November 27, 2015

Support Minneapolis Protesters

Last updated December 2, 2015. Please check back regularly for updates.

DONATE to Black Lives Matter Minneapolis: Please donate to help support their efforts with bail, legal support, and other supplies.

November 27, 2015

Dear Community,

In the past 10 days Minneapolis has experienced horrific acts of violence, first with the shooting of Jamar Clark, a 24 year old unarmed black man, who was killed by the Minneapolis police just over a week ago. Then, on Monday night, in the wake of an ongoing peaceful occupation demanding justice for Jamar Clark outside of Minneapolis’ 4th Police Precinct, white supremacists shot at peaceful protesters, injuring five protesters. This is an incredibly traumatic time for our city and especially for the lead organizers/organizations who have been strategically organizing around the clock for the past 10 days. Many of you have asked how you can help. Thank you. Please read on about what support is most urgently needed. Headwaters is proud to continue to stand with our grantee partners, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis— leading the efforts to maintain a peaceful 24-7 occupation, organizing marches, events, and meeting with policy makers from the Governor to the Department of Justice. Organizing alongside them, is our grantee partner, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC)—the NOC office has been used as the organizing hub and meeting space for BLM-MPLS, offering a safe space for meetings, press conferences, healing, warmth, electricity, covering printing costs, access to the internet, and more. Both groups are working together to demand justice for the killing of Jamar Clark and to address some of the worst-in-the-nation disparities between African Americans and whites. Their fight is not just for one man, but for the thousands of black and brown people who unjustifiably die at the hands of law enforcement and as a result of our broken systems. Protestors have responded with courage and love. In response to the shootings on Monday night, over 2,000 people joined together to march for justice and peace from North Minneapolis to City Hall in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve spoken with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change about their immediate needs. We know there will be short and long term needs to sustain and grow this work, but we want to let you know about ways you can help right now. We think of this as “rapid emergency response” for social justice organizing.

Current Needs: Harriet’s Apothecary Healers. Covers costs, including, travel and lodging, to bring several nationally renowned Black healers to work with our community. Cost Estimate: $10,000

Material Needs to support on-going organizing: Food, flyers, pens/paper, clipboards, email access, phones, non-violent direct action training, funeral costs, transportation costs. Cost Estimate: $20,000

Stipends to Organizers-in-Need: Hourly compensation for community members (without a financial safety net) now serving as organizations. Cost: $8,000 Because we see this as “rapid emergency response” social justice funding, we advise you to send donations directly to Black Lives Matter, noting “Emergency Response-Social Justice Organizing” in the comment field so funds can be directed accordingly. If donations require a 501 c3, please make donations to Headwaters Foundation for Justice, noting “Emergency Response-Social Justice Organizing” in the comment field so all funds can be directed accordingly.

Please feel free to call my cell phone with any questions, 612-822-8966. We all have a role to play. “We want them to stop killing us. We have rung the bells loud. We are not going to take this anymore.” Lena Gardner, member of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. Headwaters’ Giving Project participant and donor-activist Emma Buechs recently wrote from the 4th Police Precinct:  In these moments of fear and violence I am so grateful for the power of community, for the strength in hope, for the energy of song and dance and drums, for the smart and persistent organizing of @blacklivesmattermpls, and for the belief that we can and will win, that we can create a system not ruled by white supremacy, that we can be liberated if we all stand together.

With deep appreciation, and in solidarity,

David Nicholson

Executive Director Headwaters Foundation for Justice


 

Foundation Statement in Support of Minneapolis Protesters

Dear Funders for Justice Colleagues,

In the past several weeks, we have all seen violence and fear rock our cities, our nation, and the global community. In my own city of Minneapolis, early Sunday morning police shot Jamar Clark, a 24 year old unarmed black man. While we might not yet know all the specifics surrounding the killing of Jamar, what we do know is that this is an all too familiar occurrence in our nation. From Ferguson to Baltimore to New York and everywhere in between, our structures and systems are in urgent need of change. Race and racism are at the center of so many of our broken institutions: policing, health care, education, housing, and so many more.

At Headwaters, we fund groups organizing for justice and equity. Our grantees are in it for the long haul, and they are bending the arc of justice with each step they take whether through direct action or policy advocacy. We are honored to stand with our grantee partner, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, and other organizations, such as the NAACP and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, as they courageously organize for #justice4jamar. Their fight is not just for one man, but for the thousands of black and brown people who unjustifiably die at the hands of law enforcement and as a result of our broken systems. “We want them to stop killing us. We have rung the bells loud. We are not going to take this anymore.” Lena Gardner, member of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.

