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BLM founder calls for Biden to sign radical legislation to 'abandon police, prisons, and punishment paradigms'


Black Lives Matter founder wants Biden to enact radical legislation that leads to 'police and prison abolition'

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Viacom

Patrisse Cullors, one of the three co-founders of the Black Lives Matter organization, is calling for Joe Biden to enact far-left legislation that would lead to the abolition of police and prisons, and other radical proposals.

In July, Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts announced the BREATHE Act, a sweeping far-left piece of legislation that aims to bring revolutionary change to the United States. The proposal has not been brought before Congress as of yet.

The drastic legislation calls for the end of life sentences, as well as all mandatory minimum sentencing laws. In a Teen Vogue article, Cullors wrote that the act would "put us on the road to police and prison abolition." The BREATHE Act demands the dismantling of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and immigration detention centers. The legislation also demands the repeal of federal laws that "criminalize human movement and border entry."

The BREATHE Act calls for "repealing and replacing the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act," which "Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, largely wrote and shepherded through the legislative process."

The BREATHE Act would create a commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans, based on "mass criminalization – including the War on Drugs, the criminalization of prostitution, and police violence; border violence; and the systemic violation of the U.S. Government's treaty obligations to Tribal nations."

"Eliminating surveillance tactics that are disproportionately used to target Black, Brown, and Muslim communities by prohibiting predictive policing, racial recognition technologies, drones, and similar tools," the BREATHE Act states. "Eliminating the use of electronic monitoring, including ankle monitors, smartphone applications, and any other tool used to track location."

The legislation calls for the removal of all police, school resource officers, and armed security from schools, plus the metal detectors and surveillance equipment would be banned.

Public school systems would be required to develop curricula that examines "the political, economic, and social impacts of colonialism, genocide against indigenous people, and slavery."

"The creation of comprehensive health centers that offer culturally competent services for all people, including services related to reproductive health," the BREATHE Act states.

The proposal requests job programs "that specifically target the most economically disadvantaged individuals, including Black cis- and trans women, formerly incarcerated people, undocumented people, and disabled people."

The legislation also calls for politicians to develop a plan for developing "100% of the State power demand using clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources."

The BREATHE Act is a "project" by the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 organizations.

Cullors, a self-described "trained Marxist," called the BREATHE Act a "landmark civil rights bill," and wants the "next Presidential administration to prioritize the passing" of the legislation.

Cullors told The Hollywood Reporter, "We are requesting that — in the first 100 days — the Biden-Harris administration works to pass this legislation."

"This moment is a watershed moment," Cullors said. "I think this moment calls for structural change and transformative change in ways that we haven't seen in a very long time. We see this opportunity to push for the BREATHE Act as a part of what we're calling the modern-day civil rights act."

When asked about the 2020 presidential election, Cullors said, "Black people — especially Black women — have saved the United States. Whether in Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, or Los Angeles, Black voters showed up in huge numbers to turn this country around and remove the racist in the White House."

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