Black Lives Matter UK movement raises £400,000 in three days

05 Jun 2020 News

A Black Lives Matter UK crowdfunding campaign has raised more than £410,000 in less than 72 hours.

Black Lives Matter UK defines itself as a “coalition” of black activists and organisers across the UK that originated in 2016.

The movement started a fundraiser to support its work in the UK on 2 June, after a wave of anti-racism protests in the US and in the rest of the world. 

Meanwhile, various other fundraisers supporting black communities and anti-racism causes in the UK have been raising thousands of pounds.

‘So many opportunities for us to organise’

Black Lives Matter UK’s fundraiser has raised more than £410,000 from more than 17,000 donors so far, according to its page on fundraising website GoFundMe.

The target of the campaign is £500,000, which will go towards its UKBLM Fund. The organisation said that the fund is an “evolving fund to support black life against institutional racism and enable radical reimagining/knowledge production from within our communities”.

The money will be used towards a range of causes and projects, including campaigning for law change, developing educational resources, police monitoring and supporting black communities impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

It will also be supporting the United Family & Friends Campaign (UFFC), an organisation born in 1997 to support family and friends of people who died in police, prison and psychiatric custody, and working with other existing anti-racist organisations.

Black Lives Matter UK is not a registered charity and does not have a website at the moment, but is active on Twitter and Instagram. It said it will be sharing more details about the organisation and about how the funds will be distributed soon.

It said: “We’re developing new and exciting ways of organising that centre transparency, accountability, safety and healing for our organisers and our communities.”

In an update written after the campaign reached £250,000 on the first day, it also said: “Thank you so much to each and everyone of you for getting us halfway in a day, we are full of gratitude. This creates so many opportunities for us to organise, and win.

“We completely understand some of the questions around our transparency, watch this space for a full press release and update with clarifications soon.”

Other projects

Many activists have written on social media that donating to anti-racism movements and organisations is one of the ways people who are not taking part in the protests but want to show support can help, and donations have been growing quickly.

GoFundMe has a new section on its website called We Stand Together: Help Support the Fight Against Racism, featuring a list of fundraisers people can donate to.

In the UK, most successful ones include a campaign to support the family of railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died of Covid-19 after reportedly being spat at on the job, which has raised £185,000; more than £120,000 raised in three days for Black Minds Matter, an organisation to support black people’s mental health in the UK; and more than £60,000 raised in three days for charity StopWatch, which campaigns for a fairer and accountable police. 

Katrina Ffrench, chief executive of StopWatch, wrote in an update on GoFundMe: “It is fantastic that you all want to see a change in the current narrative and that you believe in StopWatch to lead in bringing about positive reforms – we are humbled.”

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