Black Lives Matter organizers blamed Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection and emboldening White supremacists with offensive rhetoric and divisive policies throughout his presidency.
The ad shows harrowing clips of Trump supporters breaking glass windows at the Capitol and standing on the dais in the Senate chamber, and a noose that was erected on a wooden beam in front of the Capitol that day.
“You felt a fraction of what Black Americans have felt for more than 400 years,” the narrator of the ad says.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, said convicting Trump would send a message that Congress condemns racism and wants to root out white supremacy.
“The ad is really about holding both Trump accountable as well as all of those who advocate for and behave as white supremacists accountable,” Abdullah told CNN. “So we are asking members of Congress to take action to make sure Trump is actually convicted and barred from future office as well as looking at members of Congress and all elected officials who engaged in his heinous act.”
The ad specifically targets Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, showing a clip of him saying “the election was rigged”– a false claim spread by Trump after he lost to President Joe Biden.
In many instances, Trump accused majority Black cities of voter fraud last year.
The petition also demands an investigation into ties between White supremacists and Capitol police, for digital media to permanently ban Trump from all platforms, the defunding of police, and for lawmakers to pass the BREATHE Act which calls for divestment of police and reinvestment into housing, education, health, and environmental justice for communities of color.
“It’s important to also remember that those four years that Donald Trump was in office, he wreaked havoc,” Abdullah said. “And so there are policies that have to be undone and I’m glad to see them beginning to be addressed.”
Abdullah said Black Lives Matter is grateful for the nomination and its key mission is to advance justice and freedom. Last summer’s ongoing protests were necessary to shed light on the police violence against Black people.
“There are Black Lives Matter formally organized protests and there is the righteous rage of folks who have been oppressed,” she said. “Until there is justice, you cannot ask oppressed people to behave in the way that the state wants them to.”