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President of SEIU Healthcare PA’s Statement on Violence in Charlottesville

For Immediate Release: Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania’s nurses and healthcare workers are outraged by the terrible news reports from Charlottesville, Virginia. The national mobilization of Nazis, Klansmen, and other white nationalists resulted in mounting violence against anti-racist protesters, culminating in at least one death and many injuries. Our horror is matched only by our anger that vigilante white supremacy has raised its ugly head once again. People of conscience must oppose it.

President Donald Trump’s response to the state of emergency in Charlottesville is weak. To condemn violence on “many sides” while avoiding the responsibility of white supremacists is moral cowardice. President Trump provides no leadership in a time of crisis. It is long past time that the President break his ties to white nationalism and speak out against a violent ideology that continues to shed so much blood.

Now is the time to come together in solidarity against white supremacy. As trade unionists, we know that the racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism on display in Charlottesville divides workers and hurts our communities. Even as we reach out to help the victims of the violence, we rededicate ourselves to the struggle for racial and social justice.

By uniting as working people, pulling together across our diverse communities, and confronting deeply institutionalized racism, nurses and healthcare workers can help relegate this violence to the troubled past. If we take a stand, we shall overcome.

Matthew Yarnell
President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
For more information contact James Myers at or 215-479-2213

About SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania 
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest growing union of nurses and health care workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. Together, we work to protect patient care, expand access to quality health care for all, and to lives of health care workers. We accomplish these goals by organizing non-union health care workers, driving industry standards in our contracts and fighting for legislation that affects health care in our state. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is affiliated with SEIU Healthcare, part of the Service Employees International Union which represents 2.1 million working people in health care, public services, and property services.
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