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  • Writer's pictureGEOC WSU

Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and Police Brutality

Wayne State Graduate Employees Organizing Committee

Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and Police Brutality

GEOC stands together and in solidarity with the movement led by Black activists and their anti-racist allies against police brutality and the criminalization of Black communities, highlighted in recent weeks by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and David McAtee and the continued police violence against protesters across the country. These racist state-sponsored actions follow a long tradition of terror and brutality against Black, brown, and indigenous people in the United States, increasingly visible in this era of cell phone cameras and social media. Despite the visibility of these crimes, individuals and institutions fail to be held accountable.

Since the unjust and unpunished murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, the discourse opposing anti-Black violence has become mainstream, with increased efforts to reform the legal and law enforcement systems. GEOC maintains that these incremental efforts have fallen short of protecting our most threatened communities and that reform is not and has never been the answer.

We must defund and disarm the militarized police, refuse excessive police presence in our schools and universities, and fight to expose and abolish racist and punitive practices across all institutions.

We recognize that the consequences of racism are not isolated to America’s legal and law enforcement systems and that academia is not an outlier. Wayne State University graduates more Black students than any university in Michigan, yet Black people are underrepresented in faculty and administration, finish their degrees at lower rates, and will face systemic barriers at every step of their careers. As graduate student workers, we support the implementation of anti-racist pedagogy, research, and scholarship.

As members of the Wayne State community, we demand anti-racist practices and policies from our university. The institutional response has been limited to statements by President Wilson, and GEOC calls on Wayne State administration to more explicitly support its black students, faculty, and staff behind the cause of anti-racist justice. As residents of and workers in Detroit, it is our shared responsibility to support a community that continues to struggle against structural racism, from long-standing systemic effects to the disproportionate and preventable loss of life from COVID-19.

GEOC stands in full support of all protesters fighting for justice, for George Floyd and for Black Lives, to ensure that this is not a moment but a movement. As a union, we are fundamentally committed to the expression of collective power. Below are events, organizations, and resources supporting justice in our community that need our collective power, now. If you participate in any upcoming protests, please follow the lead of the protest organizers and where applicable, use your privilege to support and not undermine those at the center of this struggle.

Participate in the ongoing protests at DPD headquarters:

March Against Police Brutality - Tuesday, June 2, 4:00pm

Support local activists and protesters by donating to:

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