BLM Movement History

Halle Connell, Writer

For years, people were blind to the oppression and brutality against African Americans in America. Until people witnessed it through others and people finally saw the real effect that it had on the world and Black people across the nation. After realizing this, people knew they had to change things. So the Black Lives Matter Movement began.

The BLM Movement, known as the Black Lives Matter Movement, was started near after 2/26/2012 after the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin a 17-year-old high school student who was walking to his fathers house when George Zimmerman a neighborhood watcher for the night spotted Martin and called 911 reporting “a suspicious person” in the area. The operator on the call advised Zimmerman to stay in the car he was in and wait for the police to come. Zimmerman ignored this advice and approached Martin. Moments later gunshots were heard in the neighborhood, and 17 year old Trayvon Martin was found dead. Zimmerman claimed it was “in self defense”. A witness to the killing, Serino who was also a neighborhood watch member, on two incidents reports that he thought Zimmerman’s injuries were “marginally consistent with a life threatening episode, as described by him, during which neither a deadly weapon nor deadly force were deployed by Trayvon Martin.” 

The case was turned over to Florida State Attorney Norm Wolfinger and a trial was set for Zimmerman. A petition on Change.org was created by Martin’s parents for the arrest of Zimmerman, it surpassed 1.3 million people, and exactly one month later after Trayvon Martin’s death, rallies took place in cities across the country, including Sanford Florida, where the City Commission held their town hall meeting on the incident. On February 9, 2013 the justice for Trayvon Martin Foundation hosted a “Day of Remembrance Community Peace Walk and Forum” in Miami, four days after what would have been Martin’s 18th Birthday.

The hashtag #BLM and #BlackLivesMatter started trending on social media and a widespread number of people started using the hashtag for the injustice against Trayvon Martin soon spread throughout other cases of police brutality and injustice such as the killing of Eric

Garner where hundreds gathered in the march in Tompkinsville to march. And the killing of Michael Brown where  Black Lives Matter Freedom riders take buses to Ferguson Missouri in support of protesters, along with Massive protest in Missouri related to Michael Brown’s death. On 11/25/2014, thousands of protesters in London marched to stand up to racism and the London Black revolution organized a protest in the London Embassy. On 11/26/2014, in LA protesters shut down the 101 in LA. Thousands of protesters marched through the streets in Manhattan for the next 24 hours. About 200 members of the Black Youth Project staged a sit-in outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel office on Tuesday afternoon.

On 11/28/2014, thousands of activists launched #blackoutblackfriday, shutting down malls and highways across the country. 

On 12/3/2014, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner. Hundreds of protests breakout across the city in the support of Eric Garner. After this many new hashtags were created and spread along with #BlackBrunch, a hashtag that started with the hashtag #BlackBrunchSeattle where young Americans teach diners about the social injustice with Black Americans. Other hashtags like #AliveWhileBlack, #ICan’tBreathe a hashtag worn by basketball stars Lebron James and Kobe Bryant on a shirt during a game.  Black Congressional Staffers Stage A #HandsUpDon’tShoot walkout in support of Garner and Brown. 

One man by the name of George Floyd who was killed by police officer Derek Chauvan in Minneapolis, a video was filmed and public shared and spread, soon the video met the news which spread to the rest of the world, people all around the world starting in Minneapolis spreading to places across the nation and millions of people protests through streets and online as well. Though they were mostly peaceful protests, there were some cases where officers used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters and multiple times that buildings were set on fire. 

Protesting is protected under the United States constitution, it is to show that you don’t agree with something in this case it’s police brutality. Rioting is showing this through violence in public places, such as, in this case, targeting public and private property and looting buildings. 

Protesting is an important thing, in this case, riots are the last thing we would like to cause, but thankfully this was only 7% of the protests. The 93% of the world walked and protested for George Floyd’s death and BLM, all 50 states and everywhere around the world including London, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Helsinki, and all 50 states across the USA 

The world is slowly changing all over for the better and for the worst. The Black Lives Matter movement is an important movement for the whole world and especially in a world so divided, it’s amazing to bond with each other over an important topic and change, because police brutality is not okay. When you remove all the things that divide us, we are all people on the inside, and no one should be discriminated against for that. The BLM movement is important and world changing, and it is something that will last a lifetime.