Black Lives Matter Cincinnati (BLMC):
[As a distinct organization from other Black Lives Matter groups]
[Revised in April, 2016]
Black Lives Matter Cincinnati’s Principles of Membership
- Black Lives Matter Cincinnati (BLMC) was built to fight for Black liberation and to defend the rights of the oppressed. It rejects and actively opposes all forms of racism and bigotry
- The system of capitalism that we live under flourishes from creating and exploiting racial and ethnic divisions.
- Women’s liberation is an essential component in the fight for Black liberation.
- Women have played an historic role in the fight to get free throughout history. Their capacities to lead and fight are boundless, limited only by the sexist confines of society and it’s permeation into our own movements.
- We support a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, demand that the state make abortion clinic access available and accessible to All women.
- We demand an end to police brutality!
- Police brutality flows from institutionalized racism. As long as this racist system is in place, police are an unreformable wing of it. Through mass action and pressure it is possible to win indictments, trials, firings and jail time for individual cops who harass and brutalize people.
- Police brutality is aimed most sharply at Black people. But it is not exclusive to Black people. BLMC champions the fight against police brutality for all people.
- End mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline and the commodification of petty crime.
- We oppose U.S. imperialism and its wars abroad.
- The United States government has a domestic policy of exploitation, harassment, brutality, and economic devastation, carried out against Black people and all poor and working-class people. Their foreign policy is an extension of that. We defend the right of nations around the world to self determination and sovereignty and oppose U.S. military interventions. Often masked as fights for democracy and “the American way,” we recognize their true aims to grab land, gain resources, expand their influence, and/or crush uprisings and rebellions.
- We respect the gender sovereignty, sexual orientation, and right to exist of all people free from persecution. The support and defend the struggle of LGBTQ community.
- As an organization we look to build and increase Black confidence and Black leadership. We look to advance and nurture the leadership of women. We center our political and organizational work in communities of oppressed peoples. We strive consciously for our membership and official leadership to reflect that. Our organization is open to all — on every level, to anyone of any ethnicity or gender — who agrees with and carries out in practice, our principles.
- We support the Fight for $15 campaign and other social and union struggles to increase wages, benefits, and labor rights for the working class.
- Many Black people work low, minimum wage and part-time jobs. The inability for families to survive on 40 hours work forces people to work multiple jobs, with no benefits.
- We practice independent, revolutionary political action
- We don’t support Democrats, Republicans, or any other party that puts their faith in a system built on institutionalized racism and sexism.
- We look to organize mass forces in the streets to make change. We have no illusion that these profound changes we are calling for will be achieved through the ballot box. Our power comes from ourselves, our neighbors, our will, our commitment and our determination to fight.
- We believe that to defeat the empire of oppression we must solidarize with all struggles of the oppressed. This includes, but is not limited to defending immigrant rights, supporting the fight of indigenous people to exist and be sovereign, and standing with others against islamophobia.
[Original from August, 2015]
Declaration of Core Principles
- During all events, actions and planning, BLMC prioritizes black voices, history and struggles.
- BLMC maintains a unique safe & supportive space in all activities for black people to express themselves.
- BLMC makes decisions and carries out actions as a disciplined group, not as individuals.
- BLMC accepts and values the life of all black people in all the ways they come.
- BLMC restricts voting and discussion to proposals that directly relate to the empowerment of black communities.
- BLMC remains open to solidarity with other movements so long as the action of solidarity directly contributes to the liberation of black peoples.
- While BLMC recognizes that the same power structures that oppress black people oppress other peoples, We maintain a laser-like focus on issues affecting black lives specifically.
- While BLMC accepts support from allies of other ethnicities and movements, We require our space to remain geared towards uplifting black voices and perspectives in particular.