BlackLivesMatter Toolkit for Muslims

This should answer many questions and it was crafted in 2014.

Advisors to MuslimARC


BlackLivesMatter Toolkit for Muslims

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Toolkit on policing and police brutality calling for American Muslims leaders to join us in taking a stand, becoming more visible, and playing a more active part in addressing structural racism, and, in particular, police brutality.  



Margari Hill

 Programming Director, Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative



 Namira Islam

 Executive Director, Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative


MuslimARC Programming Volunteers



[email protected]

Last updated Sunday 11/1/15 9:13 am PST










List of Deaths Protested by Black Lives Matter



Ferguson Action Demands

This Stops Today Demands

Black Lives Matter Demands


March 2 Justice Demands

The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (YGB) and Freedom, Inc Demands

Campaign Zero Platform

Justice Or Else


Organizations and Coalitions

Actions, Convenings, and Marches



Guides, Factsheets, and Toolkits



Videos, Art,  and Multimedia


“Ferguson is everywhere.”

Racial Prejudice + Institutional Power = Racism


  1. Encourage members of Muslim communities to address police brutality, lack of police accountability, structural racism in law enforcement, militarization of police force, the school to prison pipeline, and economic inequities using strategies of faith-in-action leading to actions of solidarity
  2. Offer individuals and institutions methods for sustained action to address  state sanctioned violence against Black bodies, over-policing, and over-incarceration of Black Americans
  3. Develop a national strategy for addressing institutional racism that is embedded in legal codes and structures in our society

State sanctioned violence against Black bodies, over-policing, and over-incarceration of Black Americans are emblematic of the institutional racism that is embedded in legal codes and structures in our society. The clear racial disparities and devastating effects of the prison-industrial complex on Black/African American Muslim communities demand a response from our leaders and organizers. Systemic racism not only deprives individuals of opportunities, but undermines our dignity as a people.  The Black American Muslim community is not immune, as some youth are lost to the street or all but abandon their faith.

Understanding the context of the Black Lives Matter is important. In response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman of the murder of Trayvon Martin in July 2013, queer Black women activists Patrisse Fullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as a call to action. When Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown (#HandsUpDontShoot) in the summer of 2014, the hashtag went viral. The movement expanded exponentially when Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted for killing Eric Garner (#ICantBreath) with a choke hold (See a visualization here). Law enforcement killing of Black continues to draw national attention and the list continues. Protests have spread across the country and a recent UN report

Our goal is to draw upon our Islamic traditions and historical legacy of Black upliftment and empowerment. We intend to not only raise consciousness, but to affect change in our communities. At the turn of the 21st century, we must think about the legacy we are leaving for our youth, as well as the opportunities that we need to create in order to demonstrate that Islam is relevant in their spiritual, social, and emotional lives.


Below are a list of suggested actions that individuals, organizations, and communities can take to address racism in the justice system. The hyperlinks provide examples or serve as references. We encourage you to read them to expand your knowledge and help open more possibilities. We welcome feedback and invite you to submit more suggestions and models for anti-racism actions by emailing [email protected].         

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What You Can do as an Individual

  • Pray. Either deepen your prayer for the situation, or get started now. Pray for an end to racism, police brutality, and racial injustice.  If you are an imam, be sure to include communities affected by police brutality and structural racism in your du’a in the Jumu’ah prayer. Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if he is an unbeliever, for there is no screen between it and Allah” (Musnad Ahmad 12140).
  • Learn. Identify anti-racism classes and workshops. Set aside time to read about institutional, interpersonal, and internalized racism to become well informed about structural racism, police misconduct, police surveillance, the school-to-prison pipeline, prison-industrial complex, and Communications Management Units. 
  • Study. Read books, watch documentaries, or take classes on Black history, the history of Black American Muslims, Black/African American culture, and/or contemporary issues.
  • Listen. There are people who are feeling emotional pain and trauma from the recent events. “Racism is a Chronic and/or an Acute Stressor that Causes Trauma” (Carter, 2007). Thus, listen and ask questions in order to empathize with another’s pain and trauma. Do not control the conversation or ask folks to be “less emotional” and “more logical or objective” because this can be hurtful,offensive, and dismissive (Grollman, N.D.).
  • Engage. You can make environments less toxic, educate the uninformed, support a victim of racism, and help win broader support by engaging with the issues. Engagement can consist of calling out racist discussions or correcting misconceptions in discussions with friends, family, and associates. Bystander anti-racism, a largely untapped policy resource, occurs when regular people address interpersonal or systemic racism (Grollman, N.D.)
  • Amplify. Help amplify marginalized individuals. Provide meaningful opportunities for Black, Latino, and Native American brothers and sisters to share their experiences in how institutional racism has affected their lives. Help ensure that they  a platform to tell their story. Learn to use whatever privileges you may have, whether it is educational, gender, race, or class privilege, and work to be a good ally (Hill, 2014).
  • Avoid. Avoid actions that discourage forward movement on this cause. This includes appropriating a high profile cause simply for the appearance of giving da’awah or increasing your public profile. Check your nafs and focus on sustained action and change. Do not make the issue about your personal cause or attempt false comparisons between groups (Khan, 2014). Avoid derailing conversations about race and racial injustice, i.e. “What about Black-on-Black crime?”(Walton, 2014 ). These conversations are not relevant and undermine our efforts to tackle racism in the justice system.
  • Act. There are many things you can do to make your voice heard, become more visible, and manifest your will.  This includes non-violent protest, supporting protesters, marching, endorsing organizations, etc. Three major categories are as follows: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and non violent intervention (198 methods of Nonviolent Action).

Organize Events to Address Police Brutality and Systemic Racism

  • Watch. Organize a film screening of a film or documentary that sheds light on the prison industrial complex and police brutality. Some examples include Prison Blues by Mustafa Davis; Fruitvale Station; selections from Do the Right Thing (1989); selections from Malcolm X (1992).  Have a panel and Q&A session to discuss the issues raised in the film (Alvis, 2014).
  • Discuss. Organize forums, discussion groups, Peace Making Circles, or safe spaces to meet and start conversations about racism.  Gather resources needed to support honest engagement about police brutality with a goal of unmasking, dismantling and eradicating racism through anti-racism development.  
  • Speak. Encourage your leaders to teach, preach, and speak out against racism, now and on a regular basis. Organize policy-level conversations that can impact institutions and laws that affect the daily lives and opportunities of the most marginalized groups (Race Forward).

What Your Organization Can Do

  • Prepare.  Develop an anti-bias organizational assessment to analyze the policies and practices of your organization (ChangeWork).
  • Establish. Ensure that your organization or community creates an environment of intolerance for racist conduct. Develop a clear policy statement about your organization’s zero-tolerance stance on racism. Develop clear policies and disciplinary actions towards racist speech and actions.  (Dewey, 2013)
  • Develop. Develop a vision and system of accountability for anti-bias policies and practices to ensure that you are achieving your goals. Create and utilize a system to back up your community’s policies towards racism. The system should allow for reporting and documenting instances of racism and provide clear details regarding the corrective action system (Chuasiriporn, N.D.)
  • Form. Form partnerships with anti-racism organizations, as well as community members, families, leaders, and grassroots organizations that tackle structural racism and empower marginalized communities (NPARC).

What You Can do for Sustained Action

  • Link. Join efforts with organizations that have track records in anti-racism work, civil rights, or empowering urban communities. Connect with the National Urban League, NAACP, and/or the ACLU, as well as grassroots, smaller, advocacy and community organizing agencies found throughout urban America (Khalifah)
  • Organize. Become civically engaged to address police brutality, gun violence, education, health care, and employment access; join an organization working to end inequity in the U.S. Meet with organizations and groups or join an association that is committed to addressing inequity (Rabinowitz).
  • Address. Address these issues on a city, state, and federal level.
  • Develop. Develop a sustained civil rights agenda that confronts the most salient forms of oppression against Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans, including the over-incarceration of Blacks and Latinos in the prison-industrial complex, economic exploitation of Blacks and Latinos, and policies that further disparities in education, health,  and housing  (Khalifa).

This is not an exhaustive list, but we hope they prepare us for meaningful action. We urge all Muslims to engage in today’s civil rights movement, and be on the right side of history.

If you have questions, comments, ideas or suggestions, please contact one of us. As part of our commitment to fighting racism within the Muslim community and standing for justice, we must take action. Please join us by raising your voice and standing up to say “this ends today.” [1]

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Muslim Engagement in #BlackLivesMatter

To:  Muslim Communities and Leaders

Our Noble Prophet ﷺ said,

”Help the oppressed and guide those who have lost their way..”

(Book 41, Number 4799: Sunan Abu-Dawud)

A verified study reports that in 2012, a Black American was shot or killed by law enforcement, vigilantes, or security guards on average every 28 hours.  This statistic includes women and children.  It includes the killings of Black American Muslim men Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah and Amadou Diallo. Today, this reign of terror against Blacks continues, only to be met with unjust and defective response by our judicial systems.  As a result, the tumultuous times we live in invoke strong emotions.  As Muslims, we know that the Qur’an is clear in respect to the sanctity of life: “Whoever kills a soul except for a soul or grave corruption in the earth, it is just as him killing all of humankind”  ( 5:32).  This sanctity applies to every life and every people.  Islamic adab (etiquette) is rooted in empathy, and as Blacks continue to be targeted unjustly, our responses should be empathetic. Muslim leadership should be visible in guiding our communities, and our youth in particular, in standing up for justice.

We call on Muslim community leaders  to unite and take a stand for police accountability and racial justice. This is an important juncture in our history for freedom struggles. Protests are rippling across the country in response to the failure of grand juries to indict Darren Wilson in Ferguson for killing Michael Brown, Daniel Pantaleo in New York for killing Eric Garner, or Sean Williams in Ohio for killing John Crawford III.  These extrajudicial killings are not isolated events. They reflect a systemic racism in which social, economic, educational, and political forces and policies foster discriminatory outcomes against Black people. Given that race is inextricably tied in with these events, we must unequivocally affirm the egalitarian nature of Islam in which the Qur’an and Sunnah clearly condemn racism not just in the form of individual actions, but as a structure that marginalizes people.

As Muslims, we should draw upon our strong tradition of standing for a just society as  Allah instructs us to in the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted“ (4:135)

Standing for justice in this country entails confronting the embedded racial inequalities of our society.  As American Muslims, we must not fall into apathy, but instead put our faith into action and take a stand against oppression, whether by seeking to remove it with our hands, speaking against it, or hating it in our hearts.

As part of our work in calling upon our Islamic traditions to foster thriving communities, we ask that American Muslim leaders and organizations  be part of the solution.  The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is introduced in the Qur’an, “And We have not sent you forth but as a mercy to mankind” (21:107). As a community, we must help create the conditions to restore the dignity and human potential to our people.

Allah tells us in the Qur’an, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (13:11). This includes commitments for moral reform and social change.  Given this moral imperative, American Muslims must take the lead in addressing the broader forces in society that disempower Black communities in general, and our communities in particular.  We are calling on our brothers and sisters to stand, speak, and act.

You can endorse the #CallforJustice letter to show your support for #BlackLivesMatter. A list of suggested actions, as well as infographics, statistics, and lists of resources, for individuals, organizations, and communities to utilize in their work to address racial injustices is located at in the MuslimARC Toolkit.

The Undersigned:

Margari HIll, Programming Director  MuslimARC

Namira Islam, Executive Director, MuslimARC

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer

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This guide aims to provide some general tips for organizing a dialogue/discussion group on Black Lives Matter in Muslim communities. Why a dialogue? At MuslimARC, we believe in the power of storytelling and dialogue in learning.  J.K. Vella (1997) writes, “The simplest definition for the word “dialogue” is a two-way communicative process, a conversation or social discourse between two or more individuals. The basic assumption is that learning occurs when two people exchange thoughts, ideas, and words through dialogue (p.3). By sharing stories, experiences, and viewpoints, participants can engage with the issues and each other in a meaningful way. Our hope is that participants utilize the knowledge they gain through dialogue to work towards bringing about racial equity in Muslim communities and our society.

We encourage Muslims to organize dialogues on college campuses, mosques, community centers,  third spaces, and/or in homes. We also hope that these conversations continue over coffee, meals, and in our personal exchanges. While there are many secular and faith based organizations who have organized forums around Black Lives Matter, there is little documentation of community forums aimed at equipping Muslim community members with the tools to effectively engage with the issues of police brutality, the over policing of black communities, and the militarization of American policing. Our joint “Call for Justice letter with Muslims 4 Ferguson indicate increased support within our communities for #BlackLivesMatter. Now, is the time to turn that support into sustained action and organizing to support justice and racial equity.  Please let us know if you have planned or plan to organize an event. We would love to amplify your efforts and share your event as a model for others.  We welcome  educators, community leaders, and general community members to share their lesson plans  and discussion questions with us at info@muslimARC org.


Standing Up for Justice in Law Enforcement

  • Allah instructs us in the Qur’an:  “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted“ (4:135)
  • The Qur’an is clear in respect to the sanctity of life: “Whoever kills a soul except for a soul or grave corruption in the earth, it is just as him killing all of humankind”  ( 5:32).
  • On the authority of Abu Saeed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him), Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whoever of you sees a wrong must then change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the slightest [effect of] faith.” (Recorded in Muslim)

Addressing Systemic Racism

  • Over policing and police brutality  reflect a systemic racism in which social, economic, educational, and political forces and policies foster discriminatory outcomes against Black people (see statistics in #BlackLivesMatter toolkit).
  • Given that race is inextricably tied in with these events, we must unequivocally affirm the egalitarian nature of Islam in which the Qur’an and Sunnah clearly condemn racism not just in the form of individual actions, but as a structure that marginalizes people.
  • We must stand, speak, and act to support racial justice.

Commonalities and Shared Futures

  • Just as many Muslims  decry the use of drones and armed warfare against civilians abroad, we must take a stand against state violence against civilian populations here at home.
  • We must avoid drawing the false binary that makes police brutality a Black issue and surveillance a Muslim issue because a significant 25-30% of Muslim Americans are both Black and Muslim. As such, Allah reminds us in the Qur’an: “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise” [Qur’an 9:71]. There are Black/African American Muslims who are affected by these issues and have been working to address them. We must support them, as well as interfaith and secular coalitions.
  • We must stand with the oppressed and marginalized as our liberation is intrinsically linked.

Today’s Issues Have Continuity with Civil Rights Struggle

  • We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” Martin Luther King 1963 (From the I have a dream speech).
  • “The police commissioner feeds the type of statistics to the white public to make them think that Harlem is a complete criminal area where everyone is prone towards violence. This gives the police the impression that they can then go and brutalize the Negroes, or suppress the Negroes, or even frighten the Negroes.” Malcolm X interview with Mike Wallace June 8, 1964


  • Sometimes community dialogues can be so intense and emotionally triggering that they can generate a sense of hopelessness in members of oppressed communities or they can foster naval gazing amongst the more privileged. One way to overcome this is to look for solutions.  One way to frame the dialogue is to have activities that allow participants to create action items or asks from the community/legislators/law enforcement
  • Encourage participants to stretch outside their comfort zone and build relationships and coalitions with others from different ethnic/religious/socio-economic backgrounds
  • In diverse groups, encourage participants to look for commonalities and shared histories. For example ask participants from immigrant  backgrounds to reflect on the oppression their communities have historically experienced abroad and in the U.S., such as colonialism, authoritarian regimes, police states, surveillance, disrimination, and neo-colonialism.
  • Begin with a short introductory lecture that lays out ground rules and provides baseline information. See #BlackLivesMatter Toolkit for Muslims for resources. If you have trouble developing introductory material, email [email protected].
  • There are many ways to encourage participation For example  have a large group break into smaller groups for small group discussion, have each participant write out their thoughts and then read them to their group, You can increase participation by asking all participants to first write out their thoughts and then read them.
  • Be clear about the goals for the dialogue, then develop discussion prompts and activities to foster those goals. Is it to create a safe space for healing? Is it to mobilize the community? Is it to develop a task force? Is it to develop an action plan.


