Organized labor must embrace the reality that there is no robust labor movement without the struggle for Black liberation, which requires solidarity against policing, state-sanctioned violence, and all forms of oppression.
After pressure from the local Fraternal Order of Police, UFCW Local 1994 President Gino Renne fired Maryland House Delegate, DSA member, and union organizer Gabriel Acevero only after Acevero refused to back off from his support of stronger police accountability and transparency policies in Maryland. Delegate Acevero is the lead sponsor of Anton’s Law, which would enact these policies throughout the state, and is also a top proponent of repealing Maryland’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.
The Democratic Socialists of America calls on UFCW Local 1994 to not capitulate to the pressure of the Montgomery County Fraternal Order of Police and to support the demands laid out by our Metro DC chapter. We urge our members to take action and would like to remind UFCW Local 1994 that it is the cops who break up our strikes and that an injury to one is an injury to all.
As such, we demand that:
- UFCW Local 1994 immediately reinstate Gabriel Acevero to his job, with full back pay;
- Maryland state lawmakers pass Anton’s Law and repeal the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights;
- Elected officials at the local and county levels in Maryland advocate for Anton’s Law and the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights with their county’s delegation to the state assembly; and
- Elected officials and candidates refuse all donations and endorsements from law enforcement entities, and return all such donations accepted previously.
DSA’s National Political Committee has unanimously voted to approve Resolution 11 from our 2019 National Convention: Law Enforcement DSA Exclusion (Amended). Law enforcement agencies operate to promote the interests of capitalist institutions and to protect the power of the capitalist state by suppressing organized dissent. Anyone employed as a law enforcement officer is excluded from membership in DSA.
As democratic socialists, we fight to reclaim power for the working class and understand that cops will always be an obstacle on the way to that goal. They have no place in our organization or in our labor unions.
We stand in solidarity with our comrade, Maryland Delegate Gabriel Acevero, and all of our comrades, whether in office or in the streets, who are currently fighting to defund the police. While Gabriel’s firing is just one example of the many risks we take in this fight, we remain committed because we know we do not fight alone.