London Black Revolutionaries Grant
Edge members awarded London Black Revolutionaries (LBR) £3,000 in December 2014. Many of the activist community were extremely happy to see the emergence of LBR, indeed many of us at Edge actually encouraged them to submit an application. Unfortunately, the situation then became very complicated as LBR went through some serious problems around the same time and the group broke down.
We were in touch with five members of LBR at the time of the application and received information about issues within the group relating to police infiltration, members being expelled, concerns over one member taking control of the group and acting undemocratically, a serious sexual assault (rape) conviction and threats of violence. By this point alarm bells were ringing loudly about LBR’s structure, transparency within the group and who they actually were. Initially though, we were hopeful that the issues could be resolved and thought we might be able to help. We were unsure if LBR was even still functioning or who was still active in the group. We requested to meet with them to find out more.
Three Edge members met with four of the people who were involved in LBR at the time of their application. Unfortunately, the only active member of LBR declined our offer to meet. All four ex members with whom we met corroborated each other’s stories.
Following the meetings and correspondence the Edge members who attended the meetings concluded that LBR was no longer the same group that applied to Edge for funds. They also had serious concerns over the way the group functioned, in particular relating to one individual who acted undemocratically and unaccountably and took control of the group. For these reasons they recommended that LBR should not be given the money. At the end of March Edge members were informed of the situation and the recommendation, which was that we don’t fund LBR at this stage and instead try to establish a relationship with the new group as it develops and invite them to apply again in the next round. This was agreed by members.
Since then we have been made aware that the group is reforming and new people are getting on-board. We hope that this means that LBR can resolve its problems and that we can support and work with them in future.