1.     Participants will be able to summarize the issues that have led to uprisings and nation-wide protests against police brutality and list common demands by grassroots organizers

2.     Participants will be able to reflect on their own privilege/oppression and how it shapes their approach to police brutality and communities affected by police brutality and racial profiling

3.     Participants will be able to outline the Islamic ethos of anti-racism work and discuss ways strive towards racial equity and solidarity with oppressed communities most affected by over policing and police brutality.


  • “One Mic” (no interruptions);
  •  Use “I” instead of “We” statements (speaking from experiences rather than generalizing);
  •  Be conscious of how much space people are taking up;
  •  Challenge ideas and not people;
  • Understanding the difference between feeling uncomfortable and feeling unsafe; this is difficult topic and for some it may be triggering. Allow people who feel overwhelmed to leave the room for a breather.
  • Ask participants to make a list of agreed upon ground rules the entire group feels comfortable with.


  • What are your personal connections to this issue and any elements, facts or other things which you think are really important to consider?
  • What are some initiatives/programs that members of the Muslim community can support?
  • How can we be better advocates/allies/supporters for the oppressed in this society?
  • The Ferguson Action Team have names this the #BlackSpring. Can you draw some comparisons with global revolutions?
  • Are there any comparisons to the policing of Black and brown communities  and surveillance of Muslim communities? Where are the overlaps?


Community Dialogue Guide

J.K. Vella Learning to list, learning to teach: The power of dialogue in educating adults. San Francisco: Jossey-bass, 1997,  p.3).

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Discrimination: the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people.

Ethnicity: A group of people with common traits, background, and associations. Refers to cultural background (i.e., language, food, and style of clothing).

Institutional racism: Institutional policies and practices that creates advantages for privileged race(s) and disadvantages for others, resulting in  different outcomes for different racial groups.

Race: A group of people related in a common descent or ancestry often linked to phenotype (i.e. skin color, hair texture, facial features)

Racism: The systematic unequal distribution of rights, privileges, resources, and protections along racial lines and the assignment of worth, ability, and value according to race.

Shadeism: Discrimination against individuals based on skin tone, often considered synonymous with colorism (q.v.). Shadeism can occur within communities of color and often takes the form of preference for lighter skin tones.

Systemic Racism: Discrimination built into the way organizations and governments operate. This often involves informal activities and cultures.

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“A Bureau of Justice Statistics report in 2008 found that black people were almost three times more likely than white people to be subjected to force or threatened with it by police.” (Marc Robinson, 2014)

“The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age” (Gabrielson, Jones, Sagara, 2014)

“…Young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police…” (Gabrielson, Jones, Sagara, 2014)

“Prison sentences of black men were nearly 20% longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years, an analysis by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found”(JOE PALAZZOLO, 2013).

“For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day” (Sentencing Project, N.D.).

 “Although there are no reliable statistics, estimates suggest that 35,000-40,000 inmates convert to Islam each year, and nationwide, it is estimated that 15 percent of the U.S. prison population is Muslim, or as much as 350,000 current Muslim inmates” (SpearIt, 2013).

“The national rate of unemployment for whites is 4.7% percent, for blacks it is 10.1%” (Bill Quigly, 2015).  

List of Deaths Protested by Black Lives Matter

(In Alphabetical Order- This list is largely from BlackLivesMatter Wikipedia Entry)

May 16, 2010

Aiyana Jones (7)

Detroit, Michigan

Shot by policeman Joseph Weekley during a house raid. Weekley was ultimately cleared of all charges after multiple mistrials.

November 20, 2014

Akai Gurley (28)

Brooklyn, New York

Shot by policeman Peter Liang, who drew his gun and accidentally discharged it. A round ricocheted and hit Gurley, who was elsewhere on the same stairwell as Liang. Liang was indicted by a grand jury on manslaughter, assault, and other criminal charges.[79]

December 23, 2014

Antonio Martin (18)

Berkeley, Missouri

Shot by an unidentified white police officer after Martin pulled a gun on him while the officer was responding to a shoplifting report at a convenience store.

December 15, 2014

Brandon Tate-Brown

Philadelphia, PA

Two  officers stopped Brandon Tate-Brown for driving without headlights. Officers claim they saw a gun in the car’s middle console. A struggle ensued where Tate-Brown was shot in the head. Police originally said that Tate-Brown was reaching into the car for the loaded weapon then conceded, with video evidence to support that  he was running around the back of the car when the officer fired.

April 30, 2014

Dontre Hamilton (31)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Shot by policeman Christopher Manney, when a fight broke out when Manney attempted to frisk Hamilton. Although he did not face criminal charges, Manney was fired from the police.

June 17, 2015

Emanuel Nine (multiple)

Charleston, South Carolina

A mass shooting, allegedly by Dylann Roof, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church resulted in nine dead and one injured.

July 17, 2014

Eric Garner (43)

New York City, New York

Died from a chokehold by policeman Daniel Pantaleo as well as the police’s compression of Garner’s chest. Garner was being arrested on the suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes.

August 11, 2014

Ezell Ford (25)

Florence, Los Angeles

Shot by policemen Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, who confronted Ford as part of an “investigative stop”.

April 12, 2015

Freddie Gray (25)

Baltimore, Maryland

Fell into a coma while being transported by police after they arrested him. Gray died a week later of injuries to his spinal cord. Charges have been filed against six policemen after a medical examiner’s report that ruled Gray’s death a homicide.

Resulted in the 2015 Baltimore protests.

September, 23, 2015

Jeremy McDole, 28

Wilmington, Delaware,

Mcdole was a 28 year old paraplegic who was shot and killed by police officers.  Local bystanders  have insisted that he was unarmed, and the NAACP has called for an more an investigation into the shooting.

August 5, 2014

John Crawford III (22)

Dayton, Ohio

Shot by policeman Sean Williams when police answered a 911 call alleging a man waving a gun in a Walmart store. Crawford was holding a pellet/BB gun being sold in the store itself. A grand jury declined to indict any policemen, but the United States Department of Justice is investigating.

November 23, 2012

Jordan Davis (17)

Jacksonville, Florida

Shot by software developer Michael David Dunn over an argument over loud music. Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

November 19, 2011

Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. (68)

White Plains, New York

Shot by policeman Anthony Carelli in Chamberlain’s home. No criminal charges filed. Emergency services were drawn to Chamberlain’s home after his medical alert device activated. Chamberlain refused to let them in, with police breaking down the door to enter.

August 19, 2015

Mansur Ball-Bey (19)

St. Louis, Missouri

Mansur Ball-Bey was shot and killed while fleeing  officers who were executing a warrant.

March 28, 2015

Meagan Hockaday (26)

Oxnard, California

Shot by policeman Roger Garcia after Hockaday ran at Garcia and his partner with a knife while they were responding to a domestic dispute report. Garcia has been placed on administrative leave and the case is currently being investigated.

August 9, 2014

Michael Brown (18)

Ferguson, Missouri

Shot by policeman Darren Wilson on a street. After Brown robbed a convenience store, he was confronted by Officer Wilson. The two struggled through the window of Wilson’s police vehicle, where Wilson shot Brown, who fled with Wilson pursuing. When Brown turned around and advanced on Wilson, Wilson shot Brown multiple times in the front. Both a St. Louis County grand jury and the United States Department of Justice decided not to charge Wilson.

Resulted in several waves of the Ferguson unrest, as well as the “Hands up, don’t shoot” saying.

November 29, 2012


Timothy Russell (43)

Malissa Williams (30)

Cleveland, Ohio

Both were shot during a car chase, each being hit more than 20 times. 13 policemen fired 137 shots into the car; the car chase stemmed from police thinking they were being shot at by the car’s occupants, but no gun was found in the car and the sound was later determined to be due to the back-fire of the Chevrolet Malibu. Policeman Michael Brelo was charged with voluntary manslaughter, but was cleared in 2014. The judge found that because other policemen had also fired, it was not beyond reasonable doubt Brelo was responsible for killing the duo.

March 2012

Rekia Boyd (22)

Chicago, Illinois

Shot by policeman Dante Servin after Servin confronted a group of people in a local park. A directed verdict found Servin not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

November 2, 2013

Renisha McBride (19)

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Shot by airport maintenance worker Theodore Wafer, after McBride had approached Wafer’s home on a rainy early morning after a car accident, seeking help. Wafer was sentenced to at least 17 years in jail for second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearm usage.

July 19, 2015

Samuel DuBose (43)

Cincinnati, Ohio

Shot by University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing during a traffic stop when DuBose failed to step out of his vehicle and may have attempted to drive off.Tensing has been charged with murder.

July 13, 2015

Sandra Bland (28)

Waller County, Texas

Pulled over by police, arrested, and found dead in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide by the county medical examiner, with no evidence of foul play.

November 22, 2014

Tamir Rice (12)

Cleveland, Ohio

Shot in a city park by policeman Timothy Loehmann. Rice had been allegedly pointing his air-soft pellet gun replica at passersby prior to getting shot. A grand jury will decide whether either Loehmann or his partner Garmback will be indicted.

March 6, 2015

Tony Robinson (19)

Madison, Wisconsin

Shot by policeman Matt Kenny during an altercation as Kenny was responding to reports of a man jumping in front of cars and attempting to strangle someone. The Wisconsin Department of Justice will investigate the Robinson shooting.

February 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin (17)

Sanford, Florida

Trayvon Martin was shot outdoors by neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman, who was later charged and acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Resulted in the speech “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago” by President Barack Obama.

Directly inspired the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement.

April 4, 2015

Walter Scott (50)

North Charleston, South Carolina

Shot by police officer Michael Slager during a traffic stop. Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced showing him shooting Scott multiple times from behind while Scott was fleeing.

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Taqwa Rutgers Protest.jpg

[Taqwa Brookins leading Rutgers Protest]


[Yasmin Qaddoumi,  shortly before her arrest during Ferguson protests 11/25/14 Image source AFP]


[Image Source: Dawud Walid]


[Kameelah Mu’min Rashad King of Prussia Die In 12/20/14]


[Image source: Manila Today]


[Image source: Mother Jones]

incarc rate by race & gender - web.png

[Image Source: The Sentencing Project]


[Image Source: Allied Media]


[Image Source: Tavis Smiley]


[Image source: Ferguson Action]

[image source: National Journal]


[Rutgers Die In, Image source: Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for]


[Image source: Islamic Monthly]

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[Image source: Pics with a Story]


[image source: March 2 Justice]


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[Image source Muslims make it Plain]


[Image Source: ACLU]



Mansur Ball-Bey  

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Image source: CAIR-Philly]


[Image source: NBC News]


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Image source: CIOGC

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Sybrina Fulton,  Travyton Martin’s mother with Imam Sultan Muhammad, national Imam of the Nation of Islam

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Ferguson Action Demands





We Want an End to all Forms of Discrimination and the Full Recognition of our Human Rights

The United States Government must acknowledge and address the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. We want the United States Government to recognize the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.

We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And the Murder Of Black, Brown & All Oppressed People

Every 28 hours a black person in the United States is killed by someone employed or protected by the government of the United States. Other communities are also criminalized, targeted, attacked and brutalized. We want an immediate end to state sanctioned violence against our communities.

We Want Full Employment For Our People

Every individual has the human right to employment and a living wage. Inability to access employment and fair pay continues to marginalize our communities, ready us for imprisonment, and deny us of our right to a life with dignity.

We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings

Our communities have a human right to access quality housing that protects our families and allows for our children to be free from harm.

We Want an End to the School to Prison Pipeline & Quality Education for All

We want an end to policies that criminalize our young people as well as discriminatory discipline practices that bar access to quality education. Furthermore, we want all children to be able to access free, quality education. Including free or affordable public university.

We Want Freedom from Mass Incarceration and an End to the Prison Industrial Complex

We want an end to the over policing and surveillance of our communities. This will hasten an end to the criminalization of black and brown people and hyper incarceration everywhere. Policing in the United States has historically helped to enforce racist laws, policies and norms. The result is a massive prison industrial complex built on the warehousing of black people. We call for the cessation of mass incarceration and the eradication of the prison industrial complex all together. In its place we will address harm and conflict in our communities through community based, restorative solutions.

National Demands

  1. The De-militarization of Local Law Enforcement across the country

Strict limits on the transfer and use of military equipment to local law enforcement and the adoption of the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2014. The federal government should discontinue the supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement and immediately demilitarize local law enforcement, including eliminating the use of military technology and equipment.

  1. A Comprehensive Review of systemic abuses by local police departments, including the publication of data relating to racially biased policing, and the development of best practices.

A comprehensive review by the Department of Justice into systematic abuses by police departments and the development of specific use of force standards and accompanying recommendations for police training, community involvement and oversight strategies and standards for independent investigatory/disciplinary mechanisms when excessive force is used. These standards must include a Department of Justice review trigger when continued excessive use of force occurs.

A comprehensive federal review of police departments’ data collection practices and the development of a new comprehensive data collection system that allows for annual reporting of data on the rates of stops, frisks, searches, summonses and arrests by race, age, and gender.

These standards must also include a DOJ review trigger when departments continue discriminatory policing practices.

  1. Repurposing of law enforcement funds to support community based alternatives to incarceration and the conditioning of DOJ funding on the ending of discriminatory policing and the adoption of DOJ best practices

The repurposing of Department of Justice funds to create grants that support and implement community oversight mechanisms and community based alternatives to law enforcement and incarceration—including community boards/commissions, restorative justice practices, amnesty programs to clear open warrants, and know-your-rights-education conducted by community members.

The development of a DOJ policy to withhold funds from local police departments who engage in discriminatory policing practices and condition federal grant funds on the adoption of recommended DOJ trainings, community involvement and oversight strategies, use of force standards and standards for independent investigatory/disciplinary mechanisms.

  1. A Congressional Hearing investigating the criminalization of communities of color, racial profiling, police abuses and torture by law enforcement

Congressional hearings investigating the criminalization of communities of color and systemic law enforcement discriminatory profiling and other abuses especially at the local level—including an examination of systemic structures and institutional practices and the elevation of the experiences and voices of those most impacted. Congressional hearings will allow for a continuation of the national discussion about police abuse and it’s underlying causes.

  1. Support the Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act

Support for the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) which in law would prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law enforcement agencies.

  1. The Obama Administration develops, legislates and enacts a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice

The development and enactment of a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice by the Obama Administration. The National Plan of Action for Racial Justice should be a comprehensive plan that address persistent and ongoing forms of racial discrimination and disparities that exist in nearly every sphere of life including: criminal justice, employment, housing, education, health, land/property, voting, poverty and immigration. The Plan would set concrete targets for achieving racial equality and reducing racial disparities and create new tools for holding government accountable to meeting targets.

This Stops Today Demands



 1)       Full accountability through NYPD disciplinary procedures and the criminal justice system for all NYPD officers responsible for killing Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and all officers who brutalize New Yorkers.

 2)       Department of Justice should convene grand juries to federally indict officers responsible for the killing of Eric Garner, as well as in other NYC cases such as Ramarley Graham.  (We are in solidarity with calls for federal charges in the killings of Michael Brown, John Crawford and others).

 3)       Governor Cuomo should issue an executive order directing the Office of the Attorney General to serve as special prosecutor in cases involving civilians killed by police officers.

 4)       Governor Cuomo should veto legislation (S7801/A9853) that would allow police unions to make police disciplinary policies subject to contract negotiations. The legislation would undermine the ability of local government officials across New York State to discipline officers engaged in misconduct and brutality.

 5)       End the NYPD Commissioner’s exclusive authority over disciplinary decisions for officers in cases of abuse, misconduct towards civilians, and excessive or deadly force.


 6)       Mayor de Blasio should end broken windows, and other discriminatory and abusive policing practices. This includes hyper-aggressive selective enforcement of low-level offenses, NYPD’s discriminatory arrests for violations (non-criminal offenses), enforcement of possession of small amounts of marijuana; blanket surveillance of Muslim communities and political activists.

