The Black Lives Matter organization has reportedly sent legal threats to a New York activist for using the Black Lives Matter name in his activism.
BLM Global Network Foundation sent multiple cease and desist notices to the leader of the unaffiliated organization BLM Greater New York, Hank Newsome, claiming that his group illegally uses the Black Lives Matter name, the Daily Caller reports.
Newsome was one of several prominent voices to raise calls for an independent investigation into the foundation’s finances, after details of BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ recent real estate spending spree became public and widely publicized by the New York Post.
Like several other groups carrying the Black Lives Matter name, BLM Greater New York is not affiliated with the national BLM organization and has been ‘illegally’ operating under the brand, according to the cease and desist letters sent to Newsome.
Newsome “is not and has never been a part of the official Black Lives Matter organization, but continues to use BLM’s name even after sending him multiple cease and desist letters. Therefore, any mention of him as a leader is not factual,” a spokesperson for the BLM Global Network Foundation said. “Only BLM chapters who adhere to BLM’s principles and code of ethics are permitted to use the BLM name.”
Contrary to their claims, the national BLM group does not have legal rights over the phrase Black Lives Matter, the Daily Wire reports. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected six applications from the group to trademark Black Lives Matter, partially because the slogan is now associated with a social and political message.
Last Sunday, Newsome demanded an audit of the BLM Global Network Foundation’s finances after details of Cullors’ spending spree on four properties, valued at $3.2 million in total, became public. In 2020 alone, the BLM co-founder bought a $1.4 million property near Los Angeles and a $415,000 ranch near Atlanta.
Her purchases followed the publication of a memoir and a “multi-platform” deal with Warner Bros. Television Group.
“If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” Newsome told the New York Post. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement.”