In a June 11 letter, nearly 250 UCLA professors call on Chancellor Gene Block to immediately end the school’s relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.The effort comes after police used the school’s Jackie Robinson Stadium to detain anti-police brutality protesters.”As long as UCLA collaborates with LAPD and other police forces, it is complicit in, and bears responsibility for, police brutality and racialized state violence,” the letter states.
Faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, angered by the use of the school’s Jackie Robinson Stadium to detain Black Lives Matter protesters, are demanding that campus leadership completely “divest” from police and redirect the money saved into programs for racial justice.In a June 11 letter, nearly 250 UCLA professors call on Chancellor Gene Block to immediately end the school’s relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department and to hold a public hearing on how school grounds came to be used as a police staging ground. The letter also calls on the school to create a compensation fund for any protesters who were detained at the stadium.”As long as UCLA collaborates with LAPD and other police forces, it is complicit in, and bears responsibility for, police brutality and racialized state violence,” the letter states.The school did not respond to a request for comment. But in an earlier message to UCLA students and faculty, Chancellor Block apologized for allowing police to use Jackie Robinson Stadium, calling it an “a violation of our values.”
“To see a space that’s so special to UCLA, particularly one dedicated to an iconic figure like Robinson, used as a place for punishing those who carry on his legacy is profoundly upsetting,” Block wrote, as the Los Angeles Times reported.But UCLA staff, organizing under the banner of a new coalition, the DIVEST/INVEST UCLA Faculty Collective, want that apology backed by new policies. Among the collective’s demands: dropping any “student conduct charges” stemming from recent labor and anti-racist protests; ending and publicly accounting for any contracts with law enforcement agencies; and redirecting money now spent on campus police “toward racial and gender justice teaching, research, and community initiatives as well as increased material support for Black faculty, staff, students, and workers on campus.”Prof. Kelly Lytle Hernández, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, said the school should rise to “meet the historic opportunity for systemic change by divesting from white supremacy.”
“The uprising for Black life is knocking on UCLA’s door,” she said, “and it has yet to answer.” Have a news tip? Email this reporter: email@example.com