The 2020 uprisings pushed the goal of suspending the police trainings across the finish line, but activists worked for years to do community education and protest to call attention to them.

By Khury Petersen-Smith, Truthout

A recently leaked memo from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reveals that the organization has paused its controversial law enforcement trainings of U.S. police with Israeli military and police forces in response to the movement for Black lives. It shows the power of the movement — which resonates years after its biggest mobilizations, and beyond the borders of this country.

BLM and free Palestine written on car window

It was not too long — less than two years ago in the summer of 2020 — that people moved by the cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others, participated in protests across the U.S. Despite the naked white supremacy of the Trump administration, mass protests in the streets drove a conversation about systemic racism and violent policing.

That wave of Black-led protest achieved so much. It confronted deeply entrenched commitments to policing and prisons, huge local budgets for police departments that were considered untouchable, well-organized police unions, and a White House calling for the deployment of troops to repress the marches and rallies. The revolt shaped an urgent conversation that overcame those obstacles — and it made concrete gains.

And the wins went beyond the Black community. The Washington NFL and the Cleveland MLB teams removed and replaced racist mascots that caricature Indigenous peoples after facing years of campaigns demanding such action. The list goes on.

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