With rage and sadness we mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many more, and honor the uprising sweeping across the country.
Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and members of other UC unions have been impacted by racist policing in our workplace for years. Last February, UC Irvine police arrested a Black alumna who happened to be passing by a protest. In 2018, a Black AFSCME 3299 member, David Cole, was violently arrested while exercising his legally protected right to strike on the picket line at UC Berkeley. We know that UCPD collaborated at UC Santa Cruz with state forces to surveil and control students and workers simply struggling for livable working conditions. At this very moment, police are using UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium, until now a COVID-19 testing site, to hold protesters arrested for demonstrating against police violence.
The overt violence we’ve witnessed in the recent murders of unarmed Black people in our country is shaped by the context of the structural violence of socio-economic inequity. At our university, already-existing structural inequity was deepened by the gutting of affirmative action and attacks on collective bargaining. ASEs have spoken out all year about inequities they face at UC. UAW 2865 filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the University of California in early March over its militarized surveillance and policing of ASEs, and offered this settlement to the University proposing to disarm UCPD. As a union we commit to constantly doing better to fight racism, anti-Blackness, and police violence in our workplace and our society.
Unionists live by the maxim that an injury to one is an injury to all. To honor this maxim, we must approach this work as accomplices capable of doing the work of anti-racism together, rather than asking people of color alone to explain and educate, and make our union a powerful tool for justice (find more resources here. UAW 2865 joins the call issued by workers at universities and colleges all over the country to cut ties with police departments. We demand that our university defund and demilitarize UCPD and end collaboration with external police departments. We demand that our university prioritize the health, safety, and economic wellbeing of all its workers and students, and especially those who are people of color. We demand an increase to admissions and programs for retaining Black students at all levels of the institution.
Find the longer UAW 2865 statement issued on Friday with a list of demonstrations to attend here, a list of protester bail funds to contribute to here, a petition calling for abolishing UCPD here.
Protest Berkeley UAW 2865 Members attended June 1, organized by Oakland Tech Students
UAW 2865 Executive Board