EBONY: Black Lives Matter Goes Abroad

The US movement to fight anti-Black racism continues to grow on a global scale. On Tuesday night, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement Patrisse Cullors returned from a 10-day speaking tour across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Ferguson Action Tour aimed to amplify solidarity for families and protesters in Ferguson and across the US, in addition to renewing visibility for victims of state violence in the UK.

During the trip, Cullors presented to the British Houses of Parliament, alongside 10 families who experienced state violence, met with members of Black and immigrant communities across the UK, and connected with activists who fought in the Irish struggle for self-determination against the British.

The European trip came less than two weeks after Cullors returned from a 10-day delegation to Palestine with the Dream Defenders and representatives from Ferguson and other racial justice groups.

“When I look back in history at some of the great leaders of our movement–the Black Panther Party, Martin Luther King–folks always spoke about the international struggle and also traveled internationally,” Cullors said. “Part of this work is ‘act locally, think globally’ and you can’t think globally without being present with people in their countries and having that conversation and sitting with them.”

For Cullors, the trip demonstrated the global scope of Black Lives Matter, a movement she founded alongside Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing.

“We can often be very narrow in our approach here in the US and I met so many folks in the UK and Ireland who are in such deep solidarity with us,” Cullors said. “I think it’s imperative that we also extend the solidarity. The Black Lives Matter Movement is in fact global. Whether we understand it as a global project or not, people understand it as such.”

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/black-lives-matter-goes-abroad-503#ixzz3Sc1x7cur

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EBONY: Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter & Ferguson Reps Take Historic Trip to Palestine

Representatives at the forefront of the movements for Black lives and racial justice have taken a historic trip to Palestine this week to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation.

Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

The trip comes after a year of highly-publicized repression in Ferguson, the Gaza Strip, and West Bank including East Jerusalem, as well as solidarity between these places.

Ahmad Abuznaid, Dream Defenders’ legal and policy director and a co-organizer of the delegation, said that the goal of the trip was to make connections.

“The goals were primarily to allow for the group members to experience and see first hand the occupation, ethnic cleansing and brutality Israel has levied against Palestinians, but also to build real relationships with those on the ground leading the fight for liberation,” wrote Abuznaid. “In the spirit of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael and many others, we thought the connections between the African American leadership of the movement in the US and those on the ground in Palestine needed to be reestablished and fortified.”

Abuznaid said the trip represented a chance to bring the power of Black organizing to Palestine.

“As a Palestinian who has learned a great deal about struggle, movement, militancy and liberation from African Americans in the US, I dreamt of the day where I could bring that power back to my people in Palestine. This trip is a part of that process.”

Over the past week, the delegation has met with refugees, Afro-Palestinians, a family that was kicked out of their house by settlers in East Jerusalem, and organizations representing Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors said apartheid is what immediately struck her about what she saw on the ground.

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/dream-defenders-black-lives-matter-ferguson-reps-take-historic-trip-to-palestine#ixzz3Sc1YW1wG