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WEF Update: 1/31 - Gap Action NYC

Pics and Story from Gap Action NYC (article 3)
Thursday afternoon the Upper East Side of Manhattan was astride with wide eyed police and protesters. Across the street from the Gap outlet along three full blocks were demonstrations contained vigilantly by the police. In pens no more than twelve feet wide demonstrators oozed among one another as if they were in a crowded elevator. As cops whisked journalists down the sidewalks they stuffed arriving demonstrators into the pens and onlookers onto side streets. Speakers from groups such as Jobs for Justice tried to keep the energy of the crammed activists up by quickly moving from emcee to speaker.

A Guatemalan garment worker who manufactured Gap clothing testified to physical abuse including being hit in the face by factory management. Other labor activists reported the deaths of union organizers in places like the Maquiladores in Mexico. An employee of Coca-Cola struck a chord with the crowd as they listened to the truth about perhaps America’s most recognized brand. He closed by saying, “We want a dignified salary, we want to be treated like human beings, we don’t want to be treated like slaves.”

Along side workers that are exploited by the corporate giant, local organized labor representatives from the Teamsters union and the coalition, New York City Labor Against the War, demanded workers be properly compensated. “Today we came her to demand a better future for oursleves... for our children.”

Fisher Inc., the Gap’s owner doesent end its auspicious practices with sweatshops. Many demonstrators mobilize against the Gap because Fisher Inc. has holdings in so many companies they find to be extremely dangerous. Fisher holdings include Occidental Petroleum Corp., the bane of indigenous peoples all over the world. Along with oil interests Fisher dabbles in timber companies that log in California’s redwood forests. This has compelled a group called Save the Redwoods/Boycott the Gap to take action today at the same outlet that met demonstarations yesterday. Activists find that to work against this public face of American commercialism is a good way to attack the core problem of corporate domination.



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