Like millions of people around the world, we have looked on with revulsion and anger at the brutal racist murder of 46 year old George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA.
His last words of ‘I Can’t Breathe’ are not only heart-breaking but reminiscent of previous acts of murder and violence against black people in the US.
We condemn the actions of President Donald Trump in mobilising the National Guard against protestors and stand in defence of the democratic rights of ordinary Americans to protest peacefully and hold demonstrations.
In this situation we send our solidarity and support to union members in the United States who are standing in solidarity with protestors and against police violence.
Minneapolis has a proud union and history and Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005 representing bus drivers have refused to transport police officers to the demonstration in an act of incredible solidarity.
As one bus driver and trade unionist commented
“As a transit worker and union member I refuse to transport my class and radical youth to jail. An injury to one is an injury to all. The police murdered George Floyd and the protest against it is completely justified and should continue until their demands are met.”
Another example are tech workers at Facebook who have taken action against what they see as inaction by Mark Zuckerburg regarding inflammatory posts being published on the platform.
Racism is an everyday reality for many Americans. There are have been already over 100,000 Covid-19 deaths in the US and over 40 million are claiming unemployment benefit. The scourge of racism, extreme exploitation and economic injustice go hand in hand in the richest country in the world.
There have already been protests here in the UK, and we stand in solidarity with them. BAME people have been disproportionately hit by Covid-19 and locally we have seen the death of Darren Cumberbatch who died after police restrained him.
Coventry City UNISON are committed to showing solidarity against racism and all forms of division.
Solidarity to protests around the world. An injury to one, is an injury to all.