 7)       Mayor de Blasio should work with the City Council to pass the Right to Know Act to protect New Yorkers’ rights and improve daily interactions between NYPD officers and New Yorkers.  

8)       The Floyd federal stop-and-frisk trial court-appointed monitor Peter Zimroth, the facilitator Judge Ariel Belen, and Mayor Bill de Blasio should ensure that organizations led by and for communities impacted by discriminatory and abusive policing have a formal and structured role in NYPD reform. The Court-appointed Monitor, Facilitator and Mayor’s office should work with Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) to ensure that community organizations help determine what reforms are to be implemented, how they should be implemented, and how they are evaluated.


 9)       The Department of Justice should launch an investigation into broken windows policing and the use-of-force policies and practices of the NYPD.

10)   NYPD Inspector General Philip Eure should issue a report on the use of deadly force and other excessive force, to include accounting of the disciplinary outcomes in these incidents over the past two decades. 

 11)   The NYPD should publish quarterly and annual reports of summons and misdemeanor arrests, as well as use of force, to include demographic data such as race, gender, age, precinct, etc.  (We are also in solidarity with national calls for a federal database on use of force and police killings).

Black Lives Matter Demands

  • We will seek justice for Brown’s family by petitioning for the immediate arrest of officer Darren Wilson and the dismissal of county prosecutor Robert McCullough. Groups that are part of the local Hands Up Don’t Shoot Coalition have already called for Wilson’s swift arrest, and some BLM riders also canvassed McCullough’s neighborhood as a way of raising the public’s awareness of the case.
  • We will help develop a network of organizations and advocates to form a national policy specifically aimed at redressing the systemic pattern of anti-black law enforcement violence in the US. The Justice Department’s new investigation into St Louis-area police departments is a good start, but it’s not enough. Our ride was endorsed by a few dozen local, regional and national organizations across the country – like the National Organization for Women (Now) and Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation – who, while maintaining different missions, have demonstrated unprecedented solidarity in response to anti-black police violence. We hope to encourage more organizations to endorse and participate in a network with a renewed purpose of conceptualizing policy recommendations.
  • We will also demand, through the network, that the federal government discontinue its supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement. And though Congress seems to finally be considering measures in this regard, it remains essential to monitor the demilitarization processes and the corporate sectors that financially benefit from the sale of military tools to police.
  • We will call on the office of US attorney general Eric Holder to release the names of all officers involved in killing black people within the last five years, both while on patrol and in custody, so they can be brought to justice – if they haven’t already.
  • And we will advocate for a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels and a reinvestment of that budgeted money into the black communities most devastated by poverty in order to create jobs, housing and schools. This money should be redirected to those federal departments charged with providing employment, housing and educational services.

                                           BALTIMORE DEMANDS

Message from the Baltimore Grassroots:




The Maryland Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights (LEBOR) is the biggest obstacle to meaningful police accountability and transparency in Baltimore and around the state of Maryland. It creates barriers to gaining access to information about incidents of police misconduct/excessive force and impedes the public ability to punish officers who have abused and brutalized people in our community.


Many elected officials have made the statement that Maryland/Baltimore is not Ferguson. According to a recent report by the ALCU, 109 people have died in police custody since 2010. This is a damning refutation of a such an ignorant assertion. This has been happening for decades, but the community has had enough.


Public Safety is a public good. Public goods must be preserved through mechanisms of accountability to the institutions that are responsible for serving the community. The LEOBR keeps police from being accountable.



1)  The State’s Attorney needs to do a thorough investigation and indict the officers responsible for the death of Freddie Gray.

2)  All local officials must make a public commitments to substantively support efforts to move relevant reforms to the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights during the 2016 MD Legislative session. (see attached for specified amendments).                                   3)  A series of public mediated conversations with those who have been advocating police reform and the Fraternal Order of Police and other relevant parties.



Baltimore is saturated with non-profit institutions and controlled by the Democratic Party. These institutions engage in the practice of lifting up examples of the success of individual Black people as a sign of the collective empowerment of Black people.


This has led to a divestment in the development of independent Black led grassroots organizations. This has devastated our ability to effectively address these kinds of problems. Many of our elected officials are products of this system and have no real accountability to the masses of people in Baltimore.


We must use this opportunity to talk about building the institutional capacity, political and economic power to make our government respect our humanity. American civil society has demonstrated its lack of interest the humanity of our people, so we must build the institutions the protect our interest ourselves.


Even though we have come together to address the issue of police brutality, this is one element of a larger system of racism/white supremacy. Civil society is structured in such a way that undermines the humanity of Black people and other people of color. We need to begin to ground our words and action into sustainable mechanism for true empowerment.


We need to build the economic and political infrastructure in our communities so that we can have the capacity to build the power necessary to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.



        Investigations into police misconduct 

CURRENT LAW: Only sworn law enforcement or a designee by the Governor or the Attorney General (or a designee of theirs) can investigate police misconduct.                                 

DEMAND: We want people other than law enforcement to be able to be involved in investigating police misconduct. We need to allow for non-law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations as well.

• This is consistent with the recent recommendations from the US Federal Department of Justice to the Philadelphia Police Department in wake of events of police brutality in their department. 1                

Police trial boards

CURRENT LAW: The only people that serve on the Police Trial Boards (which is responsible for making determinations about disciplining officers) are other Law Enforcement officials. Also, the current police trial board in Baltimore has NO citizen representative.

DEMAND: We want non-law enforcement residents to serve on police trial boards.

• This is consistent with the recent recommendations from the US Federal Department of Justice to the Philadelphia Police Department in wake of events of police brutality in their department. 2


Complaint filing with the police department

CURRENT LAW: Victims of police brutality only have 90 days to file a complaint.

DEMAND: We want to extend the amount of time that people can file a complaint to at least 180 days.

Abolish the 10 Day Rule

CURRENT LAW: Police Officers are entitled to a copy of their investigatory file 10 days before they appear before the hearing board.  

DEMAND: Police officers should not receive information about the case made against them before the hearing.


1 47.3 – The police commissioner should enter into a memorandum of understanding with an external, independent investigative agency, through which the investigation of all OISs involving an unarmed person will be submitted for review.                                

2 40.3 – Voting board members should include command staff, a sworn officer one rank higher than the involved officer, a peer officer, and at least one citizen representative.




March 2 Justice Demands

One of the most important aspects of the #MARCH2JUSTICE will be the opportunity to raise our collective voices and mobilize support in communities and Congress towards passage of what we are calling the “JUSTICE PACKAGE”.

The “Justice Package” is 3 pieces of federal legislation:

  • Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA)
  • The End Racial Profiling Act
  • Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act

Below please find more information about each of these legislative imperatives we support.

JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT (JJDPA): (Protecting Children and Providing for Our Communities.) The JJDPA creates a federal-state partnership for the administration of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention by providing: a juvenile justice planning and advisory system, and a federal funding plan for delinquency prevention and improvements in state and local juvenile justice programs. The JJDPA also sets forth federal standards to ensure a minimum level of safety and equitable treatment for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. For messaging, videos and other educational materials: MORE HERE

END RACIAL PROFILING ACT: (The End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA)) (H.R. 2851), would prohibit the use of profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion by law enforcement agencies. MORE HERE

MILITARIZATION BILL: (Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act) (H.R. 5478) – Amends the program under which the Secretary of Defense is authorized to transfer excess personal property of the Department of Defense (DOD) to federal and state agencies for law enforcement activities. Excludes counter-drug activities from the categories of law enforcement activities for which DOD property may be transferred under such program. The legislation lays out a number of changes to current law, and details can be found HERE

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The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (YGB) and Freedom, Inc Demands

The Young, Gifted and Black Coalition (YGB) and Freedom, Inc. denounce the non-indictment decision and renew the call to grow the Black Liberation Movement with the following demands and actions:

1). Free the 350

Blacks make up just 6% of the general population in Dane County, WI, but almost 50% of jail inmates. This disparity demonstrates structural racism. Because of the Black poverty rate, many people sit in pre-trial detention- while they are still presumed innocent- merely because they cannot pay bail of $1,000 or less. Because anyone with bail as low as $1,000 does not represent a public safety threat, those human beings are in jail because they are Black and poor. If Matt Kenny, who killed a 19 year old, did not go to jail, then no one should. Therefore, we demand the release of 350 Black inmates to end the racial disparity of incarceration.

2). Independent Investigation

We demand a dual track independent investigation into the murder of Tony Robinson and the persistent racial disparities in poverty, education, housing, public services, incarceration and policing. Because the US Department of Justice has proven incapable of bringing justice to Black communities, we demand the independent investigations are conducted entirely by the human rights bodies in the United Nations and Organization of American States.

3). Community Control Over Police

In Black communities across the country, the police serve as an occupying force. We can never expect fair or just treatment from an occupying force. Therefore, we demand full Community Control Over Police, with the power to set priorities, policies and enforce the proper practice of those mandates. We do not want a review board or community policing, but Community Control Over Police.

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Campaign Zero Platform

We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability. The categories for policy solutions are as follows:

  1. End broken windows policing
  2. Community oversight
  3. Limit use of force
  4. Independently investigate and prosecute
  5. Community representation
  6. Body cams/ film the police
  7. Training
  8. End for profit policing
  9. Demilitarization
  10. Fair police union contracts

Click here to access the PDF with the full federal policy  agenda

Click here to access the PDF with the full state policy agenda

Click here to access the PDF with the full local policy agenda 

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Justice Or Else

by Hakeem Muhammad

A gathering demanding #JusticeOrElse took place outside the White House on October, 10th, 2015—the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. The ultimate demand #JusticeOrelse came as a response to the ubiquitous cases of anti-black police violence, the disproportionate concentration of poverty in black communities, and a collective white power structure that devalues the life of black people.  

In attendance was Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Travyon Martin, the family of Sandra Bland, Louis Head, the step-father of Michael Brown, as well as a plethora of organizations demanding justice. This included the Nation of Islam, Black Lives Matter,  and Justice League.  Tamika Mallory, an organizer of the event , called for the end of police tyranny  against black people,”Twenty years ago, the death of Tamir Rice would have fallen on deaf ears and been left for the police to write a false report, not broadcast for the world to know.” However, in the 20th anniversary  of the Million Man March, a world of black people came together stating they had enough, they  exposed police misconduct, made their demands, and boldly declared #Orelse.


 As result of systemic political terrorism in black communities and other social problems which emanate from a system of global white supremacy,   NOI spokesman Nuri Muhammad spoke of an appalling sociological reality, “the black male is dying at the rate of an endangered species.”   These are conditions that exists in black communities that necessities the #ORELSE,– as the  social situation in black communities are so unbearable that they demand immediate change.   These below are all courses of action that #JusticeorElse advocates plan to take if their demands are not met.

1)    Economic Withdrawal:

  Protestors at #JusticeorElse called for an economic withdrawal in form of  a boycott of major corporations.  This tactic of economic withdrawal was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who said that we must go to “massive industries in our country, and say, ‘God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right.” Acting upon this, the organizer of Justice or Else has called for black people and those in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter to boycott the consumerist culture of Black Friday and the Christmas holiday.  Flyers, were shown stating, “Down with Santa, Up with Jesus.”  


The organizer of #JusticeorElse hope to “redistribute the pain” in order to force big businesses and corporations to cease being complicit in the oppression of black people. This call for economic withdrawal was compounded with a call for an increase in black entrepreneurship and businesses, so that money will remain circulating in the black community.

(Information on which specific corporations to target for the economic withdrawal, will be forthcoming).

2)    The Creation of a group of 10,000 men and women.

A common theme  rearticulated by activists at #JusticeOrElse, is that Police have failed miserably in their attempts to “serve and protect” in the black community. As a consequence, the black community is replete with instances of political brutality, as well as gang-warfare as a result of institutional  racism and societal neglect.  Nuri Muhammad, proposed a solution to this in calling for a group of 10,000 fearless men and women who will,”  “stand as a solid wall against oppression and tyranny” by confronting and combating the multiple deleterious behaviors that a system of white supremacy leads to in black communities: a pervasive drug economy, gang warfare, and police brutality.

3) Community Control of Education

Organizers of Justice or Else indicated the educational system of America has being soaked in  system of white supremacy which is incapable of solving for the social ills of the black community; they called for black educators to take control of the educational systems in their communities and for black think tanks to come up with curriculums that will address social ills and problems of their communities and be supportive of black liberation.

4) Black involvement in Local Politics

Organizers at Justice or Else called for the black community to become more involved in the politics of their local community in order to force politicians to be more accountable to their communities in ruling with justice. They called for greater involvement in  the school board meetings, city council meetings, or taking up a local issue for social justice.  The end goal of this is greater cohesion and unity in the black community

5)Put the U.S government  on Trial & Release the FBI Files on Malcolm

Prior to his assassination, Malcom X sought to put the U.S government on trial before the United Nations for its systemic crimes against black people.  Continuing this tradition, a group of protestors at #JusticeOrElse held an image up of Malcolm X and called for the United States to be put on trial for its systemic human rights abuses against black people and to release all of the FBI files on Malcolm X.


Unity among Oppressed people against White Supremacy.

The #JusticeOrElse gathering represented unification between oppressed populations; Latino, Native-American, Palestinian activists were present in order to make demands to the government, and to oppressed populations.

Native American: Revoke the Sainthood of Francisan Friar Junipero

Native Americans, currently live with their lands colonized by the descendants of white European settlers and suffer from the lowest life expectancies and poverty rates in America. One unnamed Native American activist declared, “They have the entire race of indigenous[LA1]  people on reservations, concentration camps.”  The Native-American activists called for the  freedom of  Leonard Peltier and for the  Catholic Church to both  revoke the doctrine of Papal Bull and to revoke the sainthood of Francisan Friar Junipero Serra. The Native-American activists called for unity about oppressed people:”Let’s come together; the red and the black” against   settler-colonialism emanating from a global system of white supremacy.

Palestine- Black Solidarity: Recognize White Supremacy as the Global Political System

Participants in #JusticeorElse demanded that white supremacy be recognized as a global political system that must be vigilantly opposed. Palestinian activist, Linda Sarsour, expressed solidarity with the black liberation struggle, stating,” the same people who justified the massacres of Palestinian people and call it collateral damage are the same people who justify the murder of black young men and women.”  Sansour, called for the end of euphemisms to describe this system and for oppressed populations to unite against, “[the] common enemy, sisters and brothers, is white supremacy, let’s call it what it is.”   Recognizing, white supremacy as a community enemy, was put forth as a perquisite for oppressed populations to realize to interconnectedness of their liberation struggles.  


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Organizations and Coalitions

1.     Black Lives Matter

#BlackLivesMatter was created in 2012 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime, and dead 17-year old Trayvon was post-humously placed on trial for his own murder. Rooted in the experiences of Black people in this country who actively resist our de-humanization, #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society.Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.

2.     #ThisStopsToday

#ThisStopsToday is a collaboration of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), Million Hoodies and Freedom Side. CPR organizations that are leading this effort include: Justice Committee, Make the Road New York, VOCAL-NY, ColorofChange, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, New York Civil Liberties Union and Center for Popular Democracy.

3. We the Protestors

We, the protesters of Ferguson and beyond, in order to fulfill the democratic promise of our union, establish true and lasting justice, accord dignity and standing to everyone, center the humanity of oppressed people, promote the brightest future for our children, and secure the blessings of freedom for all black lives, do ordain and dedicate ourselves to this movement of radical liberation.


4.     BmoreUnited

Baltimore United for Change (BUC) is a coalition of organizations and activists with a long track record of working for social justice in Baltimore. Though newly formalized, coalition members have worked strategically for years to gain concrete wins for justice in our community.

5.     Justice League NYC

a task force of juvenile and criminal justice advocates, artists and experts, and formerly incarcerated individuals, brought together under the banner of The Gathering for Justice, a social justice organization founded by Harry Belafonte in 2005.  JUSTICE LEAGUE NYC is coordinating efforts in and around NYC in response to the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. We are focusing our efforts and communities in two areas –direct and peaceful action and the immediate implementation of a list of demands for redress and accountability.

