patrisse_cullors opal_tometi and alicia_garza black lives matter network co-founders

Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza (Black Lives Matter network co-founders)

*To anyone running for president in 2016, know this: You will absolutely NOT be getting an endorsement from the Black Lives Matter network.

In an interview with the Associated Press, one of the network’s co-founders, Alicia Garza, elaborated on the group’s refusal to back a contender to succeed President Barack Obama in the 2016 presidential election. While an endorsement isn’t on the network’s list of things to do, Garza did mention that the network will continue to move forward with protests and interruptions of presidential hopefuls who are on the campaign trail.

“Sometimes you have to put a wrench in the gears to get people to listen,” Garza told the AP.

Founded by Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors, Garza and their allies in response to the fatal shootings of unarmed black males by law enforcement officers, the Black Lives Matter movement has garnered headlines for various protests as well as activists who have disrupted speeches from politicians such as Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Sanders’ fellow Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, the party’s frontrunner as well as Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, noted the movement’s impact. Both candidates have met with activists who claim to represent Black Lives Matter.

Regarding the network’s refusal to endorse any candidate or political party this election cycle, Garza stated, “Black Lives Matter as a network will not, does not, has not, ain’t going to endorse any candidates.”

“Now if there are activists within the movement that want to do that independently, they should feel free and if that’s what makes sense for their local conditions, that’s fantastic. But as a network, that’s not work we’re engaged in yet,” she said while stating that its possible the network may get more involved with political candidates and parties, and even run candidates in the future. But at this time “we’re not there yet.”

“It’s too early in the development of the network and it’s too early in the genesis of the movement to rally around anyone in particular who hasn’t demonstrated that they feel accountable to the Black Lives Matter movement or network.”

“What we’ve seen is an attempt by mainstream politics and politicians to co-opt movements that galvanize people in order for them to move closer to their own goals and objectives,” Garza voiced to the AP. “We don’t think that playing a corrupt game is going to bring change and make black lives matter.”