UAW 2865 UCSB: UC Student-Worker Union Statement on Charlottesville
Opposition To UTF and Affirmation of Democracy
UAW 2865 UCSB– UC Student Worker Union opposes the violence and terrorism led and endorsed by the white supremacists (including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white nationalist, alt-right and fascist groups) participating and endorsing the Unite the Right Rally held at UVa- Charlottesville.
We are in solidarity with the counter-protesters, unions, students, and community members marching in favor of democracy and inclusion that affirm our anti-oppression statements and goals that use intersectional approaches, as rooted in radical union histories, Radical Black Feminist Thought, and the important contributions by QTPOC.
Unions have an important role in democratic practices, including free speech and the right to association, including at the UC. UAW 2865 is a member-led union that supports freedom to assemble, freedom of the press, among other rights that provide constitutional rights to unionization.
Our 9 campuses (University of California at: Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Riverside, Irvine, and San Diego) — each have worker-student led movements and events to affirm better working conditions, institutional accountability, civil rights, and pursuits of justice as interconnected.
This white supremacist rally is not a free speech event or a peaceful gathering: it is an organized and preplanned violent event using fascist slogans, Nazi propaganda, KKK and US based white supremacists, to attack students, community members, and those who oppose their anti-democratic practices to assert power, dominance and authority and violate the rights of others using violence. This event is being falsely portrayed as a unity rally rather than a planned march of violence and intimidation.
The violence and terrorism culminated in the murder of 3 people, including Heather Hayes, beating of Deandre Harris, stroke of Tyler Magill (UVa-Charlottesville staff/ librarian) after being hit with a tiki torch, and injury and violence to many others.
This violent rally is aimed at re-institutionalizing the ideals of the confederacy and KKK by defending the Lee statue as a material symbol and erected by KKK leaders, that includes slogans, signs, and statements that endorse: anti-Blackness, misogyny, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabilities, and xenophobia to name a few modes of oppression expressed and enacted at this violent event.
These are not just ideas being shared; these are ideas in action aimed to scare and promote violence against students and community members using intimidation, weapons, and violence in the guise of the right to peaceful assembly.
It is these violent actions, and connections with their ideas and speech, being enacted that we oppose as anti-democratic and fascist.
Our criticism and denouncing the violence by the organizers, members, followers, and supporters of this violent rally is not censorship: we are utilizing our free speech and right to association as a union to defend democratic and inclusive ideals.
This is what the late Professor Herbert Marcuse (UC-Davis) deemed repressive tolerance: the guise of free speech to utilize violence and repression.
UAW 2865 UCSB: UC Student-Workers Union stands in affirmation of democracy, unions, community, and engaging in constitutionally protected activities.