Statement on Black Lives Matter

Local 5 members at Kaiser Permanente Honolulu clinic wore black in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

UNITE HERE Local 5 condemns the government murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the latest in a sickening string of repeated police atrocities against Black Americans. We reject this police violence as a terrorist crime intended to intimidate Black communities from fighting for fairness and equality. Black Lives Matter for us.

George Floyd’s murder shocked people all around the world into action. Hundreds of thousands have turned out to protest. We are inspired by the courage and determination shown by people worldwide who are risking their lives and health to protest the routine brutalization and murder of citizens by our government.

The live-on-camera brutality displayed by George Floyd’s murderers revealed the true nature of our government’s attitude to peoples’ rights. Now everyone has seen what Black Americans have known for centuries: the government can casually kill you and get away with it.

Justice-loving Americans have turned out in force to join the Black community in outrage about police murder, only to be met with more government violence. So now we know it’s not just Black people whose rights are being trampled. The government will gas you and shoot you if you protest government atrocities, no matter the color of your skin, even if you are protesting “peacefully”.

In our union, we know from experience that we get nowhere fighting the boss one-by-one. Our power depends on our ability to gather our numbers. If they take away our ability to demonstrate and protest as a group, they take away our power. And that’s what they are doing when they attack peaceful protesters—trying to intimidate all of us from turning out to fight for our rights.

As people around the world join Americans in the fight to finally put an end to the disgusting government terrorism campaign against our Black communities, we now know that when we fight for the rights of Black people, we are fighting for the rights of everybody.

Let’s defeat racism and the other things that divide us. Let’s stand together to make our government stop its violence against our communities. Together, we can make our government “of the people, by the people and for the people” the way it is supposed to be.