About 2 weeks ago, 2 members of Democracy Insurgent (D.I). were arrested by the UW Police for meeting with the custodians at Health Sciences building during their breaktime. They were there in the capacity of journalists, interviewing workers about workplace abuses for an upcoming Zine we are collaborating on. We have reason to believe that the arrests were politically targeted because we were taken right when the breaktime ended, and the police knew exactly who we were when they arrested us. It is also an uncanny coincidence that the selective enforcement of the building policy took place right on the day that we distributed a press release publicizing the suicide of former UW custodian, In Soo Chun. In Soo Chun had self immolated himself on Red Square in Oct last year and his former co-workers were planning to organize a rally in his memory.
The first thing the police officer said when she saw us, was to call us "terrorists." It is not a coincidence that the 2 activists were women of color.
Most importantly, we see the arrests as an attempt by a desperate and guilty management to scare immigrant custodians from organizing. The next workday after the arrest, UWPD and Custodial Services managers were harassing workers who were trying to meet during their break time. It is clear to us that the arrest of our members is tied closely to the continual intimidation and harassment of immigrant custodians who are organizing against speed up and extra work.
We are having a picket tomorrow at 1:30pm on Red Square to raise awareness of the issues (see flyer below). We know that many of you may not be on campus during this time. For those of you who are, we hope you can join us. Regardless, we hope to be organizing more with you when you return from the summer break.
Posted by anti-budget cuts coalition at 9:32 AM . Wednesday, September 16, 2009