The GTFF stands in solidarity with the Cops Off Campus Coalition’s Abolition May, a month devoted to organizing across Turtle Island to remove and abolish all campus police, including supporting the May 3rd nation-wide Day of Refusal. We recognize all police to be a danger to society in a multitude of ways: the police terrorize Black, Indigenous, communities of color, women and trans folx, while they violently suppress activist struggles for racial, class, gender, and environmental justice.
We see the police to be exactly what they are: the repressive hand to a capitalist nation founded on and perpetuated through colonialism, slavery, mass incarceration, systematic detention and deportation, exploitation under the wage, oppression of women, the repression of queer and trans communities, and the list goes on. To realize their duties to repress, the police have a privileged legal position to monopolize and employ means of violence, including but also exceeding that of firearms, without clear repercussions. And it is for these reasons that disarming, though a necessary step, will not suffice for emancipating society from the multifarious oppression of the police. What is needed is the abolition of all police–including campus police–and further a transformation of society at large.
University and college police carry out the same dynamics against students, and so maintain and secure administrative interests in the present status quo for the purposes of generating more money for donors, administrators, trustees, corporations (e.g., Nike), etc., while indebting students, exploiting workers, and further displacing socioeconomic burdens onto surrounding communities (e.g., gentrification and rising costs of living for students and non-students). In fact, the Cops Off Campus Coalition began from the direct experience of UC grad workers on a picket line fighting for a Cost of Living Adjustment where they were subjected to brutal police repression. In this and other ways, the police constitute an unbearable denigration of social life and are antithetical to what ought to be a public good of education.
To this end, the GTFF stands in solidarity with Abolition May and urges our members to consider participating in the Day of Refusal, and, if participating, to attend the Cops Off Campus Workshop and Rally led by a coalition of students and community members at 12:30 PDT on May 3rd at the EMU Amphitheater to learn more about the importance of police and prison abolition. Moreover, we call on the UO Administration to abolish the UOPD entirely, to divest from violence and invest in building a community of accountability and compassion.
We commit to abolition organizing for the month of May and as part of the long-term mission of the GTFF. To get more involved in this endeavor, consider joining the Organizing Committee!
It is technically a violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement to call in sick if you are not actually experiencing illness or health related issues. Given the seriousness and threat to the safety of our campus posed by the militarized occupying force known as the UOPD, we understand that bold action is necessary and encourage our members to support the May 3rd Day of Refusal in whatever way feels most appropriate for their own personal level of risk. For an insightful statement on risk, please see this document from the Cops of Campus Coalition.
Cops Off Campus Coalition: https://copsoffcampuscoalition.com
Reflections on Risk: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZVgcfPKE9w5ejDB5Z2LvBJ94iITcRL_Pmo5cJpgJrQY/edit
Cops Off Campus Research Project: https://abolition.university/cops-off-campus-research-project/
ACLU Know Your Rights While Protesting: https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1384662645580734471