6.     Millenial Activists United Legal Defense Fund

Millennial Activists United is a grassroots org founded in Ferguson, MO after the uprisings in response to the murder of Michael Brown. This fundraiser will provide funds for legal assistance to activists who are targeted by the state for prosecution

7.     Muslims for Ferguson

Facebook page for American Muslims who are committed to seeking justice for Michael Brown and supporting relevant important campaigns in Ferguson.

8.     The Organization for Black Struggle

founded in 1980 by activists, students, union organizers and other community members in order to fill a vacuum left by the assaults on the Black Power Movement.

9.     The Dream Defenders

Dream Defenders is an uprising of communities in struggle, shifting culture through transformational organizing. We believe that our liberation necessitates the destruction of the political and economic systems of Capitalism and Imperialism as well as Patriarchy. We believe in People over profits. We believe that nonviolent resistance is “the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom” and are fundamentally committed to nonviolence as our means of struggle against a violent oppressor.

               We want an immediate end to the police state and murder of Black people, other people of color, and other oppressed peoples in the United States, the immediate release of the 2.5 million prisoners of the United States’ War on the Poor, and trials by juries of our peers.

               We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression (domestic & abroad).

               We want a democracy that is fair and protects the right to vote for all.

               We want free, fully-funded public education for all that teaches us our true history and our role in present day society.

               We want community control of land, bread, housing, education, justice, peace and technology.

We want more. We deserve more. We will organize, train, act and win.

10.  Prison Culture

Prison Culture is an attempt to document how the current prison industrial complex operates and to underscore the ways that it structures American society.

11.  Justice Together

OUR MISSION IS SIMPLE: Ending police brutality in America.

12.  LA Voice

We are an interfaith community organization hat unites people from diverse backgrounds to improve the quality of life of Los Angeles residents. It is our mission to transform Los Angeles into a city that reflect the human dignity of all communities, especially those in greatest need.

13.     Muslims Make It Plain

Make it Plain is a group of concerned Muslims who are working to raise awareness to encourage, inspire, and support the mobilization of the Muslim community to respond to police brutality and the conditions that bring about the over policing of the Black/African American community. We are kicking off this movement in Philadelphia.

 Actions, Convenings, and Marches

1.     Ferguson National Response

Listing of planned Response Events for #Ferguson and all policebrutality & racial injustice nationwide.


2.     The Movement for Black Lives Matter

Hundreds of Black freedom fighters from around the country came together for the inaugural Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, OH, from Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26th, 2015.

3.     March 2 Justice

On Monday, April 13th, 2015, Justice League NYC and friends from across the country, will gather in New York City to MARCH to the nation’s capital – stopping in key cities and towns along the route for local rallies and mobilization. The MARCH2JUSTICE will culminate in a large Rally & Concert on The National Mall in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 21st.

Justice League NYC will MARCH2JUSTICE with our coalition partners to deliver a “Justice Package” of criminal justice reform legislation that will end racial profiling, demilitarize our police forces, and invest in our communities. We MARCH in solidarity with our elders, our youth, our incarcerated brothers and sisters, and the families and communities of those impacted by police brutality. We MARCH on behalf of Eric Garner. And Akai Gurley. And Jesse Hernandez. And Rekia Boyd. And Tamir Rice. And Michael Brown. And Renisha McBride. And London Colvin. And John Crawford III. And Miriam Carey. And Anthony Baez. And Ramarley Graham.


4.     Justice Or Else

Million Man March 20th Anniversary. Their Motto Is: WANT JUSTICE  EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW “If we are denied what rightfully belongs to us then there has to be unified action that we take that will force the justice that we seek.”

5.     Justice Or Else Philly

Grassroots leaders throughout Philadelphia are mobilizing together to convene in Washington D.C. for the 20th Anniversary of The Million Man March.

6. Campaign Zero

A comprehensive package of urgent policy solutions – informed by data, research and human rights principles – can change the way police serve our communities developed by Samuel Sinyangwe, Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie, and DeRay McKesson

7. Mass March and Protest Demonstration for Civilian Control of the Chicago Police                 

In alliance with community based organizations and victims of police crimes and torture the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression calls upon all our sisters and brothers and all strands of the people’s movement to join us in a mass protest and march on the Federal Building and City Hall this August 29, 2015. Join us in commemorating the 50th anniversaries of the March on Selma, the Voting Rights Act and the Watts Rebellion. And on this day we will stand in solidarity with Fergusons everywhere. The march will kick off at 12 Noon from the Federal Plaza, at Dearborn and Adams, in the Loop.





  1. Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration Center for Constitutional Rights
  2. War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing by ACLU (June 2014)
  3. Facts and Fictions About Islam in Prison
  4. Investigation into the Ferguson Police Department by the Department of Justice (March 4, 2015)
  5. Police Misconduct
  6. Nazgol Ghandnoosh, (2015)  Black Lives Matter: Eliminating Racial Inequality in the Criminal Justice System. The Sentencing project

Statements and Open Letters

  1. CAIR Joins Call for Justice in Shooting of Trayvon Martin (December 22, 2012)
  2. Open Letter to CAIR  by Muhammad Khalifa (August 15, 2014)
  3. Ferguson Action Demands
  4. ISNA Condemns Excessive Force Used by Ferguson Police on Protestors and Reporters (August 14, 2014)
  5. ICNA Calls for Investigation of Brown’s Killing (August 19, 2014)
  6. Muslim for Ferguson Letter by Margari Hill (November 20, 2014)
  7. CAIR CAlls for National Action on Racism After Ferguson grand Jury Decision (November 25, 2014)
  8. CAIR Press Release on the Decision to Not Indict NYPD Chokehold Death of Eric Garner (December 3, 2014)
  9. Muslims Make It Plain-Philly Statement (December 24, 2014)
  10. Muslim Wellness Foundation Statement (December 25, 2014)
  11. MuslimARC Responds to Statements by American Muslim Organizations by MuslimARC (April 30, 2015)
  12. Statement of Catholic Theologians on Racial Justice (December 8, 2014)
  13. Open Letter to Non-Black Muslims by Nashwa Khan (November 30, 2014)
  14. Islamic Movement for Justice Condemns Police Brutality (May 2)
  15. Controversy Over ISNA statement on Baltimore Uprising by Sheila Musaji (May 3, 2015)
  16. U.S. Muslims Stand in Solidarity with Baltimore ( April 20, 2015)) M.G. Staff
  17. Baltimore is a Muslim Issue  (April 29, 2015) CAIR-Philadelphia
  18. Muslims Make it Plain Statement on the Murder of Freddie Gray and Events in Baltimore (May 2, 2015)
  19. Muslim Advocates Urges Release of Video And Law Enforcement Transparency in Killing of Usaama Rahim by Fatima Khan June 2, 2015

Related Articles and Blogs

This list is by no means comprehensive, nor does it cover every police brutality case. Rather, it is aims to provide background information, stories that represent flashpoints on police brutality, issues that have arisen out of the Black Lives Matter movement. The current list does not aim to reflect objective reporting. Rather, it aims to provide a coverage that is sympathetic to victims of police brutality, and the activists who aim to advocate for them, the hope is to offer readers greater insight into the movement.

General Topics on Police Brutality

  1. Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police by Rick Juzwiack and Aeksander Chan (December 8, 2014)
  2. Michael Brown, Eric Garner and the Other America (December, 2015) John Lewis
  3. To Stop Police Brutality Change the Culture that Threatens Black Lives by Khalil Muhammad (April 15, 2015)
  4. US cited for police violence, racism in scathing UN review on human rights by Natasha Sheriff (May 11, 2015)
  5. #IfIDieInPoliceCustody brings attention to police brutality against black people (July 20, 2014) Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy
  6. The Motivating Forces Behind Black Lives Matter (July 20, 2015) Tasbeeh Herwees
  7. Exclusive: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson (July 24, 2015) George Joseph
  8. New Poll Reveals Ferguson Black Lives Matter Changing National Views on Race ( August 6, 2015) Manny Otiko
  9. In the Age of Black Lives Matter 3 Young Men share their Fears–And Hopes (August 6, 2015)
  10. Twitters Uses #AllLionsMatter to Mock Race Baiting Over Black Lives Matter (August 10, 2015) Beenish Ahmed
  11. 50 Years After the Watts Riots, the Original Black Lives Matter Protest (August 11, 2015)  Rep Janice Hahn
  12. Year One of Black Lives Matter (August 12, 2015) Social Worker Editorial Board
  13. Ice Cube Gets Real on Police Bruality, Black Lives Matter “I Tell My Kids to Make It Home (August 11, 2015) Anita Bennett
  14. Straight Outta Compton: The Music and Movie of Police Brutality Ed Rampell
  15. Acoustic Cannon Sales to Police Surge After Black Lives Matter Protests (August 14, 2015) Lee Fang
  16. The 5 biggest Challenges Facing BlackLivesMatter (August 12, 2015) Danielle Belton
  17. Black Lives Matter | International Socialist Review

Islam/Muslims and #BlackLivesMatter

  1. A Path Forward to Stronger Arab Black Solidarity
  2. Reflections of an American Muslim Mother on #Ferguson
  3. Hands Up Don’t Shoot. Young Protesters Surrender and Fight Simultaneously
  4. Growing Faith: US Prisons, Islam, and Hip Hop
  5. Protests in Islam by Donna Auston and Margari Hill (December 27, 2014)
  6. Muslims Hold City Hall Rally for Social Justice by Johnathan Lai (December 27, 2014)
  7. Mobilizing Black-American Muslims by Margari Hill(December 27, 2014)
  8. Black Muslims create a Black Lives Matter campaign of their own by Stephen Kanyi
  9. Muslims Speak Out AGainst Police Brutality (January 5, 2015) Jehron Muhammad
  10. Video: Black Lives Matter Delegation Visits Palestine by Julianne Hing (January 16, 2015)
  11. The growing ties between #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine by Alex Kane (January 26, 2015)
  12. The Unfinished Work of Malcolm X  by Krissah Thompson ( February 19, 2015)
  13. Black Muslim Leaders Aim to Unite Their Faith Community to Fight Racism by Antonia Blumburg (April 10, 2015)
  14. From Ferguson to Cairo by Sahar Aziz
  15. Linda Sarsour’s Rising Profile Reflects a New Generation of Muslim Activists by Siddartha Miller (May 9, 2015)
  16. Beyond Baltimore: Arab-Black solidarity needed for social change by Rana Elmir and Dawud Walid (May 15, 2015)
  17. Mapping the Intersections of Islamophobia and BlackLivesMatter by Donna Auston May 20, 2015
  18. Questions after Black Muslim Killed by Police The Stream June 2, 2015
  19. I Am Muslim, I Am Black Lives Matter Linda Sarsour (July 15, 2015)
  20. Chicago Muslims Mobilize to Support Community Control Over Police (August 18, 2015) Bill Chambers
  21. Chicago Muslims Join Black Lives Matter (August 29, 2015) Margari Hill
  22. #BlackLivesMatter March Well Attended (August 31, 2015) CGIOC
  23. #BlackLivesMatter March Matters for Muslims (September 3, 2015) Margari Hill

Black Women and Police Brutality

  1. The Cop who Killed Rekia Body out of ‘Fear’ Found Not Guilty on All Counts by Jia Tolentino (April 21, 2015)
  2. An unarmed Black Woman was shot by the Police, So Why Aren’t we Marching for Her? Darnell L. Moore (April 21,2015)
  3. Black Girls Should Matter,  Too by Melinda Anderson  (May 11, 2015)
  4. #SayHerName: A Look at the Black Female Victims of Police Brutality and Neglect (July 30, 2015)
  5. Christian Taylor’s Somber Tweets About Police Brutality Are Devastating in the Wake of His death (August 9 2015) April Siese
  6. Sandra Bland Protests in Minneapolis (July 31, 2015) Michael Kaplan
  7. Six African-American women found dead in jail in July (July 31, 2015) Lucy Nicholson 
  8. Women are Victims of Police Violence and Part of theFight Against It (August 7, 2015) Anna Merlan
  9. Female Visibility Matters (August 7, 2015) Salamisha Tillet
  10. Texas Woman Files Complaint After Officer Forcibly Searches Her Vagina (August 14, 2015)
  11. Jail Logs Show Ohio Woman Who died in Custody May Have Been Improperly Medicated (August 13, 2015) Erin Calabrese
  12. Sandra Bland’s Not the First Black Woman to Experience Police Violence (July 22, 2015) Charlotte Alter
  13. The Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement (October 7. 2014) Alicia Garza

Eric Garner

  1. Medical Examiner Rules Eric Garner’s Death a Homicide (August 21, 2014)
  2. Muslims were Enraged by the Death of Eric Garner, Is that Enough? (July 17, 2014) Margari Hill
  3. Beyond the Chokehold the Path to Eric Garner’s Death (July 13, 2015) Al Baker, J. David Goodman, Benjamin Mueller
  4. How New York Could Convene Another Grand Jury Investigation into Eric Garner’s Death (August 14,2015) Christopher Mathias
  5. Eric Garner case is settled by $5.9 Million (July 13, 2015) David Goodman


  1. Not Just Ferguson: 11 Eye:Opening Facts About America’s Militarized Police Forces by Alex Kane (August 13, 2014)
  2. Dear White Allies Stop Unfriending Other White People Over Ferguson
  3. “But What about Black-on-Black Crime?” is Not a Valid Answer to Ferguson or Anything
  4. Ferguson is Our Issue by Khaled Beydoun
  5. NAACP Legal Defense Fund Facebook Post
  6. What White People Need to Know and Do After Ferguson
  7. Ferguson, Missouri: Why Race Still Matters
  8. A year after Ferguson, a practical theology emerges around Black Lives Matter (August 10, 2015) Adelle M. Banks
  9. Activist protest police violence, remember Mike Brown (August 20, 2015) Katrease Safford
  11. Armed ‘Oath Keepers’ arrive in Ferguson (August 11, 2015) Yamiche Alcindor and John Bacon
  12. Ferguson unrest: Who are the mysterious ‘Oath Keepers’? (August 12, 2015) Sarah Fowler
  13. Police Shot Man One Year Anniversary following Michael Brown’s death (August 20, 2015) David Chiu and Ben Gittleson
  14. Two Journalists Face a Year After Covering Ferguson (August 12, 2015) Carmiah Townes

Walter Scott


  1. Everything the Police Said About Walter Scott’s death Before a Video Showed What Really Happened (April 7, 2015) Judd Legum
  2. South Carolina Cop Indicted in Walter Scott killing (June 8, 2015) Dana Ford
  3. South Carolina Police fire Officer Charged with Killing Walter Scott (April 4, 2015) Lucy Westcott
  4. As Video Exposes Walter Scott Police Killing, Why is the Man  Who Filmed Eric Garner’s Death in Jail (April 9, 2015)
  5. Who pays for a bullet in the back? (April 20, 2015) David Dante Troutt


  1. As Baltimore Demands Justice, Solidarity Movements Grow, Nadia Prupis (April 28, 2015)
  2. The legacy of Freddie Gray’s Death Must be One of Justice Zainab Chaudry (April 28, 2015)
  3. Baltimore’s Uprising. Standing At the Front Line by Tariq Toure (April 28, 2015)
  4. Baltimore Protests: Muslims Must Do and Say the Right Thing by Manal Omar (April 28, 2015)
  5. Police Brutality and racial tensions in the US – 90 seconds
  6. US Muslim Groups React to Freddie Gray Death, Baltimore Violence Julie Poucher Harbin (April 29, 2015)
  7. The embedded racism of the good black mom by N.T. April 29, 2015
  8. Mourning After: Pain and Protest in Baltimore  by Khaled Beydoun (May 1, 2015)
  9. Stop. On Thugs and Rioters and Human Beings by Umm Zakiyyah (May 1, 2015)
  10. Baltimore and the emergence of the Black Spring by Khaled Beydoun and Priscilla Ocen
  11. Baltimore Mayor Thanks Nation of Islam for Keeping the Peace by Jehron Muhammad
  12. Spreading love with free ice cream by Jessica Anderson

