Issued June 03, 2020
WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement supporting protesters and denouncing the militarization of our streets:
“In America, we should all be able to live with safety and security, regardless of the color of our skin. For hundreds of years, Black people have been hurt and killed without the full protection of the law. Today, that frustration has boiled over into the streets, and instead of creating a path toward accountability and justice, President Trump is calling for attacks against people seeking change. That is wrong and it is terrifying. SEIU members and Fight for $15 and a Union leaders proudly stand with the tens of thousands of people worldwide calling for an end to this system that places white lives above all others.
“Calling on the U.S. military to silence the voices of people who want America to live up to its highest ideals is a dereliction of duty by President Trump. He is supposed to be a president for all of us. Barely six months into his term, this president told law enforcement not to be afraid to be rough on people they were arresting. Monday night, he supported the use of tear gas and flash grenades on protestors to ensure he had the best view for his photo op. Anyone who does this is not fit to lead. He is a danger to all of us, and we join with our allies in calling for his resignation.
“The labor movement grew out of protest and the methods of those protests were not always supported by all. We applaud everyone who is standing up to make their voices heard and make a difference. We did it before in the ‘30s when we sat down in Flint as part of a national movement for worker justice and we did it in the ‘60s and ‘70s in support of the movements for civil rights. We will do it again in 2020.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector, and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.