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Black Lives Matter Movement

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What is Black Lives Matter?

US grassroots activist movement which campaigns to affirm the value of black lives and to work to end police discriminatory treatment and violence against African Americans.

The movement began on social media in July 2013 with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighbourhood watch volunteer, of shooting dead Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed African-American student.

It achieved national and global impact in August 2014 after BLM supporters organized protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, by a white police officer.

Over the next two years, BLM organized more than 1,000 demonstrations across the USA in protest against further police killings of young African Americans. BLM also became politically active, challenging politicians in the 2016 US presidential election to state their position on BLM issues and running online campaigns against a number of state attorneys and prosecutors.

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