Watch the videos, look at the photos, follow the work of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, and contribute resources. We all have a role to play. Late last night from the 4th police precinct in Minneapolis, Headwaters’ Giving Project participant and donor-activist Emma Buechs wrote: We are not leaving until our demands are met. In these moments of fear and violence I am so grateful for the power of community, for the strength in hope, for the energy of song and dance and drums, for the smart and persistent organizing of @blacklivesmattermpls, and for the belief that we can and will win, that we can create a system not ruled by white supremacy, that we can be liberated if we all stand together. With deep appreciation, and in solidarity,

David Nicholson

Executive Director

Headwaters Foundation for Justice


 

Press Release from Black Lives Matter Minneapolis:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2015

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis Calls for Civil Rights Investigation into Abuses of Peaceful Protesters

Community members vow to continue occupation of 4th precinct until video of the killing of Jamar Clark is released

A statement from Black Lives Matter Minneapolis:

Last night, community members showed incredible restraint in the face of militarized aggression during a time of painful mourning of the killing of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man witnesses say was handcuffed and shot in the head “execution style”. We have, and will continue to call for Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau to ask the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to immediately release the tapes of Jamar’s killing. We demand an immediate end to the harassment of peaceful demonstrators, and call for civil rights investigation into police violence against protesters.

Some of the egregious violations of civil rights documented last night include:

  • An officer punched a young woman in the face before macing a crowd of people
  • Police pointed potentially lethal weapons in the face of numerous peaceful protesters including Congressman Keith Ellison’s son.
  • Police maced scores of people including WCCO journalist and Northsider Reg Chapman.
  • Police shot a 14 year old child with a marker bullet. At 2:45am Police advanced into camp, tore ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter banner down, & retreated behind the barricade again
  • Police made false claims that pepper spray was coming from protesters not them.

We understand the frustration of community members who may take actions not sanctioned by our group; this is a time of grief and rage and we remain committed to nonviolent direct action. As has always been the case, our members remained committed to peaceful protest even in the face of growing escalation. We want to thank Council members Bender, Cano, Gordon, Andrew Johnson, Glidden, Rep. Dehn, and the hundreds of community members who joined us last night. However, we are disappointed in the actions of Mayor Hodges, Chief Harteau, Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson, and 4th precinct Council Member Blong Yang for their lack of commitment to the welfare of Black residents in Minneapolis and beyond.

This incident is receiving international press coverage because it is emblematic of the larger problem of a culture of policing in America where Black lives do not matter. We call on City council and city leadership to take dramatic and bold action to stop another shooting death of an unarmed Black person from happening. Despite attacks on the protestors and community, we're still here and more determined than ever to get justice for Jamar, and to see the video footage of his killing. Please join us at 5:00pm today for an action as we continue the occupation at the 4th Precinct. ###

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis is a group of Black and allied organizers in Minneapolis, Minn. working in solidarity with the national Black Lives Matter movement. 


 
 
DOJ: Protect Black Activists from White Vigilante Violence
 
“We Cannot Live without Our Lives”
—Audre Lorde, Black author, poet, activist, and academic
 
The Black Lives Matter Network stands in solidarity with the five members of the #BlackLivesMatter Minneapolis chapter that were shot on Monday night. All five are reportedly in stable condition. Protestors were shot as they attempted to move a group of apparently armed white men away from a peaceful protest over the fatal shooting of unarmed Black 24-year-old man Jamar Clark by a police officer.
 
While activists on the ground at the #4thPrecinctShutDown are shaken, they are not derailed in their efforts. They will remain at the scene, occupying the precinct, until justice for Jamar Clark and his family is served.
 
The war on Black lives is escalating, and it’s time for President Obama to intervene. The Black Lives Matter Network urgently calls upon the Department of Justice to investigate this shooting as a hate crime.
 
This shooting of Black activists by white vigilantes in Minneapolis is a symptom of a much larger problem—that while the homegrown domestic terrorism of white supremacists is alive and well in 2015, it too often lives in the shadows of media coverage dominated by the international terrorism of so-called religious extremists.
 
But, organized white American vigilantism too, is terrorism.
 
It is a terrifying kind of terrorism where the “radicalization” of white supremacists is allowed to grow in plain sight, erased by an invisibility cloak of media neglect, endorsed by politicians, egged on by online trolls, and entrenched by an anti-Black state and civil society.
 
