The following letter was initiated by the Faculty Organizing Group (FOG). It was sent to EVC Galloway and Chancellor Blumenthal today, April 2, 2014, on the first of the two day strike by UAW 2865. UAW members, including union leader Josh Brahinsky, were arrested on the picket line in Santa Cruz this morning. As many as twenty undergraduate supporters were arrested as well. The union called for a peaceful, legal strike in protest of management’s unlawful intimidation of student-workers.
Dear EVC Galloway and Chancellor Blumenthal,
We write to urge that charges against students arrested this morning (April 2) be dropped. We understand that in connection with the UAW strike, 20 UCSC students were arrested while picketing.
We’ve also heard that UCB police were brought in and that they were wearing riot helmets. Some of us have been told by members of the administration that students were arrested for blocking Empire Grade, but this video appears to show someone being arrested in the crosswalk while identifying himself as a union member:
We don’t understand why these students were arrested while picketing. Neither do we understand why UCB police with riot gear were brought to our campus. This is a draconian approach to student political actions and labor actions, and represents a dramatic escalation of confrontation on the part of the administration.
As faculty, some of whom live or have lived in faculty and staff housing, we are shocked that students were arrested this morning while picketing and hope that as the administrative heads of UCSC, you can urge that charges be dropped.
* As of 4/7/14 this letter has 54 signatories.