Starting today, join us for a community week of action and resistance! There are many ways to get involved, and we encourage you to participate in as many as possible, starting with the MLK Day celebration and rally today at Garfield high school. For a full list of events, see here.
The scheduled appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos on Friday, January 20th – Inauguration Day – is emblematic of the dangerous trends that characterize our current political moment: one in which public figures attain personal profit, attention and power through hate speech and distortion of facts. Importantly, Yiannopoulos and Trump’s speech acts aren’t confined to them as individuals with particular beliefs. Rather, the things they say incite and embolden others to confidently state and act on hate.
We wish to reiterate our message to members from the days after the election: please contact your union representatives if you see or experience such hateful words or actions. We are committed to acting aggressively to identify and act upon such incidents. This week, we also urge you to take action. Members of our racial justice and political work groups, who have been meeting to consider how best to coordinate our actions with campus and community-wide events, believe that multiple forms of action are not just valid but necessary to reflect the multiple subject positions and strategies we know will be necessary to resist expressions of hate and exclusion. Some union members will be engaged in direct action on the night of 1/20, while some will participate in alternative nearby events that are focused on rejecting the positions of Yiannopoulos and Trump from the foundation up, insisting on narrative frames that empower, uplift, and support marginalized people.
We intend to be guided this week by the principles that we are all united, that an injury to one is an injury to all, and that we will take action to ensure that our campus and community are hate free. This is the historical work of our Local union, practiced long before and especially after the election and the Inauguration. There are many opportunities for engagement this week, and we encourage everyone to participate as much as possible, because we are most effective when we can locate and activate many sites of resistance. We welcome additional ideas or how and when to act, this week and in the future as we navigate these challenging times together.
Finally, as we close in on the Inauguration of President-elect Trump, Congress is moving quickly to carry out one of his highest priorities: the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This unconscionable removal of coverage for millions, without even a plan for replacement, could also affect our own health plan – the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP). Our recent negotiations over this plan benefitted significantly from the ACA, improving benefits standards such as the removal of the maximum benefit cap.
Please take a minute now to call 888.865.8089 and urge your Senators to vote “No” on repeal.
Monica Cortes Viharo
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime