Working America Statement on Justice for George Floyd and Freedom of Speech
Working America is outraged by the murder of George Floyd and stands in solidarity with the peaceful protesters calling for an end to the racial injustice and inequality that has afflicted our nation for hundreds of years. We are horrified by President Trump’s actions — inciting violence and encouraging fringe white supremacists to open fire on peaceful protesters, as well as his choice to deploy the military to engage civilians. Racism permeates our society, and we stand with the AFL-CIO in its call to fight for reforms in policing and are committed to breaking down the systemic barriers to racial and economic equality.
For the past half-century in America, the wealthy have consolidated their political power by turning neighbor against neighbor and fomenting a corrosive resentment of public institutions and programs. They have further enriched the 1% at the great expense of working people who haven’t seen a meaningful raise in 40 years. Decades of escalating militarism and centuries of racial discrimination are now combined with a pandemic and Depression-era levels of unemployment to create this tinderbox moment. Enabled by conservative leadership in Congress, Trump plays his favorite role: arsonist.
With powerful forces continuing to intentionally divide and isolate us, Working America reaffirms its commitment to organizing and uniting working people who don’t have a union on the job. For 17 years, we have gone door to door in working-class neighborhoods across the country, building strength in numbers to demand action and create change. The protection of free speech — including political speech — and the right to peaceably assemble enshrined in the U.S. Constitution remains a bedrock value on which our engagement rests. It requires vigilant protection.
We remain committed to doing the urgent work of connecting with and mobilizing working-class people of all backgrounds, whether in Macomb County, Michigan; Raleigh, North Carolina; or Scranton, Pennsylvania, and inviting them into collective action and unity with other working people to fight for our democracy and our freedom. Through our organizing, Working America will continue to strengthen the labor movement and push for a more peaceful, just and fair society.
There is much work to be done. For us, it starts with conversations, connection and giving working people who don’t have a union a pathway to getting one.