Philadelphia CLUW Statement on
The Murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police
June 4, 2020
Philly CLUW joins with our sisters and brothers of the labor movement, and so many other social justice organizations and righteous individuals in our City and around the country, in condemning the horrifying murder of George Floyd. We should not have to remind the world that Black Lives Matter just as much as the lives of others, but when yet another unarmed black man is murdered by brutal police force and an institutionally racist society that has too often excused such actions and looked the other way, that rallying cry must continue to be shouted in the streets.
We applaud the racially diverse, mostly young people in our city who are assembling day after day, risking viral contagion, and police, military and vigilante retaliation, to march in the streets and demand justice in our communities, police reform and an end to racial inequality. Likewise, our hearts go out in particular to the many small business owners in our City who are already struggling in the wake of the economic shutdown and now must also recover from the impacts of damages and lost inventory. No doubt many more workers will be unemployed and for longer as a result of this destruction. While it may take years, we believe our City and our citizens will recover as we come together to replace property, with the knowledge that lives cannot be replaced.
We understand the rage and frustration that leads people to lash out, after centuries of bigotry, hatred, economic oppression, and the abject failure of our country’s leaders to adequately grapple with the systemic plague of racism and bring about the broad, deep, cultural, political and institutional change required to establish a truly just society. We understand the damage caused to our collective psyche by the macabre parade, month after month, year after year, of black men, women and children cut down by the militarized police for selling cigarettes, for having a broken tail light, for jogging, for playing with a toy gun.
We remember them. We say their names: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Kendra James, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and so many more. We pledge as women, as workers, as citizens to continue to speak out and engage in the long, necessary struggle for a truly equal, just society with opportunity and love for all, malice toward none. We will work with our local and national partners – the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and its varied constituency groups, PhilaPOSH, our local and national unions, NOW, The Philadelphia Women’s Commission, US Labor Against the War, and all groups working toward a more enlightened future.
Please read the statement attached below from our national CLUW President, Elise Bryant, and take the first small action she calls for. Please stay tuned for more information and action alerts, and please feel free to offer ideas and suggestions for our future work on these topics or any others.
Solidarity, sisters and brothers. We’ll see you in the streets.
The Sisters of Philadelphia CLUW,
Koren M. Parker, President