Law enforcers have confiscated hundreds of protective masks that read “Stop killing Black people” and “Defund police” that an organization connected to the BLM movement sent around to cities in the US to shield protesters against coronavirus.
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) gave thousands of dollars for the masks they had planned to distribute all over the US. The first boxes of 2000 masks in total were sent out from Oakland, California, and were destined for New York City, Minneapolis, Washington, and St. Louis.
However, the boxes never left Oakland. The United States Postal Service tracking numbers for packages show they were “Seized by Law Enforcement” and advised the mailer to “contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for further information.”
A Black Lives Matter-affiliated organization spent tens of thousands of dollars on masks shipped to protect protesters against COVID-19. They were seized by law enforcement. https://t.co/jDjoxRwWir
— Moneybagg Yo(hannes) 🇪🇷 (@AronYohannes) June 5, 2020
It isn’t entirely clear what authorities seized the boxes or why.
However, the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General William Barr, has taken a firm stance against protests and on Thursday expressed his concern regarding “extremist agitators” who are “hijacking the protests to pursue their own separate and violent agenda.”
The M4BL is a group that has more than 150 leaders and entities that are “unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing.”
It was formed in 2014, shortly after the Missouri protests, following the murder of Michael Brown.
“Police have rioted coast to coast, beating and gassing protesters who have called for an end to police violence, with the explicit approval of President Trump,” Chelsea Fuller, a spokesperson for M4BL, told HuffPost.
“Now, it appears they want to ensure that people who protest are susceptible to the same deadly pandemic that they have failed miserably at stopping,” Fuller added. “The continued surveillance and disruption of social movements under this administration is as chilling as it is dangerous. It should be roundly condemned.”
Covid-19 disproportionately impacts black Americans. Civil rights leaders, protest organizers, and public health officials need to start a public dialogue on how to best protect the health of black communities during a time of mass protests and a deadly pandemic.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 5, 2020
Last Thursday, the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said demonstrators need to “highly consider” getting checked for COVID-19 and was concerned that the protests could sadly cause mass-spreading of the virus.
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