Jan 262017

We were deeply moved and empowered last weekend by the massive turnout for the Women’s marches that took place across the country. Up and down California, UC Postdocs joined with millions of other marchers to express our commitment to resisting the forces that seek to roll back centuries of progress in this country.

Postdocs have a critical role to play in this struggle as we are directly affected by two of the Trump administration’s main targets: science policy (especially environmental and climate science) and immigration. The news of the Trump administration’s latest actions on science policy and planned executive orders on immigration only makes that reality more plain. The administration’s directives include limiting the speech, funding and academic freedom of federal science employees. The announced and expected immigration orders target all segments of the immigrant community and include: increasing deportation and detentions, directing federal funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico, halting refugee resettlement, reported plans to suspend the issuance of visas for at least 30 days to persons from selected Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia) and there may be additional changes that affect Postdocs.

These anti-science, discriminatory, and xenophobic actions are directly opposed to the values of the Postdoc Union. We believe a fair and humane immigration policy and the free and open exchange of people and ideas across borders are essential to both science and a just society. We are resolved to fight back against these attacks on our members, families and broader communities. Members of our union who are personally affected by the visa ban have asked us to share this link that tells you how to call and email Congress. Please help by calling and emailing TODAY.  

We will be discussing additional responses to these executive orders at our Joint Council meeting this weekend in Los Angeles. If you have thoughts or feedback please contact us at uaw5810@uaw5810.org. We are encouraged that these actions have been met with public outrage and protest including a swell of interest in planning an upcoming March for Science in cities across the country. We will continue to strongly oppose any and all actions that endanger the science and immigrant communities. 

In solidarity with all Postdocs and all immigrants,

Anke Schennink, President, UC Davis
Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UC Santa Cruz
Melissa Agnello, Recording Secretary, UC Los Angeles
Ben Cain, Financial Secretary, UC Davis
Matt Grimmer, Trustee, UC San Francisco
Lydia Majure, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Carlena Ebben Eaton, Trustee, UC Berkeley
Wen Jiang, Guide, UC Los Angeles
Charisse Winston, Sergeant At Arms, UC San Diego