The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin a year ago and the subsequent protests for Black Lives awakened many to the urgent need to fundamentally rethink public safety. Police act violently and with impunity, especially against Black and brown members of our communities. Even as we awaited for the verdict in Chauvin’s trial, police across the country continued to perpetuate violence against people of color, such as the recent killing in Chicago of thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo and in Minnesota of Daunte Wright. His conviction alone will not bring full justice to those communities and families who have suffered the violence of policing.
The national Cops Off Campus coalition has called for a month-long series of actions to commemorate the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and to demand the end of campus policing. Abolition May will kick off with a National Day of Refusal on May 3, 2021. On this day, workers and community members are asked to disrupt business as usual and organize actions in support of a police-free university and, ultimately, a police-free world.
Ask your instructors of record to join the Day of Refusal and organize your coworkers and students to find ways to participate!
Any individual student-worker may exercise their right to refuse to cross the picket line as a matter of individual conscience and free expression. This right is protected in Article 19 of your union contract, something workers fought for and won in 2003 after a contentious struggle that included an Unfair Labor Practice strike.