Cities On Fire: Reporting From Ferguson and Black Lives Matter

An interview with Sensei Gregory C. Lewis

Since the police murder of Michael Brown, there has been an increase in Black mobilizing and activism drawing attention to state and police violence against Black communities across the US. While the movement gained momentum after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for his murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, it was not until the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri where the term #BlackLivesMatter took hold to aptly describe the struggle for Black self-determination and humanity in the face of increased state repression. Across the US, radical forms of direct action are taking place in different cities and towns. Internationally, solidarity rallies have been organized as the world has become fixated on the resistance in Ferguson and the recent uprisings in Baltimore.

Coined by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, #BlackLivesMatter is not only a political and ideological intervention, but is also seen by many as the newest wave of radical Black resistance bringing together a variety of communities across the US.

For Sensei Gregory C. Lewis, a martial arts instructor by trade and Black revolutionary living in Seattle, Black Lives Matter is also about using grassroots media to communicate the politics and resistance of this latest wave of Black struggle.

As a radio producer in Seattle, Lewis describes Black Lives Matter in the context of Black resistance historically and its connection to fighting police states around the world. You can find archives of his reporting and podcast at All Power to the Positive!

Sharmeen Khan interviewed Lewis in February and May of 2015 after his return from Mexico where he attended the World Festival of Resistance and Rebellion Against Capitalism.

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