Boycott the Gap: WEF Report-back! Campaign Update! Call to Action!
- Hey Norma! How are you, dear girl? ...When I was away in NY for the WEF protests, my ISP got gobbled up, and now I have to
re-subscribe to all the listserves I was on. For some reason, Bay Area Organizing is slow to put me back on.... Could you do me a
favor, and cut and paste the following newsletter into a new email with the subject "Boycott the Gap: WEF Report-back! Campaign
Update! Call to Action!" and send it to the list? Thanks so much! Hope to see you soon! --Cheers & Hugs! --Mary
Greetings, Earth Defenders and Social Justice Activists Around the Globe!
It's been nearly three months since our last newsletter! New Year Greetings! This update comes on the heels of our TRIUMPHANT RETURN
from the MASS PROTESTS at the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (WEF) summit in NEW YORK CITY earlier this month, and the news that, as of last
week, GAP'S CREDIT RATING has been DEVALUED to JUNK-BOND status. ...We knew our Gap actions on Feb 1 and 2 in NYC were powerful, but
hadn't expected results quite this quickly ;-)--though it definitely appears that NYC is what has been single-handedly keeping Gap
afloat this past year (they have 26 Gap stores on Manhattan alone), but not after Feb 1! ...In this newsletter and call to action:
-WEF Mass Protests (Feb 1, 2) - Report-back!
-MacWorld Gap Actions (Jan 7--11) - Report-back!
-International Day of Action Against Gap (Dec 1, 2001): Report-back!
-Mobilize for MASS PROTESTS in D.C. (SOA/WB - April) & ALBERTA (G8 - June)!
-California's OLD-GROWTH INITIATIVE: Call for Volunteers!
-Mobilize for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: Leaflet John Q!
-Stop SLAVE-TRADE CHOCOLATE: Join the Fair-trade Chocolate Crusade!
-Help Desperate Farm Workers: Support the TACO BELL TRUTH TOUR!
-Join the New Student Mobilization for WEST PAPUA!
-Mobilize to Defend the LAST ANCIENT REDWOODS!
-Mobilize to Defend EASTERN FORESTS!
-BAY AREA CALENDAR of upcoming actions & events (highlights):
---2/22, SF: Going-away Party for Juliette Beck!
---2/23, SF: Peace March & Rallies! (SUV Counter Rally!)
---2/24, Oak: Bay Area Action Council Meeting!
---2/25, SF: WEF & WSF Report-backs!
---2/25, SF: Prop A (Instant Run-off Voting) Party & Call for Volunteers!
***NEWS FLASH: For a while now, our fellow forest defenders at RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK have wanted to support our campaign for
permanent protection of the Gap Fishers' redwood holdings. RAN recently produced a STATEMENT that is both a POWERFUL INDICTMENT of
FISHER LOGGING and of the FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL, the private group that certified the Fishers' forest destruction as "green."
You may now review the RAN statement at our web site. THANK YOU, RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK, for taking this STRONG PUBLIC
***NEWS FLASH: Gap's new credit rating is the first official indication that this corporation is NEVER GOING TO FULLY RECOVER. Gap's
financial demise is due at least in part--some think in large part--to the success of the consumer-pressure campaign. And even
though the Fishers and the Gap have not yet been big enough to admit this and do something about it, there is still hope for the
Fisher redwood forest and Gap sweatshop workers, and we have no intention of letting up till the FAT LADY SINGS. At the very least,
the GAP'S FATE will be a harbinger of things to come for all corporate exploiters. When the time is right, we'll make this point
clear with a powerful action and press conference.***
BACKGROUND. The WEF is a dues-paying club of about 1000 of the richest, most powerful corporations on Earth. The WEF takes credit
for the creation of the World Trade Organization, among other undemocratic, exploitative trade policies and institutions that are
ruining the planet and crushing the people living on it. These CEOs and their attendant heads-of-state usually meet once a year in
the ski resort of Davos, Switzerland. Disrupted by mass protests in recent years, the WEF sought to avoid the clamor for democracy,
justice, and accountability by holding its meeting in the US, where civil liberties have been sharply curtailed in the name of the
"war on terrorism." They further hedged their bets by choosing grief-stricken NYC as the site of their annual cocktail party. (See
http://www.weforum.org -http://www.geocities.com/pwdyson/wef_orgs.htm for more info on the WEF.)
The WEF MASS PROTESTS, which attracted between 10,000 & 20,000 protestors, marked the first mass action in the US since September
11. As such, it marked a powerful RECLAIMING of the PUBLIC's POLITICAL SPACE and RE-ASSERTION of our CIVIL RIGHTS. These
demonstrations also sharply exposed the CORPORATE OLIGARCHY and the POLICE STATE that it requires to protect it in their **MASSIVE**
DISPLAY of FORCE & WEAPONRY aimed directly at the people, democracy, and justice. (See http://www.freespeech.org/
http://nyc.indymedia.org/ for WEF protest coverage.)
