BCCSU Statement on Racism and Police Brutality

published on June 5, 2020

We are deeply troubled and saddened by the anti-Black police brutality that has given rise to recent protests. George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor before him, join the too-long list of People of Colour whose lives have been stolen.

The BCCSU stands in solidarity with those demanding justice and equality. We support the anti-racism protests south of the border and around the world, and we simultaneously recognize and acknowledge that white supremacy and institutional racism and violence are not exclusive to our American neighbours. Our colonial past and present have — and continue to — create harms that are perpetrated by our own institutions.

We have our own stolen lives in the Canadian settler state to reckon with — disproportionately racialized people. Chantal Moore. Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Jason Collins. Eishia Hudson. D’Andre Campbell. Randy Cochrane. Josephine Pelletier. And countless — and uncounted — others.

Furthermore, we must all acknowledge that the ongoing criminalization, institutionalization, and discrimination of people who use drugs disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and other visible and invisible People of Colour. The War on Drugs is, and always has been, a racist one.

Our commitment is to continue to practice and embed in our own work anti-racist and anti-colonial practices; to examine and challenge ourselves to do better to invite in, make room for, and amplify a diversity of voices in the spaces we occupy and through our own leadership, hiring, and research structures; and to listen to and stand beside those calling for systemic change.