It is now 2018 but think back to 2016. We are only now seeing the evidence being published of how Russian trolls attempted to use racial divides to sow chaos and confusion inside the United States, to feed the flames of racist extremists, and to undermine the democratic process.
Much, if not most, of Black Lives Matter and the radical racial extremists and their activity have receded.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this, sent by a friend (not edited, emphasis in the original),
Black Lives Matter DC is a radical collective organizing to dismantle white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism and the role the state plays in supporting them.
That’s rather extremist, so, of course, I went in search of.
I found a similar description on the Black Lives Matter DC page.
BLM DC is a radical collective of Black artists, infrastructure builders and movement healers and strategists from the future, organizing in the here and now around two movement equations. These equations inform how we live as our highest selves while dismantling White Supremacy, Patriarchy, Capitalism, Imperialism and the role the state plays in supporting them.
“Dismantling… capitalism” is what caught my attention, and “imperialism” is a common word used in Russian propaganda. Nobody uses that word in 2018 except in historical references.
BLM DC also has a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account,@DMVBlackLives. They appear to be active, holding events, and meeting regularly. They have a Black Lives Matter BLM DC page nested within a ‘national’ Black Lives Matter’ organization, but it does not appear to be well maintained. There are enough news articles about BLM DC, dating back to 2016, that the organization appears legitimate.
I was also pointed to the Stop Police Terror Washington DC and a Press Release. DC Activists: Metropolitan Police Department’s Violence, Recklessness, and Lack of Accountability Requires Immediate, Substantive Action from Elected Officials
At the bottom is a name and phone number for Gregg Montross, so I called and left a message. He wrote back.
Thanks for writing. I can’t speak for BLM DC. I can tell you that SPTP DC’s core principles are:
- Militarized Policing must end immediately.
- Communities should be empowered to secure themselves.
- As long as the police are an institution, there must be clear accountability mechanisms in the hands of the people.
- The issue of militarized policing and mass incarceration are military solutions to the social problems in oppressed communities, which is a form of social control. As such critiquing capitalism is a necessary part of our movement.
- We are opposed to patriarchy and all racism, bigotry, homophobia and transphobia.
- Our movement is broad and unity is important. We believe in exploring with all who wish to partner the issue of limited unity around police terror but our basic point of unity with all forces is a forthright recognition of the importance of LGBTQ and Women freedom fighters to at all times be respected and safe.For more information on the relationship between racialized capitalism and policing, you may be interested in this timeline – http://criticalresistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/policing_timelinenew.pdf – and two upcoming events:5/15 – Black Lives Matter DC Open House – https://www.facebook.com/events/183488228922113/?event_time_id=2072527465456615/16 – Police: A Field Guide- Author Talk – https://www.facebook.com/events/921144318067290/6/21 – The End of Policing: Discussion with Alex Vitale – https://www.facebook.com/events/417544748707206/
Another link brought me to Capitalism breeds and feeds Black oppression, on a site called “Peoples World”. The title appears to be directly undermining capitalism, but the article appears to more promote Marxism, especially,
…Marxist theoretical position on the strategic goals of the African-American freedom struggle.
The article is a republication of an article originally published in February 1966 by the late James E. Jackson (1914 – 2997), and the only reference to BLM is in the caption to a picture. The goals, however, promote a “socialist alternative” to capitalism.
People’s World, however, is a piece of work.
- Marxism: A living science 200 years later
- Karl Marx at 200
- Making time for Marx, not just the market
These are “related articles” at the end of the article.
The main page is skewed to the left, as well. Examples from today,
- How free is the free press in Trump’s America?
- Trump’s “new deal for blacks” was dealt from the bottom of the deck By Jesse Jackson
- The real Bosox curse was racism, not the Bambino
- Strong Communist Parties needed to advance workers’ movements, says PW reader
Bottom line, People’s World is a throwback to the Marxist and Communist leanings of the 1960s. While the articles definitely lean far to the left, and the fires of racism are definitely stoked, there does not appear to be any call to action, there are only obtuse references to Russia, and many of the articles appear to be authored by “Never Trumpers”. While it is possible this is a Russian troll operation, it is highly doubtful. But keep an eye out.
Bottom line, Black Lives Matter DC appears to be a legitimate organization with no apparent ties to the Russian troll farm. Peoples World, is a possible or probable place for future pro-Russian publications but does not appear to be used for that purpose today.