Save the Redwoods/Boycott the Gap activists ACUTELY FELT this CRITICAL CALL-TO-ACTION, and the compelling need to re-assert our
constitutional rights and join our voices with those of thousands of others demanding democracy, global justice, and a sustainable
planet. So, on the heels of two major and successful organizing efforts--the International Day of Action Against the Gap (Dec 1) and
the MacWorld Gap Actions (Jan 7--11)--we mobilized for New York!
Our affinity group (AG) consisted of 16 STELLAR ACTIVISTS: Stump Crew travelling from California by ground (MARK, RIO, & Mary B.);
Forests Forever (Fo-Fo) Contingent, travelling from California by air (KEN, CHAD, NICK, PJ, THRUSH, & AMANDA), Home Crew, supporting
our efforts from home (MARY PJ, MARGOT, & CAROLYN), and FOUR activists who joined our group in NY--RACHEL (from Davis CA currently
at NYU), IAN (a high-school teacher in Naples, FL), TIM (a veteran CA Gaptivist now attending NYU), & LUCIOUS (a terrific activist
from New Haven, CT)! (Bernardo of DC gets an honorable mention!)
CROSS-COUNTRY ROADSHOW (Jan 28--Jan 31)! We transported the Fisher REDWOOD STUMP (5.5. ft. diameter, ~200 years old) cross-country,
driving three days around-the-clock in a pick-up truck, often through snow and ice. We did telephone interviews with public,
university, and news-talk radio stations and print MEDIA ALL ALONG THE WAY--thanks to our loving GUARDIAN ANGEL back home, MARY
PJERROU, who plotted our course avoiding the worst weather, kept us informed via cell phone, and sprinkled press releases ahead of
us, like bread-crumbs guiding our way!!! As a result, the OUTREACH ACROSS AMERICA'S HEARTLAND for redwoods and workers, the state of
the planet, and what people can do about it was AWESOME! Everywhere we went, people were by turns interested, sympathetic, and
thrilled to be touched by this action!
SCHOOL OF THE FUTURE (Thurs, Jan 31, 1 PM)! Our first stop in NYC was at the School of the Future, a public high school for
academically inclined kids of color in midtown Manhattan, where we did a presentation on why we were there--i.e., corporate economic
globalization, the Gap boycott, and activism--to savvy 11th and 12th graders. They were awesome! One kid was amazing in his
authoritative NJ accent, "You don't need to explain about the redwoods--they shouldn't be cut. I saw 'em once. They should be
saved." This wonderful intro to New York & New Yorkers happened serendipitously through the Stump Crew's kind and radical host ANDY,
who teaches at the school. CHEERS & THANKS TO ANDY & HIS AMAZING STUDENTS!!!
RALLY FOR THE PEOPLE (AFL-CIO GAP DEMO, Thurs, Jan 31, 4PM). After our presentation, we ate a quick lunch of fresh mozzarella and
tomatoes from an awesome, inexpensive Italian deli that just happened to be right where we parked (ah, New York!), as we high-tailed
it to the Gap Labor Demo uptown, where Organized Labor spokespeople, including John Sweeney, talked about how the "race to the
bottom" for the cheapest labor is deeply hurting families and communities at home and abroad. I leafletted passers-by, while Mark &
Rio looked for a place to park (this activity would occupy much of our time in NY!). At this rally, we discovered that in New York,
the public is not allowed to stop and take in a demo--unbelievably enough, they are ordered to move on by the police--a leaflet and
the evening news is as good as it gets for them. It was great to see the shining faces of some terrific global movement
activists--like LISA FITHIAN, ANTONIA JUHASZ, & DREW DELLINGER--in the crowd! I was happily drafted into the sneak-preview of the
GIANT PUPPET PLAY that would be performed in full during the MAIN EVENT on Saturday. After the demo, I needed to make some calls and
had a few moments of TRUE BLISS in a REAL NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (these are being rapidly displaced by trendy meat markets) at 1st and
69th (Katy Muldoon's or somesuch), **CONNECTING** with New Yorkers--some union iron-workers and an unassuming suit--while Mark and
Rio ate slices and waited for AAA to jump-start the truck (don't ask)...
