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University of California seeks injunction against faculty strike over crackdown on Gaza protests

Anti-genocide protesters at the UC-Irvine camp, May 15, 2024.

The University of California system has filed an injunction to ban a strike by academic staff members who oppose police crackdowns on campus protests against the Gaza genocide. On Monday, 2,000 workers at the University of California Santa Cruz resigned, but the United Auto Workers retained 46,000 of its members at the system's nine other locations.

A UC press release used sweeping authoritarian language, saying the strike was illegal because its “goal is to pressure the university to give in to a list of politically motivated demands that are closely tied to protests across California and the country.”

To make matters worse, the press release ends with the words: “The University has permitted – and will continue to permit – lawful protest activity surrounding the conflict in the Middle East.” In fact, students have been beaten and beaten across California and the United States arrested. Just last week, police destroyed a camp at UC Irvine as the voting process for the academic workers' strike was winding down.

This is a significant escalation of the attack on the right to freedom of expression, including the right to protest genocide. This is already torn de facto by weeks of police raids that have led to over 3,000 arrests across the country. But the court application amounts to a corresponding demand all Strike activities of a political nature are prohibited in the United States.

In fact, the ruling class long ago passed a ban on political strikes with the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, widely denounced as the “slave labor law.” However, the claim that the UC strike is illegal is factually absurd.

An unfair labor practice complaint filed Friday with the state employee representative body used similar language. “Especially in today’s climate when [the] “If the UAW were to ignore no-strike clauses, the university – and every other public institution in California – would face constant strikes in defense of political and/or social views,” the complaint warned.

Anna Harden

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