House Staff for Human Rights (CIR-SEIU)[Statement vs. Genocidal Candidates]

House Staff for Human Rights

Whereas, labor unions are fueled by the power of collective worker action to confront and dismantle oppression, and have a long history of solidarity with the struggle for global liberation, and

Whereas, the Committee of Interns and Residents represents doctors in training committed to pursuing justice for all, and in particular to bringing economic and social justice to those most exploited, and

Whereas, CIR has a rich history of standing for social justice and to matters that affect our members, patients, and communities, as well as a commitment to justice for all people, including standing in opposition to Apartheid South Africa and in solidarity with the NY Young Lords’ occupation of Lincoln Hospital, and

Whereas, CIR has passed resolutions in support of trans rights, reproductive justice, racial justice, Medicare For All, and has resolved that COPE will not endorse candidates who receive financial contributions from police unions, and

Whereas, the UN defines genocide as, “…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  • Killing members of the group;
  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group,” and

Whereas, the UN defines apartheid as, “…similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa” – as covering “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them,” and

Whereas, elected officials have consistently voted to spend billions of dollars annually to support foreign militaries and to engage in foreign wars leading to mass death and destruction, including militaries currently under investigation by the International Court of Justice for crimes of genocide and apartheid, as opposed to using these funds to expand healthcare access or improve social determinants of health, and

Whereas, the majority of elected officials have defied the will of their constituents by voting to increase funding to militaries that continue to defy international law and serve as instruments of apartheid and genocide, and

Whereas, CIR has established a consistent commitment to partnering with elected officials who are committed to health equity and justice, and

Whereas, a commitment to health equity is inherently incompatible with supporting apartheid or genocide, or contributing to human rights crises, and

Whereas, mega donors are, through their PACs, increasingly focusing their efforts on unseating progressive elected officials at the State and Local levels through challenges in primary elections, directly undermining efforts to advance health equity and justice in our state and local legislatures, 

Therefore, be it resolved that CIR will not endorse or advocate for the endorsement of any candidate who continues to accept financial contributions, votes, or make written/verbal statements in favor of genocide or apartheid (as defined by the UN above), except in cases where this is too restrictive at which time the decision to endorse a candidate would fall to the regional COPE board and RVP(s), and  

Therefore, be it resolved that CIR will assess, through the candidate questionnaire, a candidate’s willingness to accept contributions from organizations that have advocated for the continuation of genocide and apartheid, and

Therefore, be it resolved that COPE boards will be empowered to remove from voter guides any endorsed candidates who continue to receive financial support from groups that continue to promote genocide and apartheid.

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