Kick cops out of labor
For far too long, police associations and police unions have protected police officers from being held accountable—even those who have terrorized and killed members of our community. Swell partnered with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to launch a campaign advocating for labor unions to sever ties with police associations for good.
1 — The Challenge
Applying pressure and raising awareness
First things first: police associations are not part of the labor movement. Police are inherently different. Labor unions protect workers. Police assocations and police unions shield bad cops from accountability, lawsuits, and discipline leaving communities vulnerable to state-sponsored terror and murder. And yet police associations are members of labor unions hiding in plain sight and using workers’ struggles to mask their misdeeds.
2 — The Brand
Connecting power for the people
We had two audiences in mind as we developed this campaign: First and foremost, our goal was to apply pressure to the AFL-CIO and, by extension, all leaders in labor unions who have the power to effect change and create real police accountability and reform.
At the same time, we needed the general public to raise awareness about the issue to build a groundswell of support. That starts with ensuring people understand the difference between labor unions and police associations and how police unions shield bad cops from accountability and slow needed reforms.
Amplifying a movement
The Black Lives Matter brand was already well-established so we integrated the existing brand into a new design specifically for this campaign while also creating new elements that help tell the story. A new typographic system to heighten impact and ensure usability across all devices. Additionally, we created an illustration system that uses collage to visually show the connection between the players involved and the policies implemented.
3 — The Website
A national campaign with a local angle
We built a website that both elevates the distinction between labor unions and police associations and spotlights relevant case studies from cities across the country.
4 — The Impact
A new conversation
We didn’t change the relationship between the AFL-CIO and police associations. But we did change the conversation, giving labor and abolishment activists a new way to talk about the harms of police in poor communities.