In a time of year where we are asked to reflect on some of America’s greatest heroes and their fight for Civil Rights for all people, regardless of the color of their skin, we cannot ignore one of Martin Luther King’s most moving calls to action—his firm belief in the ‘Fierce Urgency of Now’. We cannot separate the fight for Freedom from the movement for labor justice, for they are inextricably tied. University workers today are underpaid, systematically discriminated against and harassed in the work place, ignored by administrations, undermined in their organizing, diminished by legislation, and on top of all of this, told that students sanction this oppression. As UNC-CH Student Action with Workers, an organization dedicated to the realization of justice for all workers, we refuse to allow the perpetuation of this false narrative and we refuse to wait for the system to change. We cannot wait for administrators to come to their own conclusion that workers deserve, by the very virtue of their humanity, respect, dignity, and fair opportunity. We cannot wait because as students we have the power to raise our voices and move the University in the right direction. We cannot wait for we have waited too long, and we cannot stand idly by as workers continue to be disrespected on college campuses all over the nation. The treatment of workers today does not exhibit the values or ideals that our education attempts to instill within us. Therefore, we stand unequivocally in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers at UVA and their Living Wage Campaign.
We, Student Action with Workers,stand in solidarity with the UVA Living Wage Campaign.
We, Student Action with Workers,stand in solidarity with workers everywhere and their struggle for justice and dignity.
We, Student Action with Workers,stand in solidarity with all student organizers who rise against administrative powers, even when it is difficult, for as UVA organizer Joseph Williams so eloquently wrote, “I refuse to comply with rules, regulations, or restrictions that reinforce the discrimination, persecution, and exploitation of human beings.”
We, Student Action with Workers, stand in solidarity with all movements that seek to dismantle the systems of oppression that bind us, for all of our movements are interconnected.
We, Student Action with Workers,stand in solidarity with the Hunger Strikers, your passion and commitment inspire us in our march forward, and we are bound in your struggle.
-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Student Action with Workers