BAC’s Statement on Justice for George Floyd
BAC President Tim Driscoll issued the following statement in response to nationwide protests for justice:
The inhumane and tragic killing of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has gripped our nation. To a nation already reeling from an unprecedented health pandemic and economic freefall, it is the starkest reminder of the insidious role that racism plays in our society, and the struggle for justice that remains before us.
The International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) was founded more than 150 years ago on the proposition that workers have a right to collectively demand justice in their workplace and in their community. Our BAC Constitution reflects our mission “to promote, foster and develop the physical, economic and social welfare of [our] members and all other workers, and their families.”
The quest for justice for the family of George Floyd is a labor issue because it is a community issue. Our Union not only builds the schools, hospitals, churches and the other vital structures that comprise our communities, we help build the lives of the workers that make those communities possible. Accordingly, we cannot stand by silently while an entire segment of our community, people of color, continue to be subject to persistent racism and lives are taken so callously.
We condemn the actions of those involved in the killing of George Floyd. We recognize that they do not represent the vast majority of police officers who faithfully serve their communities every day, just as those protestors engaging in violence do not represent the vast majority of people who are peacefully but passionately demanding justice.
We must now guard against those politicians that would seek to leverage this moment for their personal and political advantage. Specifically, those who fan the flames of racial and class division to distract from their failure to deliver on the promise of the economic well-being and health of our nation.
This current moment demands more of us than thoughts and prayers. As Dr. King proclaimed from the Birmingham Jail more than 50 years ago, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.” That struggle for justice must now be our focus as a labor movement, and as a country.