campus news

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Mon Apr 24 14:48:54 PDT 2000

[From Sam Smith's Progressive Review, today's edition of which is dominated by criticisms of the Elian raid...]


BALTIMORE: This afternoon, Johns Hopkins No Sweat!, Johns Hopkins Student Labor Action Committee, the Goucher Rights Of Workers League and several students from local high schools rocked the Gap in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. We set up pickets, leafleting and a bed sheet outside their inner harbor stores, and set about stalling the security guard who told us the whole place was private property and off-limits. After a few minutes, another guard came and told us that we could be on the sidewalk by the streets. Then we started chalking the sidewalks and plaza, until some cops told us to stop (and we nodded and then continued after they left). After an hour or so, we sent delegations into the Gap and Banana Republic stores to talk to employees and to ask the managers to write letters of concern to the national headquarters urging them to settle with the workers from Saipan. When they refused, we told them we would be back soon even as we plan to contact employees to get them to bring the issue up at employee meetings.

YALE: After living on the plaza in front of our president's office for 16 days, Students Against Sweatshops at Yale stopped the occupation. Unfortunately, we did not leave the plaza because our president agreed to our demands. We left because staying on the plaza was physically and psychologically exhausting and because it became clear that remaining there longer was not going to change our president's position. We held a short ceremony (with about 50 people) during which we took down the large wooden monument that we have been guarding and put in its place a sign which reads: "Although an unanimous Yale College Council Resolution, a Yale Daily News Masthead editorial, an overwhelming majority of voting undergraduates, and a 16-day occupation of Beinecke Plaza urged the Yale Administration to take action to fight sweatshop abuses, it has steadfastly refused to do so. Students Against Sweatshops at Yale has placed this here as a reminder that sweatshop workers continue to suffer while making Yale clothing. Although we are not continuing our occupation of Beinecke, SAS remains dedicated to ending sweatshop practices and will continue to work toward that end." . . . Although we cannot declare victory, our occupation has had many positive effects. We have caused a relatively apathetic, self-absorbed student body to think about the connection between themselves and the products they purchase.

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