Tony Robinson

  1. Tony Robinson: No Charges for Officer in Tony Robinson Case by Ralph Ellis (May 12, 2015)
  2. Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed in Police Killing of Tony Robinson (August 13, 2015) Phil Helsel


  1. Experts question aggressive tactics in video of McKinney officer (Jun 8 2015) Renne Lewis
  2. Full video: Texas police officer pulls gun on teens at pool party (June 7, 2015) Washington Post
  3. Shooter of McKinney Pool Party Video Confirms Racial Profiling of Victims (June 8, 2015)
  4. McKinney, Texas, and the Racial History of American Swimming Pools (June 8, 2014) Yoni Appelbaum
  5. McKinney Pool Party Officer’s past includes allegations of racial profiling , questionable police practices (June 12, 2015) Jason Sickles
  6. Woman suspended from job over McKinney Pool Fight Denies using racist slurs (June 18, 2015) Breanna Edwards
  7. McKinney Pool Party Video Update: Texas City’s Residents Say they are Segregated by Economic Class, Race (June 12, 2015) Aaron Morrison
  8. Texas teacher’s Facebook rant about McKinney pool party gets her relived of her duties (June 12, 2015) Jason Silverstein
  9. Study Looks at school offences by race in McKinney ISD (August 12, 2015) Julieta Chiquillo

Sandra Bland

  1. I will light you up: Texas officer threatened Sandra Bland with Taser during traffic stop (July 22)
  2. Assessing the legality of Sandra Bland’s Arrest  (July 22, 2015)
  3. Sandra Bland: What we know about her mysterious death in a jail cell (August 4, 2015 Vox
  4. Texas: Trooper in traffic stop violated policy (July 22, 2015)
  5. Who was Sandra Bland? (July 23, 2015)
  6. Another Police Execution in Cincinnati Sandra Bland: Texas records show racial breakdown of those stopped by same trooper (August 10, 2015)

Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter

  1. Black Lives Matter vs. Bernie Sanders, explained (August 11, 2015)Dara Lind
  2. Bernie Sanders is Wrong to Ignore Black Lives Matter (August 13, 2015) Darlena Cunha
  3. Why Disrupting Political Events Is An Essential Tactic in Black Lives Matter (August 13, 2015)   Kira Lerner
  4. Black Lives Matter Activists Interrupt Bush Rally (August 13, 2015 )Jordan Frasier
  5. Black Lives Matter is a Demand, Not a Plea  (August 12, 2015) Kai Wright

Latinos, People of Color, Whites and Police Brutality

  1. Police Called to Help Intoxicated Muslim Student (June 1, 2015) James Dunn
  2. Why the Case of Police Brutality Against Sureshbhai Patel Is …
  3. Does  “Black Lives Matter” Include Latinos? Shooting of Unarmed Hispanic Men Gets Little Attention, Community Says (August 13, 2015) Aaron Morrison
  4. Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter Feel Each Other Out (August 13, 2015) Julia Craven, Ryan Grim, and Ryan Reilly
  5. Police Killings of Latino spark less outrage than when victims are black (August 13, 2015) Haya El Nasser
  6. Feds to investigate fatal shooting of White teen (August 13, 2015)Andrea Noble

Sam Dubose

  1. Black Man Samuel Dubose shot in the head by Cincinnati Cop Ray Tensing (July 22, 2015) M. Alex Johnson
  2. Samuel DuBose: body camera video shows 360-degree view of police killing (July 20, 2015)
  3. University of Cincinnati Officer Indicted in Shooting Death of Sam Dubose (July 29, 2015) Richard Perez-Pena


Mansur Ball-Bey

  1.  Circuit Attorney’s Office launches investigation into death of Mansur Ball-Bey (August 22, 2015) Christine Byers, Jesse Bogan
  2.  Protests Erupt after St. Louis Officers Fatally Shoot Mansur Ball-Bey (August 20, 2015) Eric McClaim
  3.  Police Shot Black St. Louis Teen in the Back (August 21, 2015) Sarah Begley
  4.  Mansur Ball-Bey shooting: Protests in St. Louis as Missouri police kill another black teen (August 20, 2015) Adam Withnall
  5.  Dotson says 14 year-old witnessed Mansur Ball-Bey shooting, family attorney claims teen’s account differs from initial police report (August 21, 2015) Rebecca Rivas


  1. ‘March to Justice’ Launches Nine-Day Pilgrimage from New York to D.C. by Paula Mejia (April 13, 2015)
  2. BlackSpring Has Begun Ferguson Action
  3. With Nationwide Protests Against Police Brutality, Activists Declare: “Black Spring” has Begun, by Lauren McCauley (May 2, 2015)
  4. Police Brutality Protesters conclude 250-mile march from NY to D.C. by Suzanne Kennedy (April 21, 2015)
  5. Freeway Joins NYC Justice League for ‘March 2 Justice’  by Christopher Harris (April 22, 2015)
  6. “Gathering for Justice’ Marches from NYC to D.C. by Shenequa Golding (May 13, 2015)
  7. Janelle Monae and Co. Perform Protest Anthem “Hell You Talmbout’ on Today, Get Cut Off l

Campaign Zero

  1. Campaign Zero: Black Lives Matter activists’ new, comprehensive policy platform, explained (August 21, 2015) German Lopez
  2. Activist come up with a plan to end police killings. Here it is.  (August 21, 2015)  Matt Pearce
  3. Campaign Zero: A ‘Blueprint for Ending Police Violence’ (August 21, 2015) Nadia Prupis
  4. As of Today, Black Lies Matter Activists Can Point to a Thorough Police Brutality Report Plan (August 21, 2015) Ben Mathis-Lilly

Black Lives Matter Critics

  1. Black Lives Matter and The Failure to Build a Movement
  2. ‘Black Lives Matter’ Slogan Ignores Self-Destructive Behavior
  3. Beyond ‘Black Lives Matter’ – The New York Times
  4. Geraldo Rivera Delivers Tough Critique of ‘Black Lives Matter’
  5. The Bad Politics of the Black Lives Matter Protesters Who
  6. ‘Black Lives Matter’ Criticism – Clutch Magazine

Appropriation and Erasure

  1. #BlackLivesMatter Founders: Please Stop Co-opting our Hashtag by Julie Walker
  2. What’s wrong with All Lives Matter by George Yancy and Judith Butler (January 12, 2015)
  3. Why saying ‘All Lives Mater’ in the Context of Black Lives Matter movement touches a nerve with activists (July 28, 2015)

Imam Luqman Abdullah

  1.  Why Was a Controversial Imam Shot 20 Times? (February 01, 2010) Steven Gray.
  2. Photos Raise Questions about Shooting of Cuffed Muslim leader (April 7, 2010) Beth Tribolet and Sharaf Mowjood.
  3.  Feds clear FBI agents in fatal shooting of Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah ( October 14, 2010) Associated Press.
  4. Imam Luqman  Abdullah
  5. Getting Away with Murder: An interview with Imam Dawud Walid (October 27. 2015) Ummah Wide
  6. Family of Muslim leader killed by FBI in Dearborn seeks Answers (July 27, 2015) Niraj Warikoo
  7. Killing of Detroit Imam in 2009 Described as “Nothing Less than a Cover Up” (August 9, 2015) Murtaza Hussain

Justice or Else

  1. On the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, Blacks demand ‘Justice or else’ (October 30, 2015) Curtis Bunn.
  2. 20 years after the Million Man March, a fresh call for justice on the Mall (October 10, 2015) Nakamura and Hamil R. Harris
  3. Shahida Muhammad Reflections on JusticeOrElse (October 26, 2015), Shahida Muhammad.
  4. JusticeOrElse Reflection (October 26, 2015) Ihssan Tahir
  5. The Million-Man March: A Black Muslim Feminist Response (October 15, 2015)  Aaliyah Bilal
  6. Farrakhan muddies issues in Justice or Else (October 14, 2015) Charles Blow


  1. Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
  2. Davis, Angela. Are Prisons Obsolete?
  3. Gilmore, Ruthie.  Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
  4. Blackmon, Douglas. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II
  5. Bernard E. Harcourt. Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing, and Punishing in an Actuarial Age 
  6. Stephen K. Rice and Michael D. White Roberts. Race, Ethnicity, and Policing: New and Essential Readings 
  7.  Victor M. Rios, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys
  8. Robert F. Wintersmith. Police and the Black community
  9.  Roger G. Dunham, Geoffrey P. Alpert. Critical Issues in Policing: Contemporary Readings, Seventh Edition
  10. Kenneth Bolton, Joe Feagin. Black in Blue: African-American Police Officers and Racism

Guides, Factsheets, and Toolkits

  1. The Abolitionist Toolkit
  2. Mapping Police Violence
  3. Factsheet on NYPD Muslim Surveillance Program
  4. ColorLines/Police Violence
  5. NYCLU School Prison Toolkit
  6. CMU Factsheet 
  7. Nonviolent methods
  8. Peace Making Circles
  9. Teaching Black Lives Matter
  10. Know Your Rights Pamphlet by ACLU
  11. Fighting Police Abuse by the ACLU


  1. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee 1989)
  2. Malcolm X (Spike Lee 1992)
  3. American Violet (Tim Disney 2008)
  4. I Am Sean Bell (Stacey Muhammad, 2010)
  5. The Black Power Mixtape (Goran Hugo Olsson 2011)
  6. Prison Blues (Mustafa Davis 2013)
  7. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler 2013)
  8. For Colored Boys – Season 1 Redemption  (Stacey Muhammad, 2013)
  9. Slavery By Another Name (Sam Pollard 2014)
  10. Selma (Ava Duvernay, 2014)
  11. Straight Outta Compton (2015)


  1. Lauryn Hill. “Black Rage”
  2. The Game “Don’t Shoot”
  3. Yasiin Bey and Dead Prez “Made You Die”
  4. Yasiin Bey “Umi Says”
  5. Jazmine Sullivan “Baltimore”
  6. Prince’s “Baltimore
  7. Prince- Baltimore
  8. John Legend and Common “Glory”
  9. J. Cole “Be Free”
  10. Suli Breaks “Be free cover”
  11. Jasiri X “Strange Fruit”
  12. Hell You Talmbout

Videos, Art,  and Multimedia

  1. 10 Artists of the Black Lives Matter Movement
  2. Solidarity demonstration in Nazareth: Ferguson to Palestine
  3. From Ferguson to Baghdad Lighthouse Mosque and UMC (December 16, 2014)
  4. Muslim Girl: Ferguson Now
  5. Malcolm X, Black Lives Matter, & the Middle East w/ May Alhassen (March 17,  2015)
  6. #LegacyX Black History Month Program
  7. Donna Auston at Muslims Muslims make it Plain Protest (December 27, 2014)
  8. Brandon Tate Brown’s Mother speaks Muslims Make it Plain Protest (December 27, 2014)
  9. Lectures and Sermons by Muslim Leaders  – Live Document Updated Occasionally
  10.  Anti-Racism Media
  11. ColorLines Systemic Racism: Incarceration with Jay Smooth
  12. Justice or Else! – Million Man March 20th Anniversary – English,
  13. The 6 Steps after ‪#‎JusticeOrElse” with  Minister Nuri Muhammad on Ebro in the Morning on Hot 97 FM…

You can cite to this Toolkit using  Hill, M. (2015). “#BlackLivesMatter: MuslimARC toolkit” retrieved from

         [Back to Table of Contents]         

Questions? Comments? Additions? Broken Links?


[email protected]

Last updated Sunday 11/1/15 9:13 am PST


[1] Eric Garner’s words of resistance.

Amb. Samantha Power on Refugees, She’s NUTS

There is SO much wrong in what she wrote here. If there was ANY foreign policy with regard to fighting wars and hostilities to swift victory, none of this would come to be. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power is delivering history, guilt and culpability of failure. Furthermore, she is demanding more money and wait for it…..Obama has his moment scheduled at the UN….this is not going to end well and will be yet another hit to our sovereignty.


This is an outrage, what say you?

Related reading: John Kerry Sells a Borderless World in a Graduation Address

What is especially interesting is as noted by Ambassador Power, these people want to go home.


Remarks on “The Global Refugee Crisis: Overcoming Fears and Spurring Action,” at the U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Washington, DC
June 29, 2016


Thank you, Nancy, for that generous introduction, and more importantly, for your leadership on this and other critical issues, both when you were inside the government and now in this incredibly important role you’re in at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Let me begin with a fact with which you are all familiar: We are in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Just like the people at the heart of it, this crisis crosses borders, oceans, and continents. And because it is global in scale, anything less than a global response will fall short of addressing it. Yet rather than spur a united front, a united effort, the challenge of mass displacement has divided the international community – and even individual nations – leaving the lion’s share of the response to a small number of countries, stretching our humanitarian system to its breaking point, and putting millions of people in dire situations at even greater risk.

Today I will make the case for why we must do better. I will first describe the gap between the unprecedented scale of the crisis and the growing shortfalls in the international response. I will then take on some of the most common concerns one hears when it comes to admitting refugees, showing that, while there are, of course, genuine risks, these are often distorted; the actual threats can be mitigated. Our current approach of leaving a small number of nations to bear most of the costs, by contrast, carries hidden dangers, risking the lives of countless refugees, while also weakening our partners and strengthening violent extremists and organized crime. A global response is urgently needed, and the United States must help lead it.

At the end of 2015, more than 65 million people were displaced worldwide, over half of them children. That is the highest number on record since the UN’s Refugee Agency started collecting statistics. To help put that number in perspective, that’s the equivalent of one in every five Americans being displaced. Some 34,000 people will be displaced today alone. Think about that. Thirty-four thousand.

Many rightly point to the role that the turmoil in Syria has played in this crisis. Roughly half of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million has been uprooted since the conflict began in 2011 – some six-and-half million within Syria’s borders, and five million to other countries. But the conflict in Syria is far from the only driver of this problem. The wars forcing people from their homes are multiplying – with at least 15 conflicts erupting or reigniting since 2010. And conflicts are lasting longer, meaning people have to wait longer before it is safe to return home. Roughly one in three refugees today is caught in what is called a “protracted refugee situation.” In 1993, the typical protracted refugee situation lasted nine years; today, the median duration is 26 years and counting.

People do not become refugees by choice, obviously; they flee because their lives are at risk – just as we would do if we found ourselves in such a situation. And most want to go home. So we recognize that the most effective way to curb the mass displacement of people is by addressing the conflicts, violence, and repression that they have fled in the first place, and that continues to make it unsafe for them to return home. Consider a survey of Syrian refugees carried out early this year in Gaziantep, along Turkey’s southern border. It found that 95 percent of the Syrians polled said that they would return home if the fighting stopped. In May, a study of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon – most of whom had fled Boko Haram – found that more than three in four wanted to return home. I met with refugees in both of these places, and when I posed the question of who wanted to go home to groups of refugees, all hands shot up in the air. Many of you have had similar experiences.

Even as we recognize the need to work toward the solutions that will reduce the drivers of mass displacement, we also have to meet the vital needs of refugees in real time. And on that front we in the international community are coming up far short. For one, we are seeing record shortfalls in providing essential humanitarian assistance. In 2015, the UN requested approximately $20 billion to provide life-saving aid, only $11 billion of which was funded. This year, the $21 billion that the UN is seeking is less than one-quarter funded.

