Dissident members of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters are demanding more accountability and transparency from the BLM Global Network in the wake of revelations about co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ lavish spending.
Cullors announced she would resign from her post as executive director of the organization in late May, amid controversy over the group’s finances. She’s been in the spotlight for lavish spending on real estate, as revealed by The Post, including a $1.4 million LA home she encircled with a $35,000 electric fence.
BLM10Plus, comprised of the original 10 Black Lives Matter chapters and some of BLM’s newer chapters, repeated calls Friday for the BLM Global Network’s leadership, to open the books about the structure of the sprawling organization.
In a statement Friday, it said the public should know about how many chapters there are, how the various legal entities under the Global Network are related to each other, the salaries of staff members and the founders, deals with contractors and more.
“The little we do know, has come from persistent requests for transparency over the years,” said the statement, which is titled, “Tell No Lies.” It described tangled negotiations involving where official chapters were located and which ones got funding.
“The most alarming use of official and unofficial chapters was BLMGN’s willingness to position a chapter as unofficial if the chapter did not align with their personal political interest,” it continued. “Chapters were often referred to as official in cities BLMGN was seeking to court prominent individuals and high visibility opportunities.”
Meanwhile a large number of groups seeking to affiliate went ignored, BLM10Plus said.
The problems have led to family members of several victims, including Michael Brown Sr., Samaria Rice and Lisa Simpson, leaving Black Lives Matter and publicly criticizing the group.
The dissident members said that “engagement with BLMGN was always problematic and unsupportive,” and, “We never knew who made decisions or how decision making processes were determined. Chapters had different levels of access to information based on their proximity to BLMGN leadership.”
“The issues we’ve highlighted within the Black Lives Matter movement are not unique to this group or to people of color,” the statement continues. “Grassroots movements have been co-opted across the globe and it is our intention to be a part of the collective creating processes based on integrity so that we, nor any other activist or advocate, encounters these avoidable issues in the future.”