When white males of the far right carry out violent attacks, they are typically described in media, and by neocons and Republicans, as independent actors, rather than members of well-organized terrorist movements. In fact, a recent study found that, despite Presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s desire to increase targeted surveillance of Black activists and Muslim communities, white supremacists are actually more dangerous to America than foreign terrorists. Most terrorist activity has come not from Muslims or from Black people, but from a combination of radical Christians, white supremacists, and far-right militia groups.
 
The Black Lives Matter Network also calls upon the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis police department’s negligent and incompetent conduct in response to this crime. Instead of responding appropriately to secure the safety of protestors who had previously reported credible threats made by white supremacists, the concerns of protestors were ignored. Instead of immediately assisting those injured, Minneapolis police maced protestors who were attempting to record events as they occurred. Rather than take witness statements, Minneapolis police mocked the suffering of Black activists, insisting that by demanding answers in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, protestors had brought the violence upon themselves. Blaming the targets of racist violence is an old trope, but one we must actively and wholeheartedly reject. Our right to organize in defense of Black lives is inherent and inalienable, and beyond the jurisdiction of any law enforcement or white hate group.
 
White vigilantism is a persistent threat that exists to uphold the war on Black lives, reinforce existing racial power dynamics as the status quo, and terrify Black people into silence. But we will not be silent in the face of this long-held extension of state violence.
 
We will continue the occupation of the 4th precinct. We will not be intimidated by white supremacy. We will not bow down to white vigilante terror. Just as our ancestors in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s sang, we ain’t gonna let white supremacy turn us around.
 
Not now, not ever.
 
We demand #Justice4Jamar, justice for the five victims of this racist hate crime, and all victims of police violence
 
June 26, 2020

Strike Watch: Workers refuse to relent for Black lives, as COVID-19 workplace dangers expand

If there is an image that encapsulates the continued expansion of worker-led direct action in the last few weeks, it is Angela Davis on Juneteenth. With her fist raised high and face mask tight, Dr. Davis stood strong out of a roof of a car moving through a massive strike linking dockworkers and community to shutter the Port of Oakland for 8-plus hours. Led by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) shipping and transport workers, 29 ports were shut down as tens of thousands came together, and drew connections by featuring speakers such as fired Amazon warehouse worker Chris Smalls between the racial violence of police and that of powerful corporations.

Payday Report tracked more than 500 strikes from the first protest for George Floyd at the end of May to a nationwide day of action on Juneteenth. In Minneapolis in the days after the murder of George Floyd, workers showed solidarity in ways ranging from unionized bus drivers refusing to transport police to direct action by teachers to remove police from schools. Journalists also have confronted racism in their institutions, such as the 300-plus sickout at the New York Times to challenge Arkansas Tom Cotton’s op-ed calling for military action against protestors. Workers, small businesses and community collaborated on a Washington State-wide day of action where dozens of businesses shut down and employees skipped work to support of Black Lives Matter and confront white supremacy. 

Unions are also taking strong stances on the efforts to divest and defund from police (see our NFG resource for funders here) and invest in real community need and safety, including a wide ranging set of locals in the Bay Area supporting this call directly. Locals like UNITE HERE Local 11 in Los Angeles have confronted recent police killings such as the murder of 18-year old Andres Guardado (whose father is a union member) by the LA Sherriff Department (LASD) in Compton. The local joined street protests and signing on to BLM and abolitionist-led calls for a #PeoplesBudgetLA and a Care First budget defunding the LASD.

Using one’s workplace power to support anti-racism has also morphed among professional class workers “at home.” Dozens of scientific institutions, from journals to university departments, also #ShutDownSTEM to force reflection on entrenched racism in the US and support for Black lives.  #Sharethemic days where white women-identified influencers ceded space to Black women anti-racist leaders like #metoo founder Tarana Burke also offered new ways to consider not only walking out, but handing over resources, space and power.

Like the ongoing strikes responding to COVID-19, workers are exposing the hypocrisy of the endless barrage of corporate statements professing #BLM while taking actions that are quite literally killing their Black and brown workers. Under the cover of slick marketing, trillion-dollar companies like Amazon and Whole Foods are cutting back low-wage worker hazard pay and other protections (won by protests), even as COVID-19 cases spike in their worksites, and even seeing BLM masks banned on the job.

Global Essential Organizing in the Age of COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases (and unemployment claims) continue their ascent in the US, and other regions of the world see dangerous resurgences, mostly Black-, Latinx- and API- (including and especially migrant)-led worker organizing for basic protections has not let up either. The latest waves of strikes organized by Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) among dozens of apple picking and packing sites in Washington state’s Yakima Valley saw a significant victory with a signed collective agreement for safety and hazard pay among dozens of different apple picking workers earlier this month.

