Anti-sweatshop sit-in at UW-Madison and call for solidarity actions around Wisconsin and the country

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Mon Feb 8 23:05:54 PST 1999

More activism by today's youth.

>From: Thomas Wheatley <twheatle at> (by way of
ebrakken at
> (Eric Brakken))
>Subject: Anti-sweatshop sit-in at UW-Madison and call for solidarity
actions around
> Wisconsin and the country
>USAS List -
>Any solidarity actions at any universities -- leafletting, rallies,
>sit-ins, phone calls to our administration (608-262-9947) -- are very much
>appreciated. Spirits are high as we go into our first night. Haven't
>heard any word from the administration, although they tried to pre-empt
>things with a press release at our demonstration tonight. But they haven't
>given in on anything, so we've got a lot of people planning to stay.
>Thanks to everyone for words of encouragement so far, and I'm sorry I
>haven't gotten back to you... things are going along pretty quickly here in
>Without struggle there is no progress,
>Eric Brakken
> <<<please distribute widely>>>
>More than 50 students are holding a sit-in in the rotunda of Bascom Hall,
>the administrative building at UW-Madison. The sit-in came after an
>anti-sweatshop rally attended by more than 250 students, workers,
>community members and alumni.
>The group sitting-in has pledged to occupy Bascom Hall until the UW
>adminstration gives into a series of demands intended to strengthen the
>proposed CLC code of conduct for UW apparel licensees. Chief among those
>demands is the call for a living wage for workers who sew UW clothing.
>For more info--stop by Bascom Hall, or call 265-4276 or 262-9036
> *****AT 608-262-9946 AND TELL HIM TO AGREE TO THE DEMANDS****
>For immediate release February 8, 1999
>Contact: Eric Brakken -- cell phone: (608) 576-2258 or (608) 576-2268
> Thomas Wheatley -- (608) 265-4276, Associated Students of
> John Peck -- (608) 262-9036, UW Greens
>Take over of UW-Madison administration building:
>Sit-in is 3rd across nation protesting CLC Code of Conduct
>Madison, WI -- Following a rally attended by well over 250 students,
>and community members, a group of more than 60 entered Bascom Hall, the
>UW-Madison administration building and pledged to stay until Chancellor
>capitulates to a series of demands intended to strengthen the proposed
>Collegiate Licensing Company code of conduct. The sit-in is the third in a
>series of direct action tactics employed by students across the nation
>protesting the proposed code of conduct and demonstrating broad public
>on the issue.
>"The time to act is now. We've seen nothing but placation on the part of
>administration on this issue. The University of Wisconsin needs to take a
>stand against sweatshops and that means paying apparel workers a living
>stated Ben Manski, member of the Alliance for Democracy to the crowd
sitting in
>the rotunda of Bascom Hall.
>Students have offered a series of compromise proposals to administrators.
>primary proposal calls on the University of Wisconsin to sponsor a study to
>establish specifications for wages that would meet the basic needs of
>in the two dozen countries producing apparel for the UW. Subsequent to the
>completion of the study, which UW faculty have estimated could be
completed in
>one year, the agreement would mandate that apparel licensees pay these
>Participant expressed disappointment that UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward
>not yet publicly addressed the issue of living wages. In the words of Eric
>Brakken, Chair of the Associated Students of Madison, "You can clean up a
>factory and open it up to the scrutiny of the public eye, but if at the
end of
>the day, workers are still paid sub-poverty wages, then it's still nothing
>a sweatshop."
>The sit-in here at UW-Madison follows in the wake of sit-ins at both Duke
>University and Georgetown University. Last weekend, the administration at
>gave in to the student demand that full public disclosure of apparel
>names and locations be part of any apparel licensee code of conduct for
>Tonight, students at Georgetown are entering the fourth night of a sit-in
>began Friday at noon. Spirits are high as they continue negotiations with
>administrators, expecting to reach a decision by tomorrow.
>The public response has come from a broad coalition of student groups,
>unions, elected officials, community members and University of Wisconsin
>alumni. Following two packed public forums, UW-Madison administration
>partially capitulated to the coalition's first among a series of
>apparel factory names and location be revealed to the public. The
>plans to continue pressuring university administration until the living
>provision is included in the proposed CLC code of conduct. Moreover, the
>coalition demands that the full public disclosure provision be added to the
>code immediately, rather than along the Chancellor's proposed timeline of
>months implementation.
>Madison Anti-Sweatshop Coalition Membership:
>U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Balwin, State Assembly Representative Mark Pocan,
>County Board Members Hendrick, Lowe, Vedder, and Powell, City Council
>Staude and Verveer, South-Central Federation of Labor, UW-Greens,
>Students of Madison, UW-Madison Alliance for Democracy, Student Labor
>Coalition, UW Federation of Labor, International Socialist Organization,
>Teaching Assistants Association, Asian-American Student Association, East
>Action Network, Vietnamese Student Association, Indian Student Association,
>Hmong-American Student Association, UW Students for the New Party,
>Student Association, Chingari Forum, Madison National Organization of
>Association of Asian-American Graduate Students, Wisconsin Coordinating
>on Nicaragua, Chinese Student Association, Young Feminist Taskforce,
>Lao-American Organization of Students, Chinese Undergraduate Student
>Association, Community Action on Latin America, Queer Student Alliance
># # #
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-=- "I was in a crazy motion till you calmed me down. It took a little time to calm me down." -Paul Simon (but don't underestimate the Annie Lennox version) -=-

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