Police, Technology, & Unions with Bill Fletcher Jr
"As an institution the principle role of police is to protect wealth and property. Whether that's by intervening in strikes or repressing people of color, it's not in any way a progressive role. So we need to have that conversation about policing. What is crime and what is not? What are the social ills that need addressing, and how is that best done? But when you come out of a settler state, where people were encouraged to use guns to constitute slave patrols and colonial militias, and they were encouraged to use those weapons against the 'other,' none of this happening today should surprise us."
Bill Fletcher Jr is a long-time labor leader and author of multiple books, including Solidarity Divided: The Crisis In Organized Labor And A New Path Toward Social Justice (co-author Dr. Fernando Gapasin) and a new mystery thriller The Man Who Fell From The Sky.
We speak on the emerging demands on the AFL-CIO to sever ties with police unions, which Bill Fletcher Jr cautions could have the consequence of providing the right-wing with scripts to claim police are being victimized by the left, and enable Trumpists to more easily stoke reactionary fires. Fletcher suggests that our focus should be more on police repression, and having a reckoning with our own past within the labor movement that has a complicated record on racial justice.
We also speak on the paradoxical quality of online technologies confining workers to more hours on the job rather than liberation from work, and the need for organized labor to go deeper and further in demanding emancipation.
Two graduate employee unions in Oregon, GTFF 3544 and CGE 6069, have joined the growing number of union locals to publish statements pressuring the AFL-CIO to disaffiliate with the IUPA (International Union of Police Associations). For transparency, the host of Laborwave Radio was involved and supportive in the process of one of these statements being produced. The statement from CGE 6069 is linked (for transparency I was the staff employee of CGE during the time of this statement being generated).