Often we find ourselves using bureaucratese – the language of “shortfalls,” and “masses” of refugee “caseloads” – sterile language that makes it easy to lose sight of the human consequences of our collective action challenge. So we must constantly remind ourselves that these gaps mean more people are left without a roof or tarp to sleep under; more families are unable to afford gas to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures; more kids are forced to drink water that makes them sick – poor parents have to watch that happen. Last year, the World Food Program had to cut back significantly rations to some 1.6 million Syrian refugees, and half a million refugees from Somalia and South Sudan in Kenya. In Jordan, in July 2015, approximately 250,000 Syrian refugees received news – often on their phone – that the UN aid they were receiving would be halved to the equivalent of 50 cents’ worth of aid a day. In Iraq, the shortfall forced the World Health Organization to shutter 184 health clinics in areas with high levels of displacement, resulting in three million people losing access to basic health care. The WHO’s director for emergency assistance described the impact as follows: “There will be no access for trauma like shrapnel wounds, no access for children’s health or reproductive health…A generation of children will be unvaccinated,” he said. Imagine, for just one minute, being the official forced to decide whose rudimentary health care to cut off. Imagine being the patient or the parent who receives the news that the aid you’ve been receiving – which is already insufficient to feed your kids or to deal with health ailments – will be cut in half.

Not only are countries giving far too little support to meet refugees’ critical needs, few countries – and in particular, few wealthy countries – are stepping up to resettle more refugees. As a result, a hugely disproportionate share of refugees are being housed by a small group of developing countries. At the end of 2015, 10 countries – with an average GDP per capita of around $3,700 – were hosting some 45 percent of the world’s refugees. The United States’ GDP per capita, by comparison, is approximately $54,600. Add in the dramatic cuts in humanitarian assistance, and you start to get a sense of the direness of the situation.

To be fair, it can take time for governments to lay the groundwork for admitting more refugees. We are dealing with this challenge right now in the United States, as we make the adjustments necessary to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, out of a total of 85,000 refugees, a goal we, of course, intend to meet. Yet even as a country with experience admitting and resettling more than three million refugees in the last four decades, it has not been easy.

But the work required to scale up admissions is not what is preventing many countries from taking in more refugees. Instead, even as the crisis continues to grow, many countries are making no effort at all to do their fair share. Worse, some countries are actually cutting back on the number of admitted refugees, or they’ve said that they won’t take any refugees at all. Other governments have taken measures that cut against the core principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, such as offering financial rewards for asylum seekers who withdraw their applications and return home, or confiscating the cash and valuables of those seeking refuge to offset the costs of hosting them. Meanwhile, with multiple countries – including our own – certain states, cities, and even towns have said that they don’t want to take refugees admitted by their respective national governments.

Now, why are so many countries resisting taking in more refugees? Let me speak to the two concerns that we hear the most often.

The first is, of course, security. Now, it is reasonable to have concern that violent extremist groups might take advantage of the massive movement of migrants and refugees to try to sneak terrorists into countries that they want to attack. In Germany, for example, suspected terrorists have been arrested in recent months who entered the country traveling amidst groups of refugees. We must constantly evaluate whether the procedures that we and our partners have put in place can effectively identify terrorists posing as refugees, as our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies are doing.

At the same time, as with any threat, it is important that our policy response be commensurate with the risk. The comprehensive, rigorous review process implemented by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program both protects our security and lives up to our long-standing commitment to give sanctuary to people whose lives are at risk. The program screens refugee applicants against multiple U.S. government databases – including the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security – which incorporate information provided by partners all around the world. Refugees are interviewed, often several times, before ever being allowed to travel to the United States; and refugees from Syria are subjected to a thorough, additional layer of review. We do not rush; in all, the process usually takes more than a year. If your aim is to attack the United States, it is hard to imagine a more difficult way of trying to get here than by posing as a refugee.

While no system is foolproof, our record to date speaks to the system’s efficacy. Of the approximately 800,000 refugees who have been admitted to the United States since September 11, not one has carried out an act of domestic terrorism. Zero. But that has not made us complacent; we are constantly assessing new threats, and we spare no effort to make the program stronger.

Being able to measure accurately the relative gravity of threats and where they come from is critical to making smart policy and is critical to keeping the American people safe. That is why the efforts to halt our refugee program in the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Paris, and more recently in Orlando, were so misguided.

It is appropriate, and indeed, essential, in the aftermath of terrorist attacks to ask whether and how our policies should be changed to keep our citizens safe. What is not appropriate – what is, in fact, counterproductive – is using inaccurate characterizations of threats to justify shifts in policy, such as failing to see the difference between a homegrown terrorist and a refugee; or drawing misguided and discriminatory conclusions about entire groups of people based on the countries from which their families immigrated or the faith that they observe. Ignorance and prejudice make for bad advisors.

Yet that is what is driving the ill-informed and biased reactions we have seen to these and other attacks from some in our country. After the Paris attack, 31 U.S. governors and their states did not want to host any Syrian refugees, and several officials filed lawsuits aimed at blocking the federal government from resettling Syrians in their states. In the aftermath of Orlando, House Republicans announced that they will put forward legislation to ban all refugees from our country. That is not all. As you know, some are calling for even broader bans, such as banning immigrants based on their religion, or suspending immigration from parts of the world with a history of terrorism.

Now, I take this personally. I’m an immigrant to this country. My mother brought me and my brother to the United States from Dublin in 1979. It was a time when Ireland was still being roiled by violence related to The Troubles. And that violence included attacks that killed civilians – some of which were carried out in the city where I lived. So it’s not lost on me that were such a prejudiced and indiscriminate policy to have been applied when I was growing up – a policy that judges people collectively on the circumstances of their birth, rather than individually on the quality of their character – my family and millions of other Irish immigrants would never have been allowed to come to this country. That I, an Irish immigrant, now get to sit every day in front of a placard that says the United States of America, and to serve in the President’s Cabinet, is just a reflection of what makes this country so exceptional. And it sends the world a powerful message about the inclusive society that we believe in. Why on Earth would we want to give that up?

If the first concern one hears around admitting refugees is the security risk, the second is economic. People fear that refugees will place an additional burden on states at a time of shrinking budgets and a contracting global economy. The concerns tend to coalesce around two arguments in some tension with one another: either refugees will deplete government resources through a costly resettlement process, and through requiring public support for years; or they will find work quickly, taking jobs away from native-born citizens and driving down wages.

It is true that resettling refugees requires a substantial investment up front. Sufficient resources must be dedicated to ensuring that asylum seekers are properly vetted. And people who are admitted need support as they settle into a new, unfamiliar country and become self-sufficient – from finding places to live and work, to learning a new language. If we want to keep our citizens safe and give the refugees we take in a shot at becoming self-reliant, these up-front costs are unavoidable.

You might be surprised, though, to learn how little refugees actually receive from the U.S. government. Resettlement agencies are given a one-time amount to cover initial housing, food, and other essential expenses of $2,025 for each refugee. And while refugees can apply for additional federal assistance, such as funding for job training or special medical assistance – no supplementary support is guaranteed – and most lasts a maximum of eight months. Now imagine trying to survive on that amount in a new and unfamiliar place, with no job, no support system, and often without the ability to speak English. Refugees are also responsible for repaying the cost of their plane tickets to the U.S. within three and a half years.

Even in the short term, much of the assistance that goes toward supporting refugees ends up going back into our local economies, from the supermarkets where they buy groceries, to the apartments they rent. And a number of studies have found that refugees’ short-term impact on their host countries’ labor markets tends to be small, and is often positive, raising the wages of people in communities where they settle. And it is important to see these initial costs of taking in refugees for what they are: an investment in our shared future. You hear often about individual refugees who have made profound contributions to our nation – people like George Soros, Sergei Brin, and one of my predecessors as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the great Madeleine Albright. There is no question that America would be a lesser country today without these individuals. Yet it is not only extraordinary individuals like these, but entire refugee communities who have made a lasting contribution to American prosperity.

Take the example of Vietnamese-Americans. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, America resettled more than 175,000 Vietnamese refugees in just two years. In 1979, a second wave of hundreds of thousands more Vietnamese refugees began arriving. Initially, politicians from both parties warned of the dire economic impact that the Vietnamese refugees would have on the communities where they were settled, and they asked that they be sent elsewhere. The Democratic governor of California at the time proposed adding a provision to legislation on assisting refugees that would guarantee jobs for Americans first, saying, “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here.” Seattle’s city council voted seven to one against a resolution welcoming them. Small towns where Vietnamese refugees were to be resettled, such as Niceville, Florida – [laughter] yes, Niceville – circulated petitions demanding they be sent elsewhere. A barber in Niceville told a reporter, “I don’t see why I ought to work and pay taxes for those folks who wouldn’t work over there.” The fears and reservations expressed in Niceville were hardly isolated; a 1979 poll found that 57 percent of Americans opposed taking in Vietnamese refugees.

And yet look at the 1.9 million Vietnamese-Americans living in our country today, many of whom either came to this country as refugees, or whose parents were refugees. They have a higher median household income than the national average, higher participation in the labor force, and lower unemployment. More, on average, attend college. Now this is not a success that has come at the expense of other Americans in a zero-sum economy; rather, the growth spurred by their success has benefitted both native born citizens and refugees, and repaid the costs of resettlement many, many times over.

Oftentimes, domestic debates about whether to do more for refugees are focused entirely on the question of what we risk by taking more people in. Is it safe? Will it help or hurt economically? These are important concerns to address, and I have tried to do so.

But there’s another question – often overlooked – which is particularly relevant today: What do we risk by not doing more to help refugees? That’s the question I would like to turn to now. And the answer is that, in the current crisis, not doing more puts global stability and our nation’s security at heightened risk. While we often overstate the security threats and economic costs of resettling more refugees, we routinely understate the likely consequences of failing to muster the global response that is needed.

For one, failing to mobilize a more robust and equitable global response will increase the pressure on the small group of countries already shouldering a disproportionate share of the crisis’ costs, possibly leading to greater instability. The influx of refugees to these countries has overwhelmed public services and institutions that were often stretched to begin with. Look at Lebanon, which has taken in a million Syrian refugees, and where one in five people is now a Syrian refugee. To give you a sense of scale, that would be the equivalent, in our country – which of course is much wealthier and has a much more developed infrastructure – of taking in 64 million refugees. There are more Syrian refugee children of school age in Lebanon – approximately 360,000 in all – than there are Lebanese children in public school. Roughly half of the Syrian refugee kids in Lebanon are out of school.

In the face of such demands, and absent greater help from the international community, it is not hard to see how the mounting pressure on these frontline countries could stoke sectarian tensions, fuel popular resentment of refugees, and even lead to the collapse of governments. It’s also not hard to imagine how, in such circumstances, some of these countries might decide they cannot take in any more refugees and seal off their borders altogether.

Failing to mount a more effective international response will also strengthen the hand of organized crime and terrorist groups that pose a threat to our security and prosperity. If people fleeing wars, mass atrocities, and repression cannot find a safe, legal, and orderly way to get to places where they and their loved ones will be safe, and where they can fulfill their basic needs, they will seek another way to get to places of refuge. We’ve seen it. They will always find smugglers who promise to take them – for a price. INTERPOL estimates that, in 2015, organized crime networks made between five and six billion dollars smuggling people to the European Union alone. These criminal networks have little concern for the lives of the people they transport – as they have demonstrated by abandoning their boats at sea, sometimes with hundreds of passengers locked in holds that they cannot escape – and whose members routinely rape, beat, and sell into slavery the people that they are paid to transport.

Of course, it is not only refugees who are threatened by these criminal networks. The same routes and transports used to smuggle people across oceans and borders are also used to move illicit arms, drugs, and victims of human trafficking. And the corruption that these groups fuel harms governments and citizens worldwide. The more refugees that are driven into the hands of these criminal networks, the stronger we make them.

Violent extremist groups like ISIL, al-Qa’ida, and Boko Haram also stand to benefit if we fail to respond adequately to the refugee crisis. A central part of the narrative of these groups is that the West is at war with Islam. So when we turn away the very people who are fleeing the atrocities and repression of these groups; and when we cast all displaced Muslims – regardless of whether they were uprooted by violent extremists, repressive governments, or natural disasters – as suspected terrorists; we play into that narrative. To violent extremists, simply belonging to a group is proof of guilt, and can be punishable by death – whether that group is defined by religion or ethnicity, by profession or sexual orientation. When we blame all Muslims, all Syrians, or all members of any other group because of the actions of individuals, when we fall into the trap of asserting collective guilt, we empower the narrow-minded ideology that we are trying to defeat.

On the contrary, when we and the parts of the Muslim world where people are suffering or have sought refuge, when we open our communities and our hearts to the people displaced by the atrocities committed by groups like ISIL, and repressive regimes like Assad’s, we puncture the myth that the extremists paint of us. We show that our conflict is not with Islam, but with those who kill and enslave people simply for what they believe, where they are born, or who they love.

Now, I have spoken to how many of the concerns that people have about admitting more refugees are overblown, driven more by fear than by fact. And I’ve highlighted the risk we run if countries continue to shirk doing their fair share in addressing this crisis. So what can we do to try to fix this problem? For starters, countries must dramatically increase their humanitarian aid to close the growing gap between what governments and agencies are providing and what refugees need to survive. And we need countries to increase the number of refugees they are resettling so that the burden does not fall so heavily on a small number of frontline states.

Now, some have argued that, because it’s more cost effective for wealthy countries like ours to provide humanitarian support for refugees in countries of first asylum, we should channel all the resources we allocate to this crisis into helping frontline states. Why take an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., some argue, when the resources that we would spend vetting and resettling these individuals could support 10 or even a hundred times as many refugees in places like Lebanon or Kenya?

Of course, we cannot resettle all 21 million refugees in the world, or even a majority of them. Nor do we need to. Many refugees are able to find sufficient opportunities to live with independence and dignity in the countries where they are given first refuge. And most prefer to stay close to the places to which they hope to return.

But there are some individuals and families who cannot stay in the countries where they have arrived first – because they are not safe there, because they have special vulnerabilities, or because their basic needs just are not being met. The UN estimates that around 1.2 million people fall into this category worldwide, and need to be resettled to other countries. The problem is the international community only resettled around 107,000 individuals last year – less than one-tenth of those who UNHCR judges need to be moved to a new host country. We need to bridge that gap.

By providing more opportunities for resettlement, we give experts the chance to review applicants through orderly, deliberate processes, rather than the large-scale, irregular flows that Europe faced last year, which brought more than a million people to Germany alone. These unstructured marches make it more difficult for countries to subject those who arrive to thorough and rigorous screening. And by practicing what we preach through resettling refugees, we stand a better chance of persuading others to do the same. How can we ask governments and citizens in other countries to take in refugees if we are not prepared to do the same in our own communities? How can we convince others that fear can be overcome and risk can be mitigated if we ourselves are ruled by fear?

In recognition of the urgent need for all countries to do more, President Obama is convening a refugee summit in September at the UN General Assembly. The purpose of this summit is to rally countries around three major lines of effort. First, we’re asking governments to make a deeper commitment to funding UN and humanitarian organizations and appeals, increasing overall contributions by at least 30 percent. Second, we’re asking governments to commit to welcoming more refugees into their countries, with the goal of doubling the number of refugee admission slots worldwide. Third, we are asking frontline countries – who already are hosting considerable numbers of refugees with awe-inspiring generosity – to do even more, allowing the refugees they host greater opportunities to become more self-reliant. Our aim is to put at least a million more refugee children in school, and grant a million more refugees access to legal work.

We recognize that the United States can and must do more as well. We are the leading donor of humanitarian aid, contributing more than $5.1 billion for the Syrian conflict alone, and we will continue to provide robust support. And not only are we scaling up our resettlement efforts to admit 15,000 additional refugees this year, but we will scale up by 15,000 more next year, to admit 100,000 refugees overall. That’s a 40 percent increase in just two years – while maintaining our extremely rigorous security standards.

The summit is by no means a panacea; even if we hit every target, our response will still not match the scale of the crisis. But it would represent a step – an important step toward broadening the pool of countries that are part of the solution. We also recognize that governments cannot solve this problem alone. We need businesses, big and small, to do much more too; which is why tomorrow, the White House is launching a private sector call to action, which will rally companies to do their part, from providing jobs to donating services to refugees. We need a humanitarian system that is more efficient and better at anticipating and preventing the crises that force people from their homes – which many countries committed to build at the recent World Humanitarian Summit. We need more civic institutions to help empower refugees, such as the growing number of American universities that are providing scholarships to refugees who were forced to abandon their studies – a cause that I urge the college students and faculty in the audience to take up. We need faith-based and civic institutions to adopt this cause as their own, as Pope Francis has done by constantly showing people the human face of this crisis, even welcoming refugees into his own home; and as the Southern Baptist Leadership Convention recently did, by adopting a resolution urging its members to “welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes.” Only when all these efforts come together will we have a chance of rising to the challenge that we face.

