Ferguson protesters and Michael Brown Sr. are now demanding $20 million from Black Lives Matter after it was revealed they pulled in more than $90 million last year.
The demand is in response to the lack of aid provided to local activists in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the nation where Black Lives Matter activists have been protesting for racial justice.
“Today, we hold Black Lives Matter accountable,” proclaimed Tory Russell, co-founder of the International Black Freedom Alliance, in a video sent out on Twitter. He is from Ferguson and calls himself a “frontline organizer” and “freedom fighter.” Ferguson became the ignition point where protests flared following the contested 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown while in police custody.
“What kind of movement are we building when we say ‘black lives matter’ but the freedom fighters and the families are being left behind,” Russell stated, appearing with Michael Brown’s father in the video.
(Video Credit: The IBFA)
“Where is our restitution?” Russell demanded. “We’re not begging for a handout, we’re coming for what we deserve.” He also said, “We’re not asking for a handout, but for the funding to keep the movement strong where it began.”
“Where is all that money going?” Brown Sr. questioned BLM in a press release from the International Black Freedom Alliance on Tuesday.
To this date #MikeBrown father said he has received only $500 from any #BlackLivesMatter affiliated group even though they organize an annual commemoration weekend for their son along with many other events with other families for healing and empowerment
— TheIBFA (@THEIBFA) March 2, 2021
“How could you leave the families who are helping the community without any funding?” he asked.
While Black Lives Matter reportedly raked in $90 million last year, Michael Brown Sr. reportedly received a paltry $500 from the organization. Many who support Black Lives Matter are now wondering where all the money is going.
Even before the article that @aaronlmorrison came out #Ferguson Mike Brown Sr. and many Black community members have had questions about the money #BlackLivesMatter was raising. Here is their statement pic.twitter.com/ykpGZ5Z4KJ
— TheIBFA (@THEIBFA) March 2, 2021
In December of 2020, 10 local BLM chapters sent a letter to the organization demanding transparency on where the money was going. For the first time in eight years, Black Lives Matter released financial information following receipt of those demands.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation reported that it issued $21.7 million in grants to various Black Lives Matter chapters and other organizations that are being led by black people. They finished out 2020 with a balance of over $60 million.
“They will utilize this funding for multiple years to re-establish community efforts, provide mutual aid and programs for the Black community as well as establish a community center in honor of Mike Brown Jr. to serve the community,” the IBFA explained in a statement regarding the demanded funds. “The center will be a hub for where activism and community empowerment merge for the greater good of the St. Louis area. Money will be given to other families affected by police brutality like slain activist Darren Seals and Josh Williams who is currently incarcerated on what they believe are trumped up charges.”
Russell stated that the $20 million that is being demanded from Black Lives Matter would be utilized for “Black Panther-style programs, annual commemorations for Michael Brown’s life, and organizing anti-racist fellowships and stipends.”
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