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Black Lives Matter activists call for Amanda Barge to resign as county commissioner



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Protesters march to the Bloomington Police Department during the Black Lives Matter protest in 2016. BLM activists in Bloomington are calling for Amanda Barge to resign from her seat on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners. Andrew Williams Buy Photos

Black Lives Matter activists in Bloomington are calling for Amanda Barge to resign from her seat on the Monroe County Board of Commissioners.

The Indiana Daily Student broke a story last week outlining accusations of sexual harassment against Barge. Her accuser was former county contractor Brandon Drake, who is a member of Black Lives Matter in Bloomington.

Drake alleges Barge repeatedly made sexual advances toward him for more than a year and ultimately used her power over him to dismantle the project he was working on for the county.

Barge told the Herald Times and Indiana Public Media she doesn’t plan to step down from her seat as commissioner. She has not responded to multiple requests for comment from the IDS on the issue.

“Black Lives Matter B-town believes Mr. Drake because we as an organization always believe survivors, and we are especially invested in supporting and protecting survivors of color,” a Monday press release from the group read.

The release addressed the power differential between Barge and Drake, condemning what it called the connection of white womanhood to racial oppression. 

The group is calling for Barge to step down for various reasons, including because it claims she used her position as county commissioner to continue to attack Drake after his allegations were published.

This claim was in response to a statement the Monroe County Legal Department released Thursday evening on behalf of the county commissioners and the health department. The statement detailed Drake’s work history with both entities but did not address the allegations of sexual harassment against Barge.

The statement from Black Lives Matter B-town said the group believes Drake’s job performance is irrelevant to the credibility of his allegations.

“Frankly, it appears as if Ms. Barge is using her office, yet again, to harass and discredit Mr. Drake,” Black Lives Matter B-town’s press statement read.

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