Washington, D.C. – June 1, 2020 – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement in response to the nationwide protests:
“In response to a grave miscarriage of humanity and justice laid bare for the world to see, thousands of peaceful protesters rightfully demonstrated their abhorrence and intolerance for such behavior in a country they call home. We stand firmly behind the African-American community that for too long has had to endure humiliation and dehumanization in the shadows, in silence and with no prospect of meaningful redress. Real reform must be undertaken and enacted immediately so that the historically brutalized and marginalized among us may have a modest reprieve and a glimmer of hope that a nation that espouses equality and protection under the law for all its people is living up to its stated ideals and foundational promise.
“’The greatness of America is the right to protest for right.’ Those who have sought to undermine the legitimacy of these aggrieved community protests with opportunistic and malevolent selfishness have further alienated well-intentioned citizens of all backgrounds and have themselves inflicted injustice on all who call themselves Americans. North America’s Building Trades Unions and, indeed, the American Labor Movement have and will continue to cherish our First Amendment rights to peacefully protest and speak truth to power. We hope that those who have been moved to protest as a result of the outrageous actions of individuals sworn to uphold the law, to serve and protect the communities they police, continue to distinguish themselves from those who seek to undermine and distract from true pain and long suffered trauma.
“While we all look around for leadership, we must first recognize and know who we are and look within. It is our hope that Americans of goodwill will now rise and shine as beacons of love and light in this moment of darkness and despair. The men and women of North America’s Building Trades Unions will do whatever it takes to help provide a model of decency, understanding and respect for our fellow citizens.”