WATCH: Anti-Cop Protesters Vandalize, Attempt To Burn AFL-CIO’s Headquarters

AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington D.C. | Matt Popovich/Wikipedia (CC)

After nearly a week of protests nationwide following the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC were among sites targeted by protesters on Sunday–and it may not have been random.

Screenshot via Twitter

On Sunday, after nearly a week of nationwide and sometimes violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being detained by police in Minneapolis, protesters in Washington, D.C.—despite a curfew being in place—clashed with police, vandalized property and started fires.

Among the properties damaged, protesters attempted to burn the Washington DC headquarters of the AFL-CIO—the nation’s largest federation of labor unions.


In addition to the fires being started inside the building, graffiti was also painted on the AFL-CIO sign in front of the building.

The bulk of the graffiti scrawled on the sign and buildng were anti-police atatements, including: “F*ck the police,” F*ck 12” and “ACAB” [or “All Cops Are Bastards”]
Source: Unknown

In response to the attack on the AFL-CIO’s headquarters, the federation’s president Richard Trumka took to Twitter on Monday to denounce the attack and remind the public of the federation’s devotion to civil rights.

“Attacks like the one on the AFL-CIO headquarters are senseless, disgraceful and only play into the hands of those who have oppressed workers of color for generations and detract from the peaceful, passionate protesters who are rightly bringing issues of racism to the forefront,” Trumka stated.

“But in the end, the labor movement is not a building,” Trumka continued. “We are a living collection of working people who will never stop fighting for economic, social and racial justice.”

While no one has expressly come forward to expressly state why the AFL-CIO was targeted by protesters, several twitter users offered one likely answer: Among its 55 member unions, the AFL-CIO has at least one police union–the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)–as well as several unions (AFSCME, SEIU and others) that represent prison guards.

In the past, the AFL-CIO has faced criticism, calls, and even a resolution, for the disaffiliation of the IUPA from the union federation.

However, “Trumka and AFL-CIO leaders have refused,” according to Left Voice, “stating they will not end the federation’s affiliation with the IUPA.”

AFL-CIO Civil, Human & Women’s Rights Director Carmen Berkeley said ,“We are not in the business of kicking people out of unions…What we are in the business of is having conversations with our law enforcement brothers and sisters…[T]here’s a lot of reconciliation that needs to happen between communities of color and law enforcement, and we want to be the bridge that helps them get there.”

Based upon Trumka’s statements following the attacks on the AFL-CIO’s headquarters, it does not appear that the AFL-CIO is ready to sever ties with the police union yet.

Related: This is how loved ones want us to remember George Floyd


  1. Gee, Mr. Trumka didn’t exactly provide a ringing endorsement for the police, now did he?

    Also, no mention (by him) of union contracts and “police bill of rights” that make it near impossible to fire a bad cop — or any bad public sector employee, for that matter.

    I wonder why?

    I guess he’s fine with “union privilege.”


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