring doorbells that can record video footage, have become an informal addition to state surveillance infrastructure. Rings partnerships with police forces gives them access to camera locations so they can request footage from specific device owners (and obtain it by warrant if they refuse).

Some deals have involved giving away the doorbells to the public for free. This effectively creates a cheap state monitoring network that has reportedly led to racial profiling among users.

IoT technology also could be used specifically against protestors, activists and journalists. Not only could collected data be used to identify or track people even more effectively than social media posts, but reliance on the technology could also leave people and groups vulnerable to cyber attacks.

For example, in Hong Kong weve seen attempts to disrupt the communication of protestors and force them to use less secure channels that can more easily be monitored. Theres even a chance that the rise of hackable internet-connected cars could lead to more vehicular attacks on protests, as have occurred against anti-racism demonstrations in the US.

Despite these threats, our recent research shows journalists in particular are not generally aware of or protected from IoT technology being used to target them. Whats more, having your data gathered by IoT devices might soon be unstoppable even if you dont own or use them. As part of our research, we surveyed 34 cyber security experts and found that 76.5% of them believe that it will not be possible for people to opt-out of interaction with the IoT within the next five years.

You might not be able to walk through a residential street without being filmed, or talk to a family member while in a doctors waiting room without your conversation being recorded. For activists and protestors, this huge prevalence of technologies and databases that are accessible to the state means an ever-increasing risk of being identified, tracked and surveilled, as shown by the newly released Atlas of Surveillance.

With the growing threat of state surveillance through the IoT, activists are starting to take measures to protect themselves. More are becoming aware of the risks of taking a registered smartphone, which is essentially a personalised tracking device, on a protest. Others are following the example of protesters in Hong Kong, who recently adopted an informal all-black uniform complete with face masks to make it harder for authorities to identify individuals from online photos.

As well as providing secure, independent, encrypted messaging, the app Signal has responded to police forces technological identification of protesters by creating a tool that blurs peoples faces in photos. Although programs exists that can attempt to unblur pixelated photos, the fact that so much software isnt built with black people in mind could ironically make it worse at revealing the faces of people of colour.

This issue reminds us that technology is never neutral, particularly when people exercising their right to protest have their data used against them. In this case, against people fighting against structural racism and police brutality against black and indigenous people.

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Police surveillance of Black Lives Matter shows the danger technology poses to democracy - The Conversation UK


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