On September 1, 26 chapters of Black Lives Matter Grassroots filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court accusing executives of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) of illegally “sucking” $10 million in donations.
In addition to condemning much of the BLMGNF’s leadership, the lawsuit alleges that the head of the BLMGNF, Shalomyah Bowers and his Bowers Consulting firm, misappropriated millions of dollars from the BLM’s coffers, using the organization as their own “personal piggy bank.” .
The day after the lawsuit was filed, Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter and co-director of BLM Grassroots, held a press conference announcing the lawsuit, alleging that Powers pays herself annually over $2 million.
Following Abdullah’s press conference, the BLMGNF board issued an official statement denying the allegations against Bowers and other leaders and calling the lawsuit “another round of the fight for ‘control’ of the BLM.” It called the allegations “defamatory and unsubstantiated”.
The board countersued Abdullah and other BLM grassroots leaders, alleging they received $10,000 a month in personal allowances, secretly retreated to Jamaica, and deducted the wages of BLM agents because they or a family member contracted COVID-19.
The BLMGNF statement is excerpted from a January 2022 letter from BLM grassroots leaders detailing “the financial misconduct, unprincipled decision-making and grievances rooted in retaliation and intimidation against Melina Abdullah.” Countless allegations of leadership style”.
The controversy surrounding the lawsuit is just the latest in a long line of scandals involving BLM’s finances. Amid protests over the brutal 2020 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, bourgeois media and Democrats promote Black Lives Matter and its leaders as the property of millions The official voice of racial and ethnic protests against police brutality. The promotion is accompanied by official recognition and substantial cash donations from US businesses to BLM.
However, families of victims of police brutality and many local activists were quick to question the BLM’s financial secrecy:
The group’s first public release of information about its finances comes three months after 10 local BLM chapters issued a November 2020 statement asking BLMGNF directors to increase financial accountability. The BLMGNF reportedly raised more than $90 million in 2020, incurred $8.4 million in operating expenses, distributed $21.7 million in grants to more than 30 organizations, and retained about $60 million.
In March 2021, Lisa Simpson, mother of Richard Risher, 18, killed by Los Angeles police in 2016, and Samaria Simpson, mother of Tamir Rice, 12, killed by Cleveland police in 2014 Rice released a statement. A statement demanding that the BLMGNF stop using the death of a child to make money.
They wrote: “We don’t want or need you marching down the street, amassing donations, platforms, movie deals, etc. after the death of a loved one, while families and communities are ignorant and broken. Don’t tell us The name of a loved one, period! This is our truth!”
April 2021, New York Post It was revealed that Black Lives Matter co-founder and titular head Patrisse Cullors and her wife purchased four properties worth about $3 million between 2016 and 2021. Less than two months after the news became public, Cullors resigned as executive director of BLMGNF, claiming she wanted to focus on other projects, including books and a production deal with Warner Bros.
April 2022, a new york magazine The BLMGNF used donations to buy a $6 million mansion in Southern California, the report said. BLMGNF reportedly purchased the 6,500-square-foot property in October 2020, which includes seven bedrooms and bathrooms, a soundstage and music studio, a swimming pool and parking for nearly 20 cars, as “Safe House” Headquarters for BLM leadership to create social media content. In June 2021, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Melina Abdullah recorded a video outside the mansion to mark the first anniversary of the killing of George Floyd.
May 2022, Associated Press The released tax documents show that the BLMGNF paid millions of dollars to entities controlled by relatives and close associates of then-executive director Cullors. BLM paid $25,997,945 in grants, including $2,167,890 to Bowers Consulting, owned by Shalomyah Bowers.
Melina Abdullah, a professor of pan-African studies at California State University in Los Angeles and co-founder of Black Lives Matter LA, participated in the Levi’s jeans “beauty to be” marketing campaign despite news of Levi’s contractor efforts Killed a Haitian minimum wage bill.
With each revelation, the fraudulent nature of Black Lives Matter became clearer. The group lost credibility among millions of formerly BLM-supporting Americans under the impression that at the helm was a sincere fight against police violence. A parasitic layer in leadership is in crisis, prompting Callus to step down as executive director in June 2021. Since then, nearly every Black Lives Matter news story has involved scandal.
Bowers was originally hired by Cullors to help run the BLMGNF in 2020, according to the lawsuit filed by Black Lives Matter Grassroots. Melina Abdullah claims that when Cullors decided to step down as executive head of the BLMGNF, she left Bowers with a transition plan to hand over control of the BLMGNF to the BLM grassroots leadership.
According to the lawsuit, Cullors appointed two BLM members, Monifa Bandele and Makani Themba, as joint senior executives to oversee the transition, while Bowers remained in executive roles. But Bowers allegedly failed to follow Cullors’ transition plan, and BLM Grassroots was denied access to BLMGNF’s social media accounts.
“This is a case of a rogue administrator, middleman turned usurper who was hired to collect donations and be responsible for spending by the Black Lives Matter movement,” the lawsuit reads.
While claiming that Bowers viewed BLMGNF as his personal “piggy bank,” the lawsuit further claims that Bowers’ activities were the catalyst for a series of fraud investigations into BLMDNF finances by state and federal authorities, which BLM Grassroots alleges The investigation paved the way for “a track that caused irreparable harm to BLM in less than 18 months.”
As part of its counterclaim against Abdullah and BLM Grassroots, the BLMGNF cited a letter BLM Grassroots allegedly sent in January concerning concerns about Abdullah’s leadership.
A complaint alleging Abdullah’s mishandling of the $7 million budget reads as follows:
“I am writing to you today expressing serious concerns about the management and operation of Black Lives Matter Grassroots…I do not believe that the Black Lives Matter Grassroots team I am part of is currently adequately equipped to handle the operation and management of a multi-million dollar organize.”
In an article discussing BLM’s multiple financial scandals, world socialism website The true nature of the organization is explained:
The facts that have emerged suggest that Black Lives Matter is largely a product of the corporate media and the Democratic Party, rather than a true expression of a rebel populace against the atrocities and social inequalities that pervade American society. These revelations illustrate bribery and privileged social classes, whose interests are expressed through the promotion of race rather than class, as the basic dividing line of society.
In addition to exposing the greedy and selfish nature of the BLM leadership, the latest allegations expose the reactionary nature of racial politics and the right-wing social interests it serves. Despite their constant talk of “fighting for black liberation,” the hierarchy behind the BLM has nothing in common with and is hostile to the masses of workers and youth of all races who are fighting capitalism.