Let me conclude. In a letter dated May 16, 1939, a British citizen named Nicholas Winton wrote to then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Esteemed Sir,” the letter began, “Perhaps people in America do not realize how little is being and has been done for refugee children in Czechoslovakia.” Winton went on to describe how a small organization that he had started had identified more than 5,000 refugee children in Czechoslovakia, most of them Jews who had fled Nazi Germany who desperately needed to be evacuated. He wrote, “There are thousands of children, some homeless and starving, mostly without nationality, but they all have one thing in common: there is no future if they are forced to remain where they are. Their parents are forbidden to work and the children are forbidden schooling, and part from the physical discomforts, the moral degradation is immeasurable.” Winton closed his letter with a direct request: “Is it possible for anything to be done to help us with this problem in America? It is hard to state our case forcibly in a letter, but we trust to your imagination to realize how desperately urgent the situation is.”

Winton’s letter reached the White House, which promptly referred the matter to the State Department. And the State Department, in turn, sent the letter to the U.S. Ambassador in London, with instructions to inform Winton that “the United States government is unable, in the absence of specific legislation, to permit immigration in excess of that provided by existing immigration laws.”

Now Winton was undaunted, because he was undauntable. In the coming months, he bribed officials, forged documents, arranged secret transport through hostile territory, and persuaded families in the United Kingdom to take in foster children – anything to get those children out. Ultimately, he helped 669 children escape in less than a year. Almost all 669 kids were orphaned by the end of the war, their parents killed in the concentration camps.

“Perhaps people in America do not realize how little is being and has been done for refugee children.” That was how Winton had opened his letter. Yet the unfortunate reality is that even those who were aware of the refugees’ plight were reluctant to take them in. In January 1939, a few months after Kristallnacht, “the night of the broken glass,” unleashed a savage wave of violence targeting Jewish homes, synagogues, and businesses, a Gallup poll asked Americans whether 10,000 Jewish refugee children from Germany should be taken into the United States. Sixty-one percent of Americans said no.

And this isn’t an isolated case. Unfortunately, it was not only refugees fleeing the Nazis and Vietnam who the majority of Americans opposed admitting. In 1958, as Hungarians faced a vicious crackdown from the Soviet Union, Americans were asked whether they supported a plan to admit 65,000 refugees. Fifty-five percent said no. In 1980, as tens of thousands of Cubans – Cuban refugees – took to boats to flee repression, 71 percent of Americans opposed admitting them. The list goes on. In nearly every instance, the majority of Americans have opposed taking in large numbers of refugees when asked in the abstract.

Listening to the rhetoric that is out there today, it can feel at times as though the same is true today. But look around the country – look deeply – and you will find so many people who not only support admitting more refugees, but who themselves are making tremendous efforts to welcome them. People like the owners of Wankel’s Hardware Store in New York, where I live, which for decades has been employing recently resettled refugees, including 15 of their 20 current employees. Wankel’s keeps a map on the wall of the store with pins marking the 36 countries from which their refugee employees have come. Many Americans are doing their part and wish to find a way to do more. When visiting the International Rescue Committee resettlement office – just a 10-minute walk from the UN – recently, I noticed that many of their individual offices seemed to be overflowing with boxes. When I asked whether the folks who worked at IRC were moving in or moving out of the space, I was told that after some U.S. politicians threatened to curb the flow of refugees, the IRC had received a huge, unprecedented surge in donations. And they simply had no other space to store all the clothes, toys, and home furnishings that had come flooding in, just from ordinary people. A similar outpouring occurred inside the U.S. government. When we announced our goal to admit an additional 15,000 refugees this year, many U.S. national security professionals volunteered to take extra trainings and work extra hours in their already long days to help us meet that goal.

These examples abound. The small Vermont town of Rutland has committed to taking in 100 Syrian refugees. The mayor, whose grandfather came to the U.S. after fleeing war in his native Greece, said of the decision, “As much as I want to say it’s for compassionate reasons, I realize that there is not a vibrant, growing, successful community in the country right now that is not embracing new Americans.” Local schools are preparing to support kids who cannot support English, and local businesses in Rutland have said that they will look to hire refugees. One of them is a regional medical center, whose director is the grandson of refugees from Nazi Germany. “I know there is a good-heartedness to this city,” he said. “If you come here and want to make the community better, Rutlanders will welcome you with open arms.” A poll some of you have seen that was released this month by the Brookings Institution suggests that most Americans feel the same way. Asked if they would support the U.S. taking in refugees from the Middle East after they were screened for security risks, 59 percent of Americans said yes. Yes.

Nicholas Winton passed away last June, at the age of 106. At the time, the 669 children he saved had some 6,000 descendants. Six thousand people who otherwise would not have enriched our world, but mostly for the efforts of one single individual. Imagine, for just a moment, what would have happened if the United States, or any other country, had shared his sense of urgency in that instance, or in so many others. Imagine what we could do if we were to bring a similar urgency, a similar stubbornness, a similar resilience to the crisis today.

If we are proudest of the Wintons in our history – as I think we all are – we know what must be done. So that when his question comes to us – “Is it possible for anything to be done to help us with this problem?” – our answer must be yes, there is so much we can do. So much more we can do.

Thank you.

Don’t Fully Celebrate Brexit Yet

Moving forward, should Brexit occur fully, it wont happen with Prime Minister David Cameron, while France wants the process to be fast, Germany is demanding it be slow and measured.


The Brexit campaign started as a cry for liberty, perhaps articulated most clearly by Michael Gove, the British justice secretary (and, on this issue, the most prominent dissenter in Mr. Cameron’s cabinet). Mr. Gove offered practical examples of the problems of EU membership. As a minister, he said, he deals constantly with edicts and regulations framed at the European level—rules that he doesn’t want and can’t change. These were rules that no one in Britain asked for, rules promulgated by officials whose names Brits don’t know, people whom they never elected and cannot remove from office. Yet they become the law of the land. Much of what we think of as British democracy, Mr. Gove argued, is now no such thing. Read more from the WallStreetJournal.

Related reading: With Brexit locked in, here are other EU countries that poll high to ‘exit’

To Brexit or Regrexit? A dis-United Kingdom ponders turmoil of EU divorce

To leave, or not to leave: that is the question. Still.

Reuters: After Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union, there is no indication that a so-called Brexit will happen soon. It maybe never will.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is resigning, has said he will not take the formal step to an EU divorce on the grounds that his successor should. Because the referendum is not legally-binding, some politicians are suggesting a parliament vote before formally triggering Brexit.

A petition on the UK government’s website on holding a second referendum has gained more than 3 million signatories in just two days.

European leaders, facing the biggest threat to European unity since World War Two, are divided over how swiftly divorce talks should start. Paris wants haste and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging patience. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he wanted to “start immediately”.

And on Sunday, Scotland’s leader said Scotland may veto Brexit altogether. Under devolution rules, the parliaments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are required to consent to any EU divorce, according to a report by the House of Lords.

Most British politicians agree such a decisive 52-48 win for Leave in the referendum means a divorce must happen. Anything less would be a slap in the face of democracy.

“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered,” a choking Cameron said in his resignation speech, which marked the most tumultuous end to a British premiership since Anthony Eden resigned in 1957 after the Suez crisis.

Still, the upswell of chatter – #regrexit is trending big on twitter – over whether Britain might be able to reconsider speaks to the disbelief gripping this continent in the wake of a vote that has unleashed financial and political mayhem.

Sterling has plunged, and Britain’s political parties are both crippled. Cameron is a lameduck leader, and the main opposition Labour party on Sunday attempted a coup against its leader, with nine top officials resigning.

“The kaleidoscope has been shaken up not just in terms of our relationship with the EU but in terms of who runs our parties, who governs the country and what the country is made up of,” said Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London.

“It is very hard to see where the pieces are.”


The law provisioning an EU member country’s exit from the union is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that is effectively the EU’s constitution. It has never been invoked before.

Before the vote, Cameron had said Article 50 would be triggered straight away if Britain voted to leave. Over the weekend, several EU officials also said the UK needed to formally split right away – possibly at a Tuesday EU meeting.

But officials of the Leave campaign – including former London mayor Boris Johnson – are stepping on the brakes. They say they want to negotiate Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU before formally pulling the trigger to divorce.

European officials and observers say such a deal is unlikely, especially considering the thorny issues involved.

For example, it is unlikely that the EU would grant Britain access to the single market – key to allowing Britain trade goods and services in the EU – without London accepting the free movement of EU workers. But the biggest issue for those who voted to leave the bloc was limits on immigration – something the Leave campaigners promised.


On Sunday, a petition to call for a second referendum was gaining supporters, reaching 3.3 million signatories by the afternoon. David Lammy, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party, said it was within parliament’s powers to call a second referendum and urged that it be done.

Perhaps the most vocal resistance to a British exit is coming from Scotland.

Scotland, a nation of five million people, voted to stay in the EU by 62 to 38 percent, compared to the 54 percent in England who voted to leave.

Under the United Kingdom’s complex arrangements to devolve some powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, legislation generated in London to set off an EU divorce would have to gain consent from the three devolved parliaments, according to a report by the House of Lords’ European Union Committee.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC on Sunday that she would consider urging the Scottish parliament to block such a motion. It is not clear, however, whether such a scenario would ever materialize or be binding. Sturgeon’s spokesman later said that the British government might not seek consent in the first place.

Moreover, Sturgeon is simply laying out the groundwork for a new referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom –something the first minister said was “highly likely.”


While there is no precedent for Article 50, the House of Lords has discussed how any Brexit would work. In May, it published a report after consultations with legal experts.

In the report, Derrick Wyatt, one of the professors involved, said that while it would be politically difficult, the law allows the UK to change its mind after invoking Article 50.

“In law, the UK could change its mind before withdrawal from the EU and decide to stay in after all,” said Wyatt.

The LEAVE Vote Won, What Brexit Means Now

Populism and Elitism finally lost…the people have spoken and the battle for independence is long and hard but ultimately sweet. Citizens are disgusted with being ruled by Belgium.

Related reading: Brexit spreads across Europe: Italy, France, Holland and Denmark ALL call for referendums

The dynamics have not been determined and are impossible to predicts.

Given the drop in the value of the UK currency, the U.S dollar has risen however, the markets are going to be volatile for several days. France and Germany are in precarious positions and France has become the 7th largest economy by the drop in the value of the pound.

The Bank of England is working earnestly to calm markets across the globe.

Watch Scotland:

How Could Scotland Protect its EU Links After Brexit? 

It is often presumed that Scotland will continue to be part of the EU, either through a UK-wide vote to remain in the EU referendum or by joining the EU after a successful second independence referendum, writes Kirsty Hughes. She argues, however, that it is possible that Scotland could find itself outside the EU following a vote to leave, and that it should consider how to develop a differentiated relationship with the EU distinct from England.

At issue going forward is Article 50:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Prime Minister, David Cameron has resigned and will leave office by October. Cameron is expected to notify the EU this morning that the U.K. is invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, under which the two sides will have an initial two years to agree how their relations will look in future.

Markets were generally unprepared for “Brexit” after the last opinion polls, and more important Britain’s widely watched bookies, before the vote had pointed to a victory for the Remain camp. The Bank of England, the IMF, and OECD, as well as the Fed’s Janet Yellen, have all warned of a severe bout of volatility after a “Brexit” vote, with longer-lasting damage to the economy as a result of higher uncertainty, lower investment and more obstacles to trade. More here from Forbes.


A Refugee Hub, Why no Terror Attacks in Greece?


The Greek Gateway to Jihad

June 16, 2016

CTC: Abstract: Greece has become a crossroads for extremists trying to reach Syria and Iraq from Europe and for fighters returning home. The fact that several members of the Paris and Brussels attack cell transited through the Greek island of Leros illustrates the Islamic State’s ability to exploit refugee flows in order to move fighters into Europe. Although Greece’s migrant crisis has eased recently, a persistent economic crisis has left the Greek government with limited resources and capability for border security and counterterrorism efforts. At a time of growing radicalization and Islamist extremist activity within Greece’s own borders, this has led to concern that the Islamic State may take advantage by launching attacks against Western or Russian tourists or interests on Greek soil. 

On October 3, 2015, a boat originating from nearby Turkey carrying almost 200 refugees landed on the Greek Cycladic island of Leros.[1] Among them were two Iraqi Islamic State recruits carrying Syrian passports with fake names.[2] They were among the 400-500 migrants arriving on the island by sea every day last fall[3] and among about one million irregular migrants[4] who have come to Europe via the Aegean sea, many on rickety boats that trawl the Turkish coast seeking out the desperate.[a] Local officials processed the duo as refugees, and then the two men booked themselves on a ferry to Athens before transiting through the Balkans on a route trodden by tens of thousands of other refugees. Just over one month later they blew themselves up at the French national soccer stadium in the worst terrorist attack in France’s modern history.

They were not the only suspected terrorists who landed in Leros that day. Two others posing as refugees in the very same boat were arrested in Austria in the wake of the Paris attacks under suspicion of having ties to the plotters.[5] In addition, Leros was the arrival point in September for Swedish Islamic State operative Osama Krayem who was traveling with an alleged co-conspirator in the Paris and Brussels terror cell.[6] There were also eyewitness sightings of Paris attack ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud in Leros in the late summer. He subsequently claimed to have exploited refugee flows to enter Europe,[7] but it is not clear if Leros was his entry point.[8]

The Islamic State’s successful infiltration of operatives into Europe through Greece cemented concerns that the country had become the soft underbelly of Europe. An unannounced, on-site evaluation by E.U. inspectors of six Greek sea and land border sites between November 10 and November 13, 2015, (ironically, the day of the Paris attacks) revealed “serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border control by Greece, in particular due to the lack of appropriate identification and registration of irregular migrants at the islands, of sufficient staff, and of sufficient equipment for verifying identity documents.”[9][b]

After reaching a crisis point, the migrant pressures on Greece eased dramatically[c] after March 2016 due to an agreement between the European Union and Turkey to deport irregular migrants back to Turkey[10] and the move by several countries in the Balkans along the so-called northern refugee corridor to restrict severely the admission of refugees trying to transit northward.[11] But there is concern that the numbers coming through Greece may surge again if the deal with Turkey collapses.

