“We cannot be bystanders” – NEU sends solidarity to American Federation of Teachers

The NEU has sent a message of solidarity to the American Federation of Teachers following the death of George Floyd.

NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “The NEU sends its solidarity to the family and friends mourning George Floyd. We condemn the systemic racism that caused George’s death and we support the urgent demands for justice for George Floyd, for his family and his community.

‘The NEU supports the demands by our sister union, the American Federation of Teachers, for urgent action to build racial justice in the USA and deliver safety and social justice for Black Americans. We send solidarity to AFT members and support the AFT’s call for the US Justice Department to conduct a civil rights investigation into the murder of George Floyd. We call on NEU members to share the AFT statement*.

‘All elected politicians must acknowledge that such acts of race hate are not new, unique or disconnected. They represent a serious crisis in society. This inhumane treatment of Black citizens is outrageous. It’s shocking and unacceptable. It must not be normalised.

‘In the UK, the global health pandemic has reminded people of the centrality of Black workers to our NHS and our care homes, to our transport systems and food supply, and to education and to every profession and sector of the economy. We must challenge racism in society and racism in workplaces, and the systemic stereotypes that perpetuate race inequality and racial hierarchies. We cannot be bystanders.

‘The NEU supports Justice for George Floyd. We must collectively organise to challenge racism, everywhere.”

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