UE Joins Call to Defund Police

June 23, 2020

General Executive Board condemns police violence, calls to redirect resources from police to social services and investment in working-class communities, and denounces the use of collective bargaining to defend violent and racist practices.

For more information contact:
Jonathan Kissam, UE Communications Director
(802) 343 1745 | jkissam@ueunion.org

In a statement released today, UE’s General Executive Board declared that “The labor movement has a special responsibility to speak out” on the issue of police violence. The statement continues:

We join the call to “defund the police.” What does it mean to defund the police? It means reducing police budgets so we can invest in the economic development and social services that are needed to make all communities safe and prosperous.

Noting that “Policing has its roots in institutions that were established to control workers, enforce white supremacy, enable colonialism, and protect the wealth of the capitalist class,” the statement details the many ways that police have been used against the labor movement. The statement also points out that “If police violence against picket lines is less common today than in the past, the same cannot be said for police violence against those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).”

Addressing the question of police unions, the statement says:

We understand and support the right of any group of workers to organize, but as long as the organizations formed by police use their power to defend violent and racist practices — and as long as police are used to further the interests of the employers instead of those of working-class communities — we cannot consider their orders, associations or “unions” to be part of the labor movement.

The full statement is available at https://www.ueunion.org/ue-news/2020/all-workers-must-stand-against-police-violence

UE’s General Executive Board consists of rank-and-file workers who have been elected as delegates from UE’s three geographic regions, along with the officers of the national union and the regions.

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