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Northwestern Students Against Sweatshops in Solidarity Fast with Harvard

Northwestern Students Against Sweatshops continues to escalate their push to force Northwestern to join the Worker Rights Consortium. Twenty-five students spent Friday in a 24-hour fast in solidarity with Harvard students who have occupied their administration building over living wage issues. Further events are planned in the coming days including a large rally Thursday, May 3.
A 24-hour fast, from sundown Thursday to sundown Friday, in solidarity with Harvard students demanding a living wage for campus employees, is Northwestern Students Against Sweatshops' latest escalation of their five-day-old occupation of the Northwestern Library Plaza. The campout, to pressure the NU administration to join the Worker Rights Consortium, an independent sweatshop monitoring group, began following a pro-WRC rally on Monday, April 23.

Fasting students converged on the dining area of the Norris University Center and occupied tables during the lunch rush. They laid out trays, plates and silverware, but ate nothing to raise awarness about the 40 Harvard students occupying their administration building and 150 more hunger-striking outside.

Other actions included a human statue portraying a sweatshop worker in a high-traffic area between classroom buildings, multiple banner drops, and a musical extravaganza planned for Friday night at the plaza at 11pm sponsored by the MOSAIC housing co-op and campus musicians in solidarity with Harvard and NSAS.

If progress is not made following Northwestern's trip to a Friday WRC meeting as an observer, NSAS has promised continued escalation. The occupation of the Library Plaza will continue until Northwestern joins the WRC, and another rally drawing on support from Chicago-land unions, human rights groups and religious organisations, as well at other schools, is planned for the Library Plaza on Thursday, May 3 at 6:30pm, to be followed by a speech by living-wage expert Ruth Rosenbaum at 7:30. On Monday April 30, Bob Pollin will also be speaking about the living wage, at 5pm on campus in Swift Hall room 104.



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