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An Open Letter to the Chief of Campus Police
by UC Student Workers UAW 2865 Santa Cruz
Friday Mar 16th, 2018 8:56 PM
Our open letter to the chief of campus police, after being invited to an open forum about campus safety. Thanks Sarah and Ana for this pointed and clear response declining the "offer". We demand a demilitarized campus, as one of our sunshine demands. FTP.
To whom it may concern,

On March 6, the UC Student Workers Union (UAW 2865), along with all other campus unions, received an email inviting us to participate in a dialogue with UCSC Police Chief, Nader Oweis. The letter suggested that this meeting would provide an opportunity for union members to engage the police chief in a discussion about “campus safety.” It stated that this meeting, to be held at the local Santa Cruz police station, would provide a “safe” environment and allow all voices to be heard. We have decided, collectively, not to participate for the following reasons.

First, the idea that the police or police headquarters are capable of providing a safe environment is demonstrably false. Historically, the police have predominantly functioned as a repressive force against workers and people of color, enforcing minor violations, such as drug possession, and ignoring systematic dangers and violence, such as lynching. The police continue to serve this role, violenting targeting and repressing communities throughout the entire United States, including “progressive” Santa Cruz. Just last year, the Santa Cruz Police Department engaged in coordinated action with the Department of Homeland Security to arrest residents solely on the basis of their immigration status. Although SCPD claim to no longer collaborate with ICE, UCSC is not a sanctuary campus, and UCPD are not bound by the same policies as SCPD. We are concerned for both our undocumented peers and our international peers, who fear deportation. During our last strike during our prior bargaining campaign, 22 of our members were arrested and brutalized by UCPD, despite our previous “cooperation” in planning the protest. UCPD does nothing about the racist epithets sprawled across campus, and the physical violence against women that has ensued.

Across the state, several well-publicized instances of violence from UCPD against students and workers have ignited a movement calling for the removal of UCPD from all UC campuses. Our fellow worker, David Cole of AFSCME, was forced to the ground by 3 of UCPD officers, resulting in a gash to his forehead. We are in solidarity with these workers, students, and targeted communities in saying that the police do NOT ensure “campus safety,” but in fact, do quite the opposite. We are in solidarity with undergraduate organizers who are in danger, and who have brought these concerns to us. It is because of these incidents, and the brutal, racist, history of the police in America, that our initial set of demands to the university for bargaining, includes demilitarization of the campus. This violence is unacceptable in a educational environment, and we demand an end to it.
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Free Radio InviteRobert NorseWednesday Mar 21st, 2018 6:15 AM

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