ICPJ and W-PPC Support GEO’s Abolitionist Strike!

The Poor People’s Campaign Washtenaw County (PPC), and the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) in their strike and demands for a safe, equitable, and just work and community environment at the University of Michigan. GEO’s demands are consistent with ICPJ’s Principles and Practices and the Moral Policy Agenda of the National Poor People’s Campaign. 

GEOs demands specific to COVID-19 and a disarmed and demilitarized workplace are wholly reasonable and should be met as soon as possible by the University by providing:

  • transparent and robust testing, contact tracing, and safety plans for campus;
  • support for graduate employees working remotely and an option to switch to remote from hybrid/ in-person;
  • flexible subsidies for parents and caregivers including those with school-aged children or care obligations for adults;
  • better International Center support for international students and the repealing of the discriminatory, termly international student fee;
  • unconditional support for all graduate students in the form of timeline and funding extensions, an emergency grant, and flexible leases and rent freezes at U-M housing.
  • a demilitarized workplace
  • diversion of funds from campus police (involving a cut of 50% to DPSS’ annual budget)
  • and ending any and all ties to local law enforcement (AAPD) and other agencies (ICE).

The Washtenaw PPC and ICPJ urge our members to support the GEO workers’ strike, to refuse to cross their picket lines, and to join in solidarity with the strikers in the call for the UM to accede to their contractual demands for justice now!