Black Lives Matter Turns Away from Protests and Toward Policy

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The Black Lives Movement is evolving away from street protests in the Trump era, reports the Washington Post.  News about controversial police encounters with black Americans has been met with relatively subdued responses in recent weeks. Activists say the movement’s efforts have entered a new phase — one more focused on policy than protest — prompted by the election of President Trump. “What people are seeing is that there are less demonstrations,” said Alicia Garza, who helped coin the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag in 2012. “A lot of that is that people are channeling their energy into organizing locally, recognizing that in Trump’s America, our communities are under direct attack.”

The issue that galvanized the movement hasn’t subsided. So far in 2017, police have shot and killed 23 unarmed people, a higher rate than in 2016, when 48 unarmed people were killed all year. But like most of the political left, Black Lives Matter leaders were stunned by Trump’s electoral victory in November. They’ve grappled with the role of an anti-racism movement at a time when political threats to other groups — immigrants, Muslims and women — have gained urgency and pushed more progressives into the streets in protest. In interviews, more than half a dozen leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement said the election prompted renewed focus on supporting other minority groups as well as amassing electoral power to fight the new administration.

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