Who We Are?
Labor Rising Against Trump emerged after the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016. The call for the first meetings was made by a number of activists of the UC Berkeley unit of the UAW 2865, the union that represents 16,000 academic workers in the University of California and that has a new, democratic, independent, anti-racist and anti-sexist leadership since 2011, and is committed to rank and file organizing and advocating for mass labor action whenever possible to win and defend our rights.
In the month following the election dozens of unionists from the Bay Area came to our Labor Rising meetings, in special longshore workers from ILWU Local 10, Oakland and Richmond K-12 teacher (OEA and UTR), lecturers and faculty union activists from other higher education locals (UC AFT, CFA, AFT 2121), contracted out teachers, maritime workers for IBU and performance workers from IATSE among others.
We are an open collective of union and non-union workers determined to organize to resist the coming attacks by the Trump administration and we are welcoming any workers that wants to organize with us a visible labor fight back against Trump, participate in actions for democratic, civil and environmental rights, defend public education, fight for single payer healthcare and benefits for all, and in the course of our different actions and campaigns build a base in different sectors of the labor movement. Our goal is to educate, organize and mobilize workers so we feel confident together taking action and bringing initiative to our union locals and workplaces.
What Have We Done So Far?
Since Labor Rising activists and organizers began to meet in the Bay Area we have managed to organize Labor Rising contingents in the inauguration protests: on January 16th in Oakland for the Reclaim MLK Day, on January 20th and UC Berkeley, Oakland and in San Francisco to protest the new president, with two unions taking labor action (UAW 2865 and ILWU Local 10), and on January 21st we participated in the Women’s Marches in San Francisco and Oakland.
We are also committed to organizing political education events in our communities, informal activities where workers can attend, and feel comfortable discussing and exchanging view on issues that are important for them. To that end we organized during the Reclaim MLK Day on January 18th a movie screening on MLK’s legacy and his support to the sanitation workers strike in Memphis on 1968, of “At the River I Stand.” We plan to continue organizing those events.
As Labor Rising we are committed to support any strikes in the Bay Area, being present to the pickets and organizing solidarity, as well as any major national strikes. We are also committed to support any new organizing campaign as we believe that today more than ever workers need a union.
We have decided to initiate two campaigns in the workplaces and unions where we are present in California, a campaign to defend and transform public education, involving union and non-union education workers from pre-k12 to higher education, and a campaign to defend immigrant rights and fight deportations and discrimination in the workplace. We continue to be supporters of the Standing Rock movement of resistance and of the Black Lives Matter movement and fight against racist police murders and abuse against the Black and Latino sectors of our class.
For the past 3 months we have been organizing with education workers, unions, students and community members an Emergency Public Education Conference on April 15th at UC Berkeley to mobilize for May 1st promoting an education strike. The conference also aims at building an organized base of connected activists across public education unions and workplaces to unite our struggles for public education and against privatization, promote solidarity push forward the transformation of the labor movement into a fighting, democratic and independent one.