Dear Labor Studies Community,

The events on campus over the past few days have been shocking and deeply unsettling.

The violent attack on peaceful protesters Tuesday night was the culmination of several days of harassment on the protest camp by extremists from outside the UCLA community. Faculty and staff across campus have expressed outrage and frustration with the inadequate response by campus and public safety officials. 

Protest is a normal part of life on a college campus, even when it disrupts some of our normal activities. Students educate themselves and the community through vigorous debate and public demonstrations. And students have a right to self-education as well as the formal learning of the classroom. The sweep of the protest camp last night was, in our opinion, wholly unnecessary. 

Our first priority as faculty and staff at UCLA is to care for the well-being of our students. We know students are tired, worried, and may be angry. We understand that some of our Labor Studies students were among those arrested during the sweep and are being released today. We ask our faculty to be mindful of the challenges students are facing, and we encourage everyone to check in on fellow students and staff.

In the days and weeks ahead, there will almost certainly be continued protests on campus. Whether you participate or simply observe, we encourage you to do so with a plan to remain safe in body and mind.

Tobias Higbie

Director, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Chris Zepeda-Míllan

Chair, UCLA Labor Studies Program

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