FIGHT FOR OUR FUTURE

On April 29th, following Governor Glenn Youngkin’s declaration that there would be no encampments at Virginia universities, police arrested more than 80 students and workers at Virginia Tech. At Virginia Commonwealth University, police assaulted students and workers with chemical agents. At the University of Virginia, state police in riot gear violently arrested students, using pepper spray and tear gas. Students, faculty, and staff were peacefully protesting the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and our governor, in violation of the US Constitution, jailed us.

Students, faculty, and staff are fighting fearlessly for a future worth living in–one in which we say no to violations of human rights at home and abroad. To stand up to these violations, we must be able to speak, think, and act freely on the basis of our consciences. 

University administrators had an opportunity to stand with their coworkers, students and campus community. Instead, they hid behind riot shields and policies that say that free speech is fine, as long as you keep off the Lawn

Administrators are urging us to “move forward” and get back to work. But our working conditions and our learning conditions are traumatizing and unbearable. For the past two years, Glenn Youngkin has censored racial justice and overseen mass layoffs for educators. Now he has attacked the youngest and most vulnerable members of our community. 

We must work tirelessly to build our wall-to-wall statewide union in order to win collective bargaining, so that every worker can experience the empowerment and dignity found in collective action. We must organize together in our workplaces and on every campus in this state to defend each other from violence and intimidation. We must join in solidarity with our communities to democratically defeat this administration if we want to overturn this climate of fear once and for all.

The future of our campus communities is on the line. We hope you will join us in this fight.

UNITED CAMPUS WORKERS OF VIRGINIA

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