By Any Means Necessary

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By Any Means Necessary or BAMN is a civil rights activist group active in Michigan and California. The full name is the "Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration & Immigration Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary." The group's name is derived from the slogan that Malcolm X coined, "by any means necessary."


BAMN is currently building the "new civil rights movement," and they are a primarily student and youth-based organization of leaders in schools and communities, committed to making real the promises of American democracy and equality.[1]

According to their website, "BAMN is building the movement to end Jim Crow, second-class treatment of black people and other minorities and immigrants, documented and undocumented. We are building a united mass, integrated civil rights movement that will unite black and brown, gay and straight, to win full freedom and equality for all. We are fighting to defend public education, to defeat budget cuts for education, to defend public jobs and public services, to win college financial aid and citizenship for undocumented immigrant students, and to make every school, college, city, municipality and state a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. BAMN is also fighting to build a new, international youth leadership for the environmental movement."[1]

BAMN in Michigan

BAMN activism has included legal challenges against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, rallies, protests and confrontational activism. BAMN was active in Michigan in claiming that some of the signatures collected in a 2005 petition drive to place the Michigan Civil Rights Amendment, Proposal 2 (2006) on the ballot were collected fraudulently when signature gatherers erroneously claimed that the measure promoted affirmative action. Although the MCRI passed in November 2006, BAMN has continued to pursue legal challenges in court.[2][3]

Opponents of the group have criticized BAMN for tactics allegedly used during its rallies such as verbally assaulting people who disagree with their political program. The group has also been criticized for busing in students from the Metro Detroit area to BAMN protests.

The American Civil Liberties Union has reported that the FBI has investigated BAMN for potential involvement in unspecified "terrorist activities." According to the FBI, the group's protests were discussed in a meeting about terrorist activities.[4]

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