We are outraged by the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless black lives lost to racist violence, institutional discrimination, and police brutality, both recently and throughout our country’s history. As human beings, and particularly as advocates for economic and social justice, we must commit to the eradication of racism in our communities, our country, and the wider world. HUCTW stands in solidarity with protesters and with Black Lives Matter in the urgent fight for racial justice, equality, and human rights.
HUCTW members: If you have experienced racism or other discrimination in the workplace, we stand ready to help – please contact us.
There are many ways to help – join protests, donante funds, educate yourself, and help to amplify black voices. We’ve listed some of the many organizations and tools available to you below. Harvard Women in Tech + Allies has also compiled an excellent list of resources on their website.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- The Black Lives Matter Movement
The BLM movement, founded in 2013, is a multi-national organization that combats white supremacy through demonstrations, petitions, and online organizing. You can donate here, or donate to the original chapter in Los Angeles through their GoFundMe page here.
- Reclaim the Block
Started in 2018, Reclaim the Block organizes the Minneapolis community and council members to move funds from the hands of the police to other areas covered by the city’s budget. “We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments,” the organization says in its mission statement. You can donate here to help those on the field protesting.
- Black Visions Collective
Founded in 2017, the Minnesota-based Black Visions Collective is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. The organization’s work is centered in healing and transformative justice principles, and nurturing the state’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns.
- NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP works to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. This is enacted via the targeting of racial discrimination through democratic processes, the enforcement of civil rights at all levels, and communication with the public about the adverse effects of racial discrimination, among other objectives.
- National Bail Fund Network
The National Bail Fund Network is a national project that works with organizers, advocates, and legal providers across the country that are using, or contemplating using, community bail funds as part of efforts to radically change local bail systems and reduce incarceration. The Network was established in September 2016 and is made up of over 60 community bail funds that use the regular payment of bail as well as strategic bail out actions in campaigns to end money bail and pretrial detention in both the criminal legal and immigration detention systems.
- National Police Accountability Project
A project of the National Lawyers Guild, the NPAP has been operating as a nonprofit since 1999. The organization’s central mission is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the law, and to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement.
RESOURCES ON SYSTEMIC RACISM AND ANTI-BLACKNESS
- Race Forward: What is Systemic Racism? [VIDEOS]
- Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List
- Letters for Black Lives
- Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us by Roxane Gay https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/30/opinion/sunday/trump-george-floyd-coronavirus.html
- 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You
- Understanding and Dismantling Racism: A Booklist for White Readers https://www.charisbooksandmore.com/understanding-and-dismantling-racism-booklist-white-readers
- Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide
- 5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School: https://charleshamiltonhouston.org/
HUCTW STATEMENT ON POLICE UNIONS
As the protests against systemic racism and police violence continue, we must reflect on what HUCTW and organized labor can do to eradicate racism in our workplaces, communities, and the wider world. In doing so, we must also examine the role police unions play in perpetuating police brutality and discrimination. Working people’s right to collectively band together to negotiate pay, benefits, working conditions, and protections from unfair treatment for themselves and their coworkers is vital. But collective bargaining must not be used to shelter or embolden members who abuse their positions through racism, violence, corruption, and criminal behavior. HUCTW and all of our siblings in the labor movement, including police unions, must ensure that labor serves as a positive force in the fight against discrimination, racist violence, and white supremacy.
We have provided some resources that analyze the connections between police violence and misconduct and police unions in the United States, as well as some resources that discuss possible solutions and reforms:
- “Police unions and police misconduct: What the research says about the connection,” Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/10/police–unions-violence-research-george-floyd/
- “Let the Sunshine In: Illuminating the Powerful Role Police Unions Play in Shielding Officer Misconduct,” Katherine J. Bies, Stanford Law & Policy Review: https://law.stanford.edu/publications/let-the-sunshine-in-illuminating-the-powerful-role-police–unions-play-in-shielding-officer-misconduct/
- “How Police Unions Enable and Conceal Abuses of Power,” Steven Greenhouse, The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/how-police-union-power-helped-increase-abuses
- “How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts,” Noam Scheiber, Farah Stockman and J. David Goodman, The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/06/us/police–unions-minneapolis-kroll.html
- “A Major Obstacle to Police Reform: The Whiteness of Their Union Bosses,” Eli Hager and Weihua Li, The Marshall Project: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/06/10/a-major-obstacle-to-police-reform-the-whiteness-of-their-union-bosses
- “Police Unions: It’s Time to Change the Law and End the Abuse,” Benjamin Sachs (Harvard Law School Professor), On Labor: https://www.onlabor.org/police–unions-its-time-to-change-the-law/
- “Limits on use of force is a better solution than banning police unions,” Aaron Bekemeyer, The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/06/09/limits-when-police-can-use-force-is-better-solution-than-banning-police–unions/