CGEU Support for Demilitarizing and Disarming Campus Police Forces

CGEU Support for Demilitarizing and Disarming Campus Police Forces

Passed at CGEU 2015 in Amherst, MA – August 08, 2015

WHEREAS, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, in cold blood, murdered Samuel Dubose, an unarmed Black man during a traffic stop, and the people of Cincinnati have taken to the streets to demand justice,

WHEREAS, the University of Cincinnati’s police force is emblematic of violent, racist, unaccountable campus police forces across the country which not only carry out crimes like the murder of Samuel Dubose, but also participate in the displacement of residents of university neighborhoods, residential racial segregation, the profiling of students of color, and the repression of student protest and labor organizing,

WHEREAS, campus police forces have inadequate accountability to the community where such accountability exists at all, and report only to university administrations,

WHEREAS, campus police forces often collude with municipal and county police forces in their racist policing tactics,

WHEREAS, campus police forces structurally impede the education and livelihood of people of color on college campuses, a clear contradiction of their supposed purpose of serving and protecting the campus community,

WHEREAS, funding and resources are being stripped away from student learning across higher education even as campus police forces acquire more weapons, equipment, and personnel,

WHEREAS, CGEU is committed to social justice and to campus environments where people of color are not under constant threat of violence and harassment, and is committed to supporting the Black liberation struggle,

WHEREAS, university police forces protect administrations rather than support students and workers, and weapons do not contribute to a collaborative, safe campus environment,

WHEREAS, unarmed public safety without arrest power could provide conflict de-escalation and resolution, restorative justice programs, safety escorts, and victim services and data, without also creating the oppressive and repressive apparatus of armed police forces,

BE IT RESOLVED, that, as an expression of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as a matter of workplace safety, and as a statement of solidarity with the communities that are too often under attacks of many forms from our institutions of higher education, the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions calls on all campus administrations to:

  1. Disarm campus police forces,
  2. Reduce campus police department budgets and allot those funds for academics, and recruitment and retention of Black students,
  3. Remove campus police from operations off of university property, including all public streets.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all delegated representatives at the conference of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions commit themselves to return home to their unions and mobilize these organizations in support of this call.

 

CGEU Conference Support for the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

CGEU Conference Support for the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

Passed at CGEU 2015 in Amherst, MA – August 08, 2015

WHEREAS,​the United States is in the midst of a national crisis of police violence against people of color, and overwhelmingly black people, and this crisis is of epidemic proportions, now counting at least one black life taken by police or security forces every week across the country and with a total of 678 police killings since January 1, 2015 [1]​; and

WHEREAS,​police brutality against black people reaches into every corner of the United States, north and south, east and west, and affects every kind of person, young and old, trans or cisgender; and because these instances of police brutality continued unabated across the US and Canada, acts of protest, mobilization, and rebellion have resurged in a sustained way across the country, drawing on the legacy of the Black Freedom Struggle; and

WHEREAS,​the explosion of protest and rebellion last summer in Ferguson, MO served to shine a spotlight on the issue of police brutality and to arouse millions of people around the US, Canada, and around the world to action, and

WHEREAS, t​he labor movement, as the potential champion for the interests of the immense majority of our society, and as the most racially integrated movement in the US and Canada, has an obligation to support the aims and means of the #BlackLivesMatter movement; and

WHEREAS,​the progressive wing of the labor movement has a proud history of supporting the fight for racial justice and equality, dating back to the beginning of the 20th ​century but also through the 1950s and 1960s, when many of our parent unions supported the struggle against Jim Crow in the US South, and our support today would follow in these proud footsteps; and

WHEREAS,​police unions, in contrast to the progressive record of organized labor, have regularly sought to advance the militarization of the police and policies extending police impunity while defending individual officers who commit racist murders,

WHEREAS,​numerous unions and labor leaders like the United Federation of Teachers [2]​, the Teaching Assistants Association [3]​, ATU Local 689 [4], UFCW president Joe Hansen [5]​, and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka [6]​, among others, have already indicated their support for the movement and despite any and all of their shortcomings, we desire to further this support and transform it into action by our local unions and members in solidarity with local #BlackLivesMatter organizing; and

WHEREAS,​as delegates to the CGEU conference, we recognize that we are a self-selected group of union activists who are committed to the fight for social justice, and we aim to change the stance of our own International unions to one of robust and enthusiastic support and solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement;

BE IT RESOLVED,​that all delegated representatives at the conference of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions commit themselves to return home to their unions and organizing committees and,

  1. Engage in a campaign to educate and win over their local memberships to support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement,
  2. Work within their own central labor councils, statewide bodies, and parent unions to win over affiliated bodies to give resources and material aid to #BlackLivesMatter organizations and actions, mobilize their union memberships for local campaigns, issuing public statements to formally put themselves on record in support of the movement, and preparing where necessary for the police union question,
  3. Recruit our unions to help support the development of international expressions of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that will continue to engage in organizing across the US and Canada.

