Cambridge UCU stands in solidarity with all those protesting against police brutality and white supremacy and for Black Liberation in the United States. We similarly condemn the ongoing and repeated killings of Black people by British police and the violent surveillance of Black lives that has led to these murders.
We urge the University of Cambridge to show its commitment to anti-racism and Black Liberation in the UK by:
- Taking active measures to decolonise the university, including acting immediately on the demands of the CUSU BME Campaign and the signatories of this open letter.
- Ending its links with technology companies – such as Palantir — that violently police and surveil Black and immigrant lives.
- Taking action to end the scandal of the race pay gap in the University, and changing policies and practices which deny Black members of staff access to secure employment and promotions. This means refusing to make financial cuts which will exacerbate the race pay gap and prevent the hiring of new academics in much-needed areas like Black History.
- Taking action to end racist discrimination, harassment, and violence that occurs across the university, as outlined in reports by the Guardian and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which found that Cambridge recorded the largest number of formal complaints in 2019, while several additional cases remain uninvestigated.
Similarly, we call on the UK trade union movement to show active solidarity with the uprisings, and we commit, locally, to:
- Engage proactively in anti-racist work through the Equality & Diversity and Anti-Racism/ BME Staff working groups;
- Redouble our efforts to centre the race pay gap in the anti-casualisation work we do;
- Advocate for Black staff and students who have suffered racist abuse and discrimination at work;
- Support and amplify the work of groups in Cambridge, such as CUSU BME Campaign, Cambridge Decolonisation Network, and Demilitarise Cambridge, in ending anti-Black racism, surveillance, violence, and harassment in the University and the Colleges.
We call on our members to show active solidarity with the protests, by donating to these funds, signing the Open Letter from the CUSU BME campaign to the Vice-Chancellor, and supporting demonstrations, such as the one taking place in Parkers’ Piece on Saturday, while taking all necessary precautions against Covid-19. You can also take action by working through this list, compiled by the CUSU BME Campaign, detailing ways to support Black Lives in the UK. Actions include emailing the British Transport Police to seek justice for Belly Mujinga, the rail worker who died from Covid-19 after being spat on by a member of the public, and writing to your MP to demand that the full, unredacted version of the “Disparities in the risks and outcomes of Covid-19 report” by Public Health England is released immediately.