Below is the letter we will send to Representative Karen Bass:
Protect our right to stand up against police violence. Demand Congress put an end to high-tech FBI targeting of Black organizers.
Black activists and organizers should never be targeted for standing up against injustice. All 50 U.S. states plus 18 countries participated in Black Lives Matter protests, making it the largest civil rights movement in world history—and this movement continues. Yet, Black activists and organizers have become targets of high-tech FBI surveillance. Outcry against police violence has been answered with tear gas, rubber bullets, and advanced surveillance and tracking technology to identify, track, and arrest protestors.
Historically, Black movement leaders have been unconstitutionally targeted, attacked, jailed, or even killed in their efforts to confront racism, police brutality, and police violence. We cannot allow a system that has oppressed us to dismantle our efforts to free ourselves. The FBI and local law enforcement are effectively treating us like threats to justice for refusing to accept the harm done to Black people as the status quo. Congress must step in and fulfill their duty to come to our aid.
Here is the Petition:
The HonorableKaren Bass,
The FBI’s 2017 intelligence assessment report warned 18,000 local law enforcement agencies that Black activism against police violence is a domestic threat, labeling us “Black Identity Extremists” in the process.
As you are the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and a member of the Judiciary Committee that has oversight on the FBI, Color of Change is calling on you, Representative Bass, to #ProtectBlackDissent by doing the following:
- Demilitarize local law enforcement and cease funding for any high-tech surveillance tools or programs.
- Prohibit mass surveillance technologies and programs including the Patriot Act, which have all too often been deployed against protestors and Black communities.
- Make clear that the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection have no role in policing the current protests or others in the future nor engaging in broad general law enforcement activities.
- Close loopholes in domestic and national security surveillance laws that have been exploited to target protestors and communities of color.
- Demand the FBI formally revoke the Black Identity Extremist Designation and subpoena FBI/DHS for documents related to BIE, Iron Fist, and Racially Motivated Extremism.
- Fully investigate how surveillance has been targeted at Black communities and protestors, including by federal agencies.
Congress must step in and fulfill their duty to come to our aid.