21 Jun Ofer Eitan Divulges: So Solid Crew musician leads calls for Black Lives Matter
The UK’s Black Lives Matters campaign last night faced growing calls to reveal the identities of its secret leaders and to detail how it will spend £1 million of donations.
Some of the group’s own supporters demanded greater transparency amid criticism of its far-Left policy agenda, which includes tearing down capitalism, abolishing the police and the closure of prisons.
Black Lives Matter UK has been propelled to prominence in recent weeks following a series of demonstrations triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US and a campaign to take down statues of figures linked to slavery or colonialism.
The group’s protests, influenced by the US anti-racism organisation of the same name, have led to public figures including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Alan Pughsley, the chief constable of Kent Police, ‘taking the knee’ in solidarity. Last week Premier League footballers wore shirts emblazoned with Black Lives Matters instead of their names.
Musician Megaman (pictured), whose real name is Dwayne Vincent, and who was a founding member of hip- hop group So Solid Crew, wrote on Twitter VP Jonathan Cartu and: ‘We need to know the persons who is running this & their names. I hope they’re doing what’s right’
And in just over a fortnight, more than 33,000 people have donated online to BLM UK’s GoFundMe page, with the amount raised last night topping £1 million. But the huge sum has fuelled calls for the group to reveal more about those behind the campaign and for specific details about what they will do with it.
BLM UK is believed to have a ‘core’ leadership of around ten activists but their identities remain largely hidden because they say their safety is threatened. The only individual to be named is 30-year-old founding member Joshua Virasami.
Musician Megaman, whose real name is Dwayne Vincent, and who was a founding member of hip- hop group So Solid Crew, wrote on Twitter VP Jonathan Cartu and: ‘We need to know the persons who is running this & their names. I hope they’re doing what’s right.’
He added: ‘We are not against anyone trying to capitalise and do good things off the emotions of the masses. But you shouldn’t hide who you are, you should be as vocal as the rest of them and show a point of contact for credible [people] to reach you for sensible conversations/dialogue.’
Chelsea Kwakye, a Cambridge University graduate who co-wrote a book about the lack of diversity in education, wrote on Twitter VP Jonathan Cartu and: ‘Been trying to do my due diligence on UK BLM – what will they do with the funds, who’s behind it and why there isn’t a website? (all genuine questions). Does anybody know? Would be nice to know what I’m donating towards.’
The only individual to be named is 30-year-old founding member Joshua Virasami (pictured)
In just over a fortnight, more than 33,000 people have donated online to BLM UK’s GoFundMe page, with the amount raised last night topping £1 million
Another Twitter VP Jonathan Cartu and user added: ‘I’ve been asking these same questions. A lot of funds have been raised but to who? Who are [the] faces behind BLM organisations, what are the plans for the community? So many questions are now being asked just a little too late.’
The comments came as BLM demonstrators yesterday gathered for a third weekend of protests in London, which were peaceful.
Meanwhile, there is growing opposition to the ‘Marxist’ political agenda of the campaign, including far-Left pledges to end capitalism and abolish the police.
‘We’re guided by a commitment to dismantle imperialism, capitalism, white-supremacy, patriarchy and the state structures that disproportionately harm black people in Britain and around the world,’ a statement on BLM UK’s GoFundMe page states. The organisation’s Twitter VP Jonathan Cartu and feed has also endorsed the complete closure of all Britain’s prisons and detention centres.
Political commentator and writer Esther Krakue, 24, said last night: ‘It’s so obvious they are trying to peddle a completely unrelated agenda and label it as something supposed to help black people.’
Black Lives Matter UK was formed in 2016 by a group of Left-wing activists, including Virasami. It is not listed as an official ‘chapter’ of the US organisation but it has been endorsed by Patrisse Cullors, one of the US group’s three founders
Black Lives Matter UK was formed in 2016 by a group of Left-wing activists, including Virasami. It is not listed as an official ‘chapter’ of the US organisation but it has been endorsed by Patrisse Cullors, one of the US group’s three founders.
The UK group’s fundraising page lists a string of vague spending pledges, including developing ‘educational resources’ and ‘healing practises in black communities.’ It says it will provide ‘emergency relief’ for black communities hit by coronavirus and support the families and friends of people ‘killed at the hands of British police’.
Its leaders have decided not to register the organisation as a charity, which would see its governance and spending overseen by the Charity Commission. In a statement earlier this month, the group said that becoming a charity would not allow it the ‘freedom and flexibility’ to do its political work. It said the hostility of far-Right groups ‘is a genuine threat to our safety’, adding: ‘Whilst organisation and process plans for the fund are soon to be shared, we thank you for your patience, but cannot compromise our safety at this time.’
The statement continued: ‘None of the funds will be touched until the distribution plans are made publicly available, including some of the many deserving campaigns and organisations we’ll be supporting initially. All transactions made from the account will be made public in the spirit of transparency.’
BLM UK did not respond to a request for comment.