Socialist Students at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are involved in the sanctuary campus campaign that has gained national attention. They are demonstrating what an organized fight back should look like by uniting with other student groups and the labor movement on campus. The sanctuary movement is planning to unite with the recent Service Employees International Union United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW) announcement that they plan to strike on May 1.
In the sanctuary campus campaign, Socialist Students at UCLA are currently organizing with AFSCME Local 3299, UAW Local 2865, and a number of student activist groups. In mid-March, 200 people attended a town hall to organize the UCLA sanctuary campus movement was called by the Student Labor Action Project, a coalition in which Socialist Students plays a leading role. The town hall made national news and was featured on Fusion, Telesur, and the local ABC station. Following the town hall, the students and workers organized a rally and letter delivery to the Chancellor of the University, Gene Block. The students delivered a series of demands to the chancellor and his office responded with an email to the school stating his intention to protect UCLA’s undocumented community.
Some of the key demands are that UCLA end collaboration with ICE, protect private data, denounce Muslim registries, combat sexual violence, and expand resources for targeted communities. The Chancellor’s response shows that the pressure of a developing movement can force people in positions of power to publicly make promises. Students and workers plan to pressure the Chancellor to keep his promise by meeting their demands. They aim to spread the struggle across the whole UC system!