Transit Route 
An early example of a terrorist crossing through Greece was Ibrahim Boudina, a French Islamic State operative who was detained on January 3, 2014, after Greek police pulled over a taxi in which he was traveling in the town of Orestiada, four miles from the Turkish border. Greek police discovered a USB drive with instructions for how to make homemade bombs “in the name of Allah,” but let him go because, just as with Fabien Clain, there was no warrant for his arrest, despite French intelligence services being aware of his travel to Syria. One month later French police arrested him near Cannes, thwarting his alleged plans to carry out a bomb attack with three soda cans filled with the explosive TATP.[12]

Another case was Fabien Clain, one of the alleged masterminds of the Paris attacks, who reportedly transited through Greece on his way to Syria in the early months of 2015. Clain drove his family from the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa to the Turkish border in the northeast of the country, making stops in both Thessaloniki and Kavala. French authorities tipped off their Greek counterparts of his presence in the country, but there was no warrant for his arrest so he was not detained.[13][d]

A significant number have transited from Balkan countries such as Kosovo and Albania and then used Greece as a gateway to jihad.[e] A case in point was Mirsad Bektasevic, a Bosnian-Swede who was arrested along with another man in Evros, Greece, on January 28, 2016.[14] Bektasevic was previously implicated in a plot to attack the British Embassy in Sarajevo.[f] A file collected by Greek authorities showed that both suspects came to Athens via Sweden on January 22, 2016, for two days before continuing on their journey to exit European territory by the end January 2016.[15] Authorities were alerted of their arrival at Athens airport by a tipoff from a European intelligence service. From there, both men took a KTEL bus to Thessaloniki and arrived at Alexandroupolis on a second bus. The ‘green light’ for their arrest came when they booked a ticket for Tychero, a town near the Turkish border.[16]

Some have used Greece as a way station to transport weapons into Syria. In February 2016 Greek police arrested three alleged British jihadis of Kurdish descent in Evros in northeastern Greece who may have been seeking to cross into Turkey.[17] Police discovered a significant number of weapons in their possession and over 200,000 rounds of ammunition.[18]

In order to facilitate travel flows, militants have set up logistical, recruitment, and financial cells in Greece, and some members of Greece’s large immigrant community, particularly in Athens, have provided housing to the transiting jihadis and helped them evade security services.[19]

Islamic State operatives have used Greece to coordinate attack plots in Europe. The Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud communicated by a cell phone from an Athens apartment with several members of an Islamic State cell in Belgium, plotting a major gun and bomb attack. Plans for how to attack airports were reportedly discovered on a computer in his residence on Asteropolis Road in the heart of the capital.[20]The plot was thwarted in a gun battle in Verviers, Belgium, in January 2015. An Algerian associate of Abaaoud in Athens was extradited to Belgium and charged with being part of the conspiracy.[21]

The Threat to Greece 
Greece does not have as significant a problem with radicalization as some other European countries, which means the threat from homegrown Islamist terrorism is significantly lower than in France or the United Kingdom. Greece hosts a Muslim minority, which is a vestige of the Ottoman Empire, but also an expanding Islamic population from Arab countries and South Asia who have arrived in significant numbers as illegal immigrants. Estimates of the centuries-old[g] Muslim minority[h]—which is mostly located in western Thrace, a region bordering Bulgaria and Turkey—range from 98,000 to 140,000 (between 0.9 percent and 1.2 percent of Greece’s 11 million population but as much as a quarter of the population of western Thrace). Estimates for immigrant Muslim community numbers between 200,000 and 300,000 (between 1.9 percent and 2.7 percent) with the majority living in the Athens region. Most Albanian immigrants to Greece are Muslims, though most are secular-leaning.[22] While there are low rates of radicalization among the very longstanding Muslim minority in western Thrace, most of whom are secular-leaning,[i] there is concern about radicalization among immigrant communities.

One concern is the lack of registered mosques in areas where there are large immigrant Muslim populations like Athens, creating a potential informational black hole for authorities. Data from the Muslim Association of Greece shows that there are currently three officially registered mosques in Athens and about 20-25 unofficial mosques serving the city’s estimated 130,000-200,000 Muslims.[23]The presence of informal, unregistered mosques has complicated the task of law enforcement officials in investigating suspected foreign fighter cases.[24]

Some Greek Muslims have tried to travel to Syria via Komotini, a western Thrace town near the border with Bulgaria and Turkey. One example was a 40-year-old seller of ecclesiastical paraphernalia in Komotini[25] who, according to police sources, operated a pro-jihadist Facebook profile.[26]

In another example of extremist activity within Greece, an investigation into Rawti Shax, an Islamic State linked-organization headed by an Iraqi Kurdish cleric based in Norway, revealed the group was trying to recruit from Greece. In November 2015 European authorities arrested 15 people in four European countries, breaking up what officials called a terrorist network that sought to overthrow the Kurdish government in northern Iraq and recruit militants to fight in Iraq and Syria.[27] According to Greek police, an Algerian national and a Pakistani who were residents of Norway and involved in the network spent time in Greece for recruitment purposes.[28] An analysis of internet chatroom activity also indicated the group had supporters in Greece.[29]

With thousands of Syrian refugees stranded in Greece after Balkan countries took measures to shut off transit routes for irregular migrants in March, there is concern refugee camps could become a breeding ground for extremism.[30] Before it was shut down last month, the Idomeni camp in northern Greece had swelled to over 10,000 migrants. Greek police have since moved the refugees to other facilities in Greece.[31]

There is concern that because of the jihadist transit through the country, the Islamic State may try to set up sleeper cells in Greece and that these cells might take advantage of limited Greek counterterrorism capabilities to launch attacks against Western or Russian visitors or interests inside the country. As many as 27.5 million tourists are expected to visit Greece in 2016, almost triple the country’s population.[32] As a member of NATO Greece itself is also in the Islamic State’s crosshairs, even if the country is not likely a priority target. In the wake of the Paris attacks the Islamic State released a video threatening reprisals in 60 countries that it considered allied against it, including Greece.[33]

Limited Counterterrorism Capabilities 
The rise of Islamist radicalization and the transit of European foreign fighters through Greece has been in danger of overwhelming security services such as the Greek National Security Agency (EYP), which was established to confront left-wing terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Organization 17 November. Most of its staff comes from various bodies such as the police (drug enforcement), coast guard, and military intelligence.[34] Greek ministers have criticized EYP’s leadership,[j] and a lack of funding and training has made it extremely reliant on help from other Western intelligence services.[35] Greek police also lack capabilities to track jihadis. When Belgian authorities requested Greek authorities arrest Abaaoud in Athens in early 2015, Belgian officials accused Greek police of failing to move quickly enough.[36]

There have been some positive developments, including a recent, dramatic reduction in the number of migrants entering Greece, and E.U. officials have proposed creating a European border security force and coast guard to help Greece.[37] In addition, the newly established European Migrant Smuggling Center (EMSC) has stationed officers on the islands of Chios, Samos, Lesvos, and Leros where refugee registration centers are in operation, as well as in Piraeus Port, bolstering Greece’s current border-security capabilities. EMSC agents are checking suspicious individuals against Europol’s databases in the Netherlands.[38]

Although the migrant crisis has eased, a sustained economic crisis has left the Greek government with limited resources and capacity for border security and counterterrorism efforts at a time of growing radicalization and militant activity within Greece’s own borders. If thousands of migrant seekers remained trapped in military camps in Greece for a lengthy period there is a possibility some will be radicalized.[39] Rising anti-immigrant activism by militants from Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party risks adding fuel to the fire.

There is concern that the Islamic State may take advantage by launching attacks against Western or Russian interests on Greek soil. Moreover, there is a sense of complacency that Greece will not be struck because it is not playing any role in the coalition against the Islamic State, which is partly due to its financial restraints but also due to the fact that the governing Syriza party hails from an anti-war rhetoric movement.[40] It may only be an attack in Greece itself that leads to a wake-up call.

Ioannis Mantzikos is a security analyst based in Athens, Greece. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the Free State University in South Africa and a senior analyst at the Research Institute for European and American Studies. His recent book with Dr. Denise Baken is entitled The Transformation of Al-Qaeda in the Middle East and North Africa. Follow @YMantzikos

Substantive Notes
[a] Since the start of 2014, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) calculates that almost 1.4 million migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean and entered Europe via one of five E.U. coastal borders: Italy, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Malta. Through March 16 of this year, IOM counted over 997,000 seaborne arrivals to Greece alone. According to the Greek authorities, 47 percent of newly arrived migrants are from Syria, 27 percent from Afghanistan, 17 percent from Iraq, and 3 percent each from Iran and Pakistan. See “Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Approach 150,000; Deaths Reach 455,” IOM, March 11, 2016.

[b] E.U. Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stated in January, “we know that in the meantime Greece has started undertaking efforts towards rectifying and complying with the Schengen rules. Substantial improvements are needed to ensure the proper reception, registration, relocation or return of migrants in order to bring Schengen functioning back to normal, without internal border controls. This is our ultimate common goal.” “Commission discusses draft Schengen Evaluation Report on Greece,” European Commission Press Release, Brussels, January 27, 2016.

[c] According to the IOM, 3,360 migrants and refugees landed on the Greek islands in April 2016 as compared to 26,971 the previous month—an 88 percent drop. The figures for May were lower still with just 1,465 migrants and refugees arriving on Greek shores by sea, fewer than were arriving daily in January and February. See “‘Dramatic’ drop in migrant arrivals to Greece: officials,” Deutsche Welle, May 13, 2016; “IOM: Noted drop of maritime migrants reaching Greece,” Xinhua, June 4, 2016.

[d] Fabien Clain had previously served jail time for recruiting for al-Qa`ida in Iraq. As well as claiming the Paris attacks on behalf of the Islamic State, he was also suspected of encouraging a plot by a Parisian student to attack a church in the city, which was thwarted in April 2015. Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, “Immense challenges remain despite arrests of terror suspects,” CNN, April 8, 2016.

[e] The Islamic State has produced several propaganda videos featuring Kosovars appealing to their countrymen to join them, and the Kosovo authorities believe some 200 individuals have left to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria. See Tim Lister and Ioannis Mantzikos, “Add this to Greece’s list of problems: It’s an emerging hub for terrorists,” CNN, January 26, 2015.

[f] On October 19, 2005, Bektasevic had been arrested after a police raid on his aunt’s home in Sarajevo, Bosnia. In the house, police had found a belt with explosives, 18 kilograms of explosives, and a videotape with directions as to how to create a makeshift bomb. See Rodolfo Toe, “Sarajevo Embassy Attack Plotter Held in Greece,” Balkan Insight, February 2, 2016, and Maja Zuvela, “Three jailed in Bosnia for planning suicide attack,” Reuters, January 10, 2007.

[g] The first Muslims settled in this region after arriving from Anatolia in 1363 during an attempted conquest of Europe by the Ottoman Turks. In 1923 Greece and Turkey agreed to a mass exchange of populations and consequently Greeks resettled from Asia Minor to mainland Greece and vice versa. The Muslim minority in Thrace is mirrored by a Greek-Orthodox minority in Istanbul. See, for example, Ioannis Michaletos, “Islam in Greece: Country Outlook,” Radical Islam Monitor in Southeast Europe, August 5, 2011.

[h] It is estimated that 45 percent of Muslims in Western Thrace are of Turkish descent, 40 percent of Slavic descent, and 15 percent of “Pomak” descent. Ioannis Michaletos, “Islam in Greece: Country Outlook,” Radical Islam Monitor in Southeast Europe, August 5, 2011.

[i] Muslim preachers in the area of Komotini in the Evros region of northern Greece have repeatedly denounced radical extremism and have been supportive of all counterterrorism measures. “Thraki Muftis denounce ISIS,” To Vima, October 1, 2014.

[j] Former Minister of Interior Yiannis Panousis said he was aware that jihadis were traveling via Greece and questioned EYP’s ability. Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos called for EYP Head Mr. Yiannis Roubatis to resign. See Constantinos Zoulas and Yiannis Souliotis, Panousis claims SYRIZA officials told him to free detained suspects, Kathimerini, November 15, 2015; “Kammenos: Roubatis should have resigned,” Huffington Post Greece, November 22, 2015.

[1] Christopher Harress, “Paris Shootings 2015: Greek Officials Claim Bataclan Attack Terrorist Passed Through Country In October,” International Business Times, November 14, 2015.

[2] Paul Cruickshank, “The inside story of the Paris and Brussels attacks,” CNN, March 30, 2016.

[3] “Attaque du Stade de France: le terroriste kamikaze passé par la Grèce n’était pas seul, “ France TV-Info, November 20, 2015.

[4] “Council Implementing Decision setting out a Recommendation on addressing the serious deficiencies identified in the 2015 evaluation of the application of the Schengen acquis in the field of management of the external borders by Greece,” General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, February 18, 2016; “Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Approach 150,000; Deaths Reach 455,” International Organization for Migration, March 11, 2016.

[5] Éric Pelletier and Thibault Raisse, “Attentats de Paris: révélations sur l’autre commando de Daech,” Le Parisien, February 13, 2016.

[6] Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, “Immense challenges remain despite arrests of terror suspects,” CNN, April 8, 2016.

[7] “Document RMC: Le témoignage de Sonia, celle qui a dénoncé Abaaoud,” BFMTV, February 4, 2016.

[8] Paul Cruickshank, “Paris ringleader came through Greek island Leros,” CNN, December 17, 2015.

[9] “Council Implementing Decision,” p. 4.

[10] “European Commission – Fact Sheet European Agenda on Migration: Securing Europe’s External Borders,” December 15, 2015.

[11] Patrick Kingsley, “Balkan countries shut borders as attention turns to new refugee routes,” Guardian, March 9, 2015.

[12] Paul Cruickshank, “Raid on ISIS suspect in the French Riviera,” CNN, August 28, 2014; Rukmini Callimachi, “How ISIS Built the Machinery of Terror Under Europe’s Gaze,” New York Times, March 29, 2016.

[13] Yiannis Souliotis, “Fabien Clain’s Greek Journey,” Kathimerini, April 3, 2016.

[14] “Suspected jihadist terrorists arrested in Alexandroupoli,” To Vima Online, February 1, 2016.

[15] Panagiotis Spyropoulos, “What has been found in Jihadists cellphones,” The TOC, February 1, 2016.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Lia Nesfige, “Evros: getaway of jihadists and arms smugglers,” Ta Nea online, February 15, 2016.

[18] Ibid.

[19] “120 Kosovar jihadists returned from Syria,” Tribune, November 30, 2015; Arianna Ferentinou, “Jihadists giving headaches to Greeks too,” Hurriyet Daily News, October 12, 2014.

[20] Éric Pelletier and Stéphane Sellami, “Attentats de Bruxelles : cinq questions sur un carnage,” Le Parisien, March 23, 2016.

[21] Paul Cruickshank, “Inside the ISIS plot to attack the heart of Europe,” CNN, February 13, 2015.

[22] Ioannis Michaletos, “Islam in Greece: Country Outlook,” Radical Islam Monitor in Southeast Europe, August 5, 2011.

[23] “Unlicensed mosques in spotlight after Paris attacks,” Kathimerini, November 26, 2015; Tasos Telloglou, “Three mosques registered in Athens,” Kathimerini, November 22, 2015.

[24] Telloglou.

[25] “Turkey extradites Greek Muslim with suspected jihadi ties,” Kathimerini, November 19, 2015.

[26] Alexandros Kalafatis, “Who is the 40 year old man arrested for alleged ties with ISIS?” Huffington Post Greece, November 20, 2015; “Turkey extradites Greek Muslim with suspected jihadi ties,” Kathimerini, November 19, 2015.

[27] Gaia Pianigiani, “Coordinated European Raids Target Ring Supporting Terrorist Groups,” New York Times, November 12, 2015.

[28] Vasilis Labropoulos, “Terrorist Recruitment network in Greece,” To Vima, April 10, 2016.

[29] Ibid.

[30] “Migrant Crisis: Macedonia Shuts Balkan Route,” BBC, March 9, 2016.

[31] Costas Kantouris, “Greek police evacuate hundreds from Idomeni refugee camp,” Associated Press, May 24, 2016.

[32] For example, see Oliver Guitta, “Greece: ISIS’s Gateway to Europe?” National Interest, December 15, 2015; Helena Smith, “Miracle in Athens as Greek tourism numbers keep growing,” Observer, May 28, 2016.

[33] Philip Chrysopoulos, “ISIS Threatens 60 Countries Including Greece,” Greek Reporter, November 25, 2015.

[34] John M. Nomikos, “Does Greece needs a department of Homeland Security?” Research Institute of European and American Studies, November 1, 2013.

[35] “Kammenos: Roubatis should have resigned.”

[36] Cruickshank, “Inside the ISIS plot to attack the heart of Europe.”

[37] “European Commission – Fact Sheet.”

[38] Philip Chrysopoulos, “Europol Undercover Agents at Greek Hotspots to Locate Jihadists, Traffickers,” Greek Reporter, April 11, 2016.

[39] Ioannis Michaletos, “Current Greek Counter-Terrorism Threat Assessment: Terrorism, Radicalization and Migration,”, May 3, 2016.

[40] Sarantis Michalopoulos, “Greece will abstain from military action against ISIS,” Euractiv, November 16, 2015.