Takeaway: Our union has a duty to defend democracy. If you can attend a demonstration this week in Philadelphia, particularly the labor-sponsored November 7 rally, sign the Labor Action to Defend Democracy Pledge we circulated last week. And take a couple of minutes today to fill out our survey about stopping layoffs at Rutgers.
We know you woke up today with your minds heavy with uncertainty about the election. With the results unclear as counties and states continue to count votes, Donald Trump is acting on his repeated threats to try to obstruct the election and contest the results. Our union is going to act on our pledge to defend democracy. We ask all of you to consider what you can do this week to make sure every vote is counted.
As we wrote last week, Philadelphia—across the river from the Camden campus and home to some of our members—has been singled out by Trump and the Republicans for intimidation and slander. This morning, we wrote to our members in the Philadelphia area with information about demonstrations to protect the results planned for the coming days, culminating in a labor-initiated rally on Saturday, November 7, at 1 p.m. at Independence Hall. We encourage all members who are able to participate.
We ask that any member who is planning to attend these actions, whether you are from Philadelphia or not, sign this pledge so that we can be in touch about further developments and our union’s plans on November 7. We also know that the Philadelphia Police Department has said it will release body cam footage from the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. today. As we fight for democracy, we will also make clear that we stand in solidarity with all people fighting for Black Lives.
Count Every Vote demonstrations are planned throughout the week in Highland Park, NJ, near the New Brunswick campus; gather at 4 p.m. on Raritan Avenue between Adelaide and Lincoln.
As much as the election results weigh on our minds, we also know that no outcome will be a magical solution for us. We have to rely on our organizing and solidarity to confront the attacks that are harming our unions, our students, and our communities. On Monday, we distributed a union survey to hear from all of you about what our next steps should be. Please take a few minutes in the coming days to click here and give your attention to this important survey.
Election obstruction, another term for Trump, the continuing polarized atmosphere of national politics—all of these are profound threats to our union and all its members, and even more so for the many vulnerable communities we stand with. But our ability to fight for ourselves and for those communities, whatever the election outcome, depends on building up our strength as a union. We are part of a fight to defend the results of this election right now—but our struggle for justice continues each and every day in the coming week and long after.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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Find the latest messages to members and union statements here.
Read how Rutgers AAUP-AFT is confronting the crisis here.