AFL-CIO Building Vandalized and Burned—Justice for George Floyd

The headlines states: "Fires burn near White House amid violent protests."

The Hill newspaper story goes on to report, "Firefighters in Washington, D.C., responded to numerous blazes set intentionally by protesters in the city Sunday evening as protests over the death of George Floyd.....multiple news outlets reported that a fire erupted at historic St. John's Church, a landmark where presidents have attended services since the 1800s, while others were set nearby at a White House guard building and other locations, including the AFL-CIO's national headquarters.

AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, issues the following statement:

"My heart is heavy at the events of the past few days. I watched the video of George Floyd pleading for his life under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. No person of conscience can hear Floyd’s cries for help and not understand that something is deeply wrong in America.

"What happened to George Floyd, what happened to Ahmaud Arbery, what happened to far too many unarmed people of color has happened for centuries. The difference is now we have cell phones. It’s there for all of us to see. And we can’t turn our heads and look away because we feel uncomfortable.

"Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all working people of color. This is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue. It is a community issue, and unions are the community. We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.

"We categorically reject those on the fringes who are engaging in violence and destroying property. Attacks like the one on the AFL-CIO headquarters are senseless, disgraceful and only play into the hands of those who have oppressed workers of color for generations and detract from the peaceful, passionate protesters who are rightly bringing issues of racism to the forefront.

"But in the end, the labor movement is not a building. We are a living collection of working people who will never stop fighting for economic, social and racial justice. We are united unequivocally against the forces of hate who seek to divide this nation for their own personal and political gain at our expense.

"We will clean up the glass, sweep away the ashes and keep doing our part to bring a better day out of this hour of darkness and despair.

"Today and always, the important work of the AFL-CIO continues unabated."