Union’s anti-police march with Al Sharpton angers teachers
The United Federation of Teachers is promoting the August 23 march led by the Reverend Al Sharpton that will protest the death of Eric Garner while in police custody. The March for Justice for Victims of Police Brutality will begin at noon near the very spot Eric Garner was put in a fatal chokehold by police and will end at the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office.
Teachers affiliated with UFT are speaking out against the union’s move, saying that it is an inappropriate action for the organization. Many teachers have expressed outrage through social media, particularly on UFT’s Facebook page, at the anti-law enforcement tones of the march, and said that it shows a lack of respect and support for police officers. Union members are also expressing anger that they were not consulted in the making of such a politically-charged decision.
The United Federation of Teachers represents 20,000+ teachers in New York City and is one of the four main sponsors of the march.
While Eric Garner and the more recent shooting of unarmed Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri have brought the issue of police brutality to the forefront (and rightfully so), I tend to side with the teachers in this case. A union that represents so many different groups of people should never back such a hate-filled event.
As to why the UFT did not seek out the approval of its members before sponsoring the event? I think we know the answer to that question. In this case, the UFT overstepped its boundaries.
What do you think? Should the UFT be a sponsor of this march?