In 2017, a leaked intelligence report showed that the FBI had identified Black-led movements protesting police brutality after the killing of Michael Brown as possible domestic terrorist threats—labeling them “Black Identity Extremists.”
Yet just as J. Edgar Hoover named the Black Power movement of the 1960s “the greatest threat to the internal security of our country,” the BIE designation is only the latest attempt to justify the surveillance and criminalization of Black people fighting for social justice. Over 50 years after Hoover’s COINTELPRO, our right to protest and organize is still under attack.
Last fall, the Center for Media Justice filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on the FBI’s surveillance of Black activists. We know that in order to protect our right to resist, we need transparency around how this latest designation is being used to surveil our movements — both within the FBI and by local law enforcement.
The FBI never responded to our FOIA request, so we’ve joined the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program in filing a lawsuit against them —demanding the release of all documents pertaining to the wrongful surveillance of Black activists and Black-led movements.
Now we need your help to keep the pressure on. Sign this petition now to demand that the FBI stop targeting Black people and Black-led organizations based on the unsupported “Black Identity Extremist” label.
To: The FBI and Department of Justice
Stop targeting Black people and Black-led organizations for surveillance and investigation based on the “Black Identity Extremist” label. Your unsupported claims about this fictitious group raise concern that the FBI is racially profiling Black activists and targeting them for their First Amendment protected beliefs, speech, and associations.