On July 17, a delegation of Black grassroots leaders delivered over 100,000 signatures to Congress demanding that the FBI be forced to retract its harmful “Black Identity Extremist” Intelligence Assessment. DRAD joined the delegation, led by Media Justice, which included organizers from Highlander Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Black Lives Matter Memphis, Media Mobilizing Project, National Conference of Black Lawyers, BIEAC, Demand Progress, ACLU and FreePress. Together, the delegation met with staff of key committees and key congressional offices.
Delegates shared stories of being targeted by police for their activism, and asked Congress to hold the FBI accountable. Not only should the assessment be retracted, we argued, but the FBI should inform the 18,000 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that received the report that the FBI had erred in producing it and it should be disregarded.
Mustafa Jumale, one of the delegates explained,
In order to urge these members to subpoena the FBI and hold a hearing as soon as possible, we shared our traumatic stories of white power nationalists terrorizing our communities, the burning down of historic civil rights organization buildings like the Highlander Center, and our own recent experiences of being surveilled and targeted by the government’s intelligence agencies. We shared stories of how Black Muslims have been further targeted through programs like “Countering Violent Extremism” and how these programs are another attempt by the government to destabilize Black Muslim communities, particularly highlighting how this program has impacted Somali Muslims in the U.S. We shared how our communities and movements are falling apart due to the FBI’s infiltration, just as other Black power movements have experienced in the past.