Mosty-migrant meatpacking workers globally – from Germany’s hinterlands to Hyrum, Utah – continue to demonstrate n the face of outbreaks in plants. Unionized nurses represented by National Nurses United and different SEIU affiliates are striking nationwide against the large US corporate hospital chain HCA Healthcare for still failing to provide Personal Protective Equipment (while cutting staff) starting Friday, June 26. Disney workers, meanwhile, attempt to stave off a disaster at their multi-billion dollar company seeks to re-open its theme parks in July.

Months of essential worker strikes are becoming entwined in an even broader sea of actions for Black lives and calling, in many cases, for police and prison abolition. Angela Davis reflected in an interview on the same day as the Juneteenth strike: “Activists who are truly committed to changing the world should recognize that the work that we often do that receives no public recognition can eventually matter.” The power reflected in ongoing strikes has been built at the grassroots through base building and other work for numerous years. Dr. Davis’ words are in many ways a call to action for philanthropy: how will funders fully recognize and support the immediate and long-term building necessary for worker-led organizing and power? And as major institutions like universities look inward, will foundations reflect on their own perpetuation of racism and corporate power - from external investments to internal practices?

FJE’s Strike Watch is a regular blog and media series dedicated to providing insight on the ways in which grassroots movements build worker power through direct action. Our ultimate goal: inform philanthropic action to support worker-led power building and organizing and help bridge conversations among funders, community and research partners. We are grateful and acknowledge the many journalists and organizations that produce the content we link to regularly, and to all our participants in first-hand interviews. Questions on the content or ideas for future content? Reach out to robert@nfg.org

Photo Credit: Yalonda M. James / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Photo Credit: Yalonda M. James / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

June 25, 2020

$50million for M4BL - See You There

Dear Donors, Funders, and Resource Mobilizers: 

The Movement for Black Lives mounted a significant SixNineteen Juneteenth weekend of actions in a matter of weeks. Virtually, over 185,000 people viewed M4BL-TV to celebrate, mourn, and learn. Over 650 in person and online actions took place in cities and communities across the nation, and globally. For context on the strategy behind this weekend of action we recommend the first episode of the People's Action Podcast The Next MoveMaking Meaning with Maurice Mitchell

We are deeply moved by Black Leadership and now we are getting closer to a world where defunding police and building new visions of community safety, infrastructure, and recovery are not just possible, but are inevitable.  This month alone, we’ve seen:

·  A veto-proof majority in the Minneapolis City Council pledged to take steps to eliminate the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a community alternative.

·  The mayor of Los Angeles announced that the city’s police budget would be cut by $100-150 million to reinvest it in programs to create better conditions for Black residents,

·  The public perception of policing and racism has shifted dramatically, with 54 percent of Americans supporting the uprisings.

·  And dozens more victories listed here.

We asked you to meet the courage of M4BL’s Juneteenth action by moving resources with integrity and speed. We asked you all to resource our movements working to Defend Black Lives by breaking the rules: give more than 5% from your endowments, trust Black leadership, and remove habitual philanthropic red tape. We responded to M4BL’s call to philanthropy and stated that $50M is the floor, and it is more than possible if we are prepared to fund the Movement for Black Lives like we want them to win. Your commitments so far is the proof point - you were listening! We are grateful for the ways you have shown your solidarity so far. 

Our first goal was to raise half of it by the end of June - $25M. We need your support and solidarity over these next seven days and beyond.  

In 14 days we have raised $18M in commitments, pledges and cash on hand. We have $7M to raise in 7 days and a week to make our first goal.  Solidaire Network and Resource Generation have both pledged to organize their members, and we’ve had contributions come in from the $10,000 to $5M range. Some of you have even pledged for 10 years, demonstrating your commitment not just to the moment but to the long term movement that’s needed to win. 

As a reminder, here are the four ways we need you to show up for Black lives: 

  1. FIRST: COMMIT. If you haven’t done so yet, complete this survey with your own pledge today.
  2. SECOND: ORGANIZE. We need you to organize your institutions, boards, friends, family, funder affinity groups -- the communities you can and have organized to move resources.
  3. THIRD: GIVE. We ask that you make a generous one-time donation and a sustainable recurring donation to M4BL and its ecosystem here.
  4. FOURTH: FOLLOW THROUGH. Get ready to share with us what you are prepared to do, and what philanthropic “rules” you are prepared to break to Defend Black Lives today.

In struggle, 

Funders for Justice and our donor-organizing partners for the Movement for Black Lives 

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