The Black Lives Matter movement does not plan to endorse a candidate for the 2016 presidential election, according to an interview given by one of the movement’s co-founders to the Associated Press. Alicia Garza told the AP that despite the group’s refusal to endorse a candidate, it will still stage protests throughout the campaign cycle.
“It’s too early in the development of the network and it’s too early in the genesis of the movement to rally around anyone in particular who hasn’t demonstrated that they feel accountable to the Black Lives Matter movement or network,” Garza told the news service.
Garza said that while the group as a whole won’t endorse a candidate, individual members should feel free to do so. She also didn’t rule out the group endorsing candidates or political parties in future elections. “What we’ve seen is an attempt by mainstream politics and politicians to co-opt movements that galvanize people in order for them to move closer to their own goals and objectives,” she told AP. “We don’t think that playing a corrupt game is going to bring change and make black lives matter.”
Black Lives Matter traces its roots as an activist group to the death of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager fatally shot in 2012 by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman who was acquitted on charges of Martin’s murder. The movement, which campaigns against police brutality against African-Americans, have interrupted campaign speeches this year.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 18, 2015
Protesters who said they were affiliated with Black Lives Matter forced Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., offstage during a rally for the presidential hopeful in August. Black Lives Matter activists also engaged with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, questioning her on issues of race and criminal justice.
“Sometimes you have to put a wrench in the gears to get people to listen,” Garza said.