1 h​ttp://killedbypolice.net

2 h​ttp://nypost.com/2014/08/16/teachers-union-backing-sharptons-planned-rally-against-police/
3 h​ttp://fox6now.com/2015/03/11/new-rally-planned-in-madison-police-shooting/
4http://www.atulocal689.org/uploads/4/1/1/4/41141827/police_violence_rally.pdf
5 http://www.ufcw.org/2014/08/22/ufcw-president-hansen-statement-on-mother-of-michael-brown/

6 h​ttp://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/09/30/1333201/-We-Need-to-Talk-About-Ferguson#

CGEU 2015- UMass Amherst

The 2015 meeting of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions will take place at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on August 5-8, 2015, and will be hosted by the Graduate Employee Union-UAW 2322. Click here to see the program & schedule.

If you have questions about the 2015 CGEU Conference please contact the planning committee at cgeu2015@geouaw.org

We are meeting at a critical moment for academic labor. Higher education – in form, content, and purpose – is on the precipice of a fundamental reorganization. On the other hand, the labor movement overall is weak, and attacks on unions, within the university and outside it, are deep and increasing. Yet the emerging resistance is inspiring, especially as it intersects with burgeoning movements in low-wage union organizing and ongoing struggles against police brutality and racism. On campuses from Québec to California, students and workers are organizing together and fighting back.

This summer, we invite student employee unions from across North America to three days of discussion, debate, and exchange. Meet union activists, share tactics and strategies, and help build the struggle for the future of academic labor and of the university.

To register for this year’s indispensable conference, please clickhere. Preregistration is now closed.  Walk-in registration will be available.  See the program & schedule here. 

If you have questions about the 2015 CGEU Conference please contact the organizing committee at cgeu2015@geouaw.org

Like CGEU on FB for more regular updates, here.

The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is a coalition of student-employee unions from universities across North America. Its annual meetings bring together union activists to share experiences, discuss and debate strategy and tactics, and build solidarity between and across campuses.

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2014 CGEU Conference

The 2014 meeting of the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions will take place in Montréal, Québec from July 31 to August 2.

We are meeting at a critical moment for academic labour. Higher education – in form, content, and purpose – is on the precipice of a fundamental reorganization. On the other hand, the labour movement overall is weak, and attacks on unions, in the university and outside it, are deep and increasing. Yet the emerging resistance is inspiring. On campuses from Québec to California, students and workers are organizing together and fighting back.

This summer, we invite student employee unions from across North America to three days of discussion, debate, and exchange. Meet union activists, share tactics and strategies, and help build the struggle for the future of academic labour and of the university.

Please register at http://cgeucsee2014.wordpress.com/registration-inscription/. For more information, contact cgeu-csee-2014@agsem-aeedem.ca.

The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions is a coalition of student-employee unions from universities across North America. Its annual meetings bring together union activists to share experiences, discuss and debate strategy and tactics, and build solidarity between and across campuses.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION

We are asking all individuals wishing to attend to fill out the registration form. Unions may send up to two voting delegates and as many additional delegates as they wish. The registration fee for voting delegates is $50. If your union is in a situation of financial difficulty and is unable to pay the fee, please contact us.

CALL FOR WORKSHOPS AND SUBMISSIONS

In addition to this year’s workshops and panels, we will be preparing a collection of essays, stories, and reflections to open the conversation leading up to the conference. These will be published online.

We will be holding workshops under the following themes (and we are still accepting workshop proposals and text submissions!):

  1. ORGANIZING STUDENT WORKERS
    • How should academic labour unions approach the relationship between “being a student” and “being a worker”; What response should the labour movement take to broad attacks on unions and unionism (Right-to-work laws, anti-strike laws, injunctions, etc.); Union democracy and mobilization
    • Confirmed workshop topics: Mobilizing precarious workers ; Union democracy, internal and external
  2. REMAKING HIGHER EDUCATION
    • Responding to privatization; How should the University be organized; What is the role of labour unions in the future of higher education
    • Confirmed workshop topics: Online Courses ; Privatization and Commodification of Higher Education ; Organization of Work in the University
  3. FIGHTING TO WIN
    • Strikes and pressure tactics; Bargaining; Building coalitions inside and outside the University
    • Confirmed workshop topics: The 2012 Québec student strike ; Critical history of Québec social movements ; Collective Agreement information exchange

Most workshops will take place in a panel format, with each presenter given 10-15 minutes, followed by an open discussion. If you are interested in presenting as part of a panel, please send a brief description of what you would like to talk about, as well as any resources you might need (eg. a projector or a whiteboard), to cgeu-csee-2014@agsem-aeedem.ca. If you would like to present a longer stand-alone workshop, please send a full proposal to the same address; while the final schedule has not been confirmed, expect each workshop to last about two hours, in total and including discussion.

All text submissions received will be published online, in this space. We welcome stories about personal experiences, successes and failures, opinion pieces and analyses; we also encourage group submissions. There is no word limit; however, it may not be possible to include all submissions, or exceptionally long submissions, should we eventually publish the texts in print. Submissions should be sent to cgeu-csee-2014@agsem-aeedem.ca and will be published as we receive them.