Virginia AFL-CIO Statement on Justice for George Floyd and Our Response to the Events of the Past Few Days
Brothers & Sisters,
America is in a state of unrest, Virginia included. While in the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black and Brown people and exacerbating the systemic inequities that exist for those people today, their suffering, anger, and pain could not be pushed aside any longer.
Our hearts are heavy at the events of the past few days. Lives of working people such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, are just three among the many whose lives have been taken and whose voices have been silenced for decades.
Unions actively stand to give voices to the voiceless, to drive out hate in the darkest of places, to fight for the safety and equality for workers, and to stand for reforms that address the unequivocal injustices that are done to the many oppressed, working Americans day-in and day-out.
Racism, senseless killing and violence, and the forces that seek to divide this nation for their own personal and political gain at our, the working people’s expense, are not welcomed, are not tolerated, and will never have a home in the heart of Unions.
As a Labor movement, we will continue to fight to rid our society of the systemic racial, social, and economic inequalities that continue to rear their heads and plague our communities, denying true justice to too many of our brothers and sisters.
As in all times of despair, we will press forward. We will overcome the hate crimes. We will continue to protect our most vulnerable communities being harmed by both infections and senseless fatalities. We will unify, and further our standing in solidarity to build, uplift, empower, and make sure that those who “can’t breathe” will be given back and allowed the breath in their voices so that they may speak and be heard loud and clear. As we have sang thousands of times: “For in our hands, is placed a power, greater than their hoarded gold, greater than the might of atoms, magnified a thousand fold, we can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old, for the union makes us strong…solidarity forever.”
In Solidarity, Peace, & Love,