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Seattle Police Out of Our Labor Council
June 17 @ 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
From Kshama Sawant and others:
The Martin Luther King County Labor Council – our labor movement – will meet Wednesday to vote on whether the Seattle Police Officers Guild can remain in our labor movement.
Join us – delegates of the Labor Council, and the rank-and-file members of our unions -in this historic action to call on our labor council to disaffiliate the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from the ranks of our federation!
In doing so, we are joining with the Highline Education Association, Seattle Education Association and UAW 4121, whose members overwhelmingly voted to kick SPOG out, and with the nearly 500 rank and file who signed our petition: tinyurl.com/spogout
We are taking this step because SPOG has fought every attempt to reform the department and to rein in its long record of violent and racist policing.
The MLKCLC cannot allow an organization to remain in its ranks that actively undermines working class solidarity and works hand-in-glove with big business, the political establishment, and the SPD to maintain the racist and anti-worker status quo.
SPOG and the SPD have been given eight years to reform – in effect, eight years of second chances. As union members who are committed to building a strong, multi-racial, international labor movement that can fight for the interests of the whole working class, we call on the MLKCLC to disaffiliate SPOG immediately from our labor council, and support systemic reform within the department and union.
Since a federal consent decree was first established in 2012, in the wake of the brutal killing of John T. Williams, Seattle police have killed another 29 community members, including 8 people since Jenny Durkan became mayor 2 ½ years ago. Rather than work to root out the racism and violence in the department, SPOG has used its resources as a weapon against working people of color, again and again shielding officers from accountability. Not one officer has been successfully prosecuted in the long series of Seattle police killings. SPOG continues to fight against the federal consent decree to this day.
In 2018, SPOG demanded a contract that rolled back the limited police accountability reforms passed under pressure from the Black Lives Matter movement. This contract, backed by Mayor Durkan and the political establishment, led to a federal judge once again ruling the department out of compliance with federal oversight.
In the last two weeks, we have seen the same patterns of brutality continue and escalate, as those protesting for justice for George Floyd and against police brutality and violence have been met with more brutality and violence. Seattle officers have unleashed tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters, including the use of tear gas one day after the establishment of a 30-day ban. We saw officers pepper spray children and press their knees onto the necks of protesters. As they committed these acts of violence against working people, they brazenly flouted accountability by covering their badge numbers. We have watched SPD terrorize our community, including the many rank-and-file union members who have been supporting this movement. SPOG’s president recently issued a public letter which seeks to justify its attacks and instead assign blame to the protest movement. With the backing of an equally unaccountable mayor, SPOG has chosen to stand with SPD leadership and against working people and people of color.