Picket Last Wednesday, Real Change Article

. Wednesday, September 23, 2009

By Democracy Insurgent; d.insurg@gmail.com

Last Wednesday's picket was a success, with mix of students, custodians, and trades in support. We held the picket down on red square, with call and response chants about retaliation, Mark Emmert's new perks, and TA, student, and worker demands. We also got to see the Real Change article by Cyd Gillis on the arrests, featuring a great picture of Salvador Castillo on the cover! If you live in Seattle, we encourage you to buy a copy.

Please stay tuned for an announcement about 1st day of school picket against unsafe schools, dorms, and workplaces.

See below for a brief speech given before the picket last week:

"Hello everyone, and thank you for coming out.

We are here today to picket against retaliation against workers for organizing to fight for their rights! Last Spring, the University announced budget cuts that would increase class sizes, raise tuition, cut staff positions, cut departments, and target custodians, students of color, women, and queer folks. In May and June, literally hundreds of people in the UW community gathered to rally against these cuts. Since this time, custodians, students, and others have faced enormous retaliation from management. This retaliation has come in the form of extra work, ignoring workplace injurings, isolating workers, contracting out labor in an effort to union bust, and, as of a few weeks ago, the mobilization of the UWPD to arrest students journalists who were meeting with their friends, custodians, during their break from work. The following work day, magaers and police came together during custodians breaktime, in the gathering public space of their building, to harras and intimidate them against speaking with one another. We will not stand for this abuse, and we will not concede our rights either!

Today we draw strength from other movements here and around the country We draw strngth from In Soo Chun who sacrificed his life to bring attention to abuses in the custodial department at UW, whose death and the circumstances around it have been covered up by UW. We draw strngth from the teachers in Kent, who said "we will not conced our lives and our students lives for higher wage, nor in the threat of legal action." Those teachers decided to strike for smaller class sizes, and when the district said they would fine them 200/a day, a large portion of their small teachers' salary, 74 % of teachers decided to face retaliation and stay on strike! These teachers won a victory yesterday. We draw strength from the walkouts at UC by faculty who refse to accept abuses to themselvs, students, and workers, occupations at New School and other schools, protests in Detroit led by students and workers. We are also building a new movement that sees the struggles of students and workers as inherently tied to one another. We cannot win without one another. We now picket together in front of these administrators to say ....UW MUST RECOGNIZE/WORKERS' RIGHT TO ORGANIZE!..."