RALLY FOR THE PLANET (OUR GAP DEMO, Fri, Feb 1, 12 noon)!!! The following day, we had our Gap demo at Gap's East Coast HQ on 5th and
54th Street--the crossroads of the ruling class! When it came to stump logistics, NYC posed a series of formidable
challenges--unloading, parking, moving--which we managed to hurdle. The rest of our MIRACULOUS AG appeared that morning right on cue
from the Four Corners of the Earth, and we ROLLED THE STUMP STRAIGHT UP TO THE DOOR OF THE GAP! We were joined by ADAM WEISSMAN and
our long-time friends at NYC's indefatigable Wetlands Preserve Activist Center, as well as by several of the NY anti-WEF organizers,
including TODD and LINDSEY, and by many other wonderful activists, including a SAMBA BAND (Reclaim the Beats)!!! The MEDIA OUTREACH
was nothing less than STUPENDOUS: The members of our AG alone must have done a DOZEN interviews apiece; we made front page of the
Philadelphia Inquirer, and every other mainstream and alternative media venue, in spades; the best PHOTOS I've seen were Reuters
(which made the stump look even bigger than it actually is!) and the NY Daily News (which gives you some idea of the PHENOMENAL
extent of the media coverage). Click on the following for Reuters and AP shots of the demo (the captions were good, too; the
articles only so-so, but we made up for that in TV and radio interviews--by that evening, everywhere we went with the stump, we were
(Check out www.gapsucks.org for our own pics and video clips coming soon!)
Once our sound-permit kicked in, RACHEL led us in SONG from our REPERTOIRE of anti-Gap tunes, highlighting our latest, slightly
modified version of Woody Guthrie's classic: "This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York island,
from the redwood forest to the gulf coast waters, this land is SAVED by you and me!" RIO, ADAM, and others spoke from the stump,
while others leafleted the crowds, drummed, or continued to speak with media. We were all HEADY from the SUCCESS of this demo--and
sleep deprivation--as we headed downtown to our NEXT ACTION....
OPENING VIGIL (Fri, Feb 1, 6 PM)! The NY organizers invited the PAGAN CLUSTER, an incredible network of global activists who bring
earth-based spirituality--as well as art, dance, music, humor, enormous courage, and magic--to activism (STARHAWK is the most
celebrated member of this group, and a long-time supporter of our Campaign), to organize the permitted, kick-off event for the
weekend of WEF protests: A RITUAL focused on HEALING and TRANSFORMATION to which all were invited! The date could not have been more
perfect--one of the most powerful in the pagan calendar: The FEAST of ST. BRIGID (the pagan goddess of water, fire, and BLACKSMITHS;
later adopted by Christians as a healer of the sick and comforter of the poor). Activists participating in this event decided to
create portable SHRINES depicting our VISIONS OF THE FUTURE, among other themes. During the ritual, the tools to realize these
visions would be symbolically created with BRIGID'S FORGE... WHAT A RITUAL!
For this special action, our group created a 3-D TRIPTYCH of a SUSTAINABLE PLANET (2.5 ft w, 10 l, 4h)--with a RESTORED ANCIENT
REDWOOD GROVE CENTER, flanked by a SUSTAINABLE NEW YORK CITY on the east--brightly-colored SKYSCRAPERS topped with WINDMILLS, solar
panels, organic farms and orchards!--and a SUSTAINABLE RURAL VILLAGE on the west--complete with hot springs, cultivated fields, wild
woodlands, and its own STONEHENGE! A blue gauze banner-skirt connected these dioramas like flowing waters, and attendees added their
own components to the vision--in words and drawings--on blue strips of ribbon provided. IT IS UTTERLY AWESOME, realized through the
ARTISTIC DIRECTION of KEN SHIMIZU--a young sculptor with a talent as huge as Henry Moore's--who delighted in building this TOY MODEL
OF PARADISE FOUND (carved from found foam insulation), and with whom building it in the wee hours the week before had been a
delight! The Triptych Team also included MARGOT, CAROLYN, CHAD, NICK, THRUSH, AMANDA, MARK, & Mary B. THREE CHEERS FOR THESE
The TRIPTYCH made the trip across country and was reassembled in Washington Square Park--a magical feat in itself! The STUMP was
also part of the setting for the ritual. The WEATHER MAGICALLY CLEARED for the event, but the COPS came down like LEADEN RAIN--antsy
to flex all their ridiculous muscle (they had spent millions)... We were hassled, our 6-inch dowels for the triptych were
confiscated as dangerous weapons (later sheepishly returned), and we were all threatened with mass arrests--dozens of paddy wagons
and even a helicopter at the ready!--if we didn't clear out by 8 PM... ***Still, everyone had a marvelous time: walking with
witches, dancing the spiral dance, and raising a healing energy for the Earth!*** THREE MIGHTY CHEERS FOR THE PAGAN CLUSTER!!!
BIG MARCH (Sat, Feb 2, 12 noon)! This was the MAIN EVENT--a permitted march that everyone could join with minimal risk of arrest,
organized by a medley of terrific NY activists, grassroots groups, and students, mostly of a direct-action/anarchist bent (NGOs and
Organized Labor were conspicuously absent), working under an umbrella called ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE. By comparison, the demos
that led to this event had been sparsely attended (100--500): People obviously came when they could get away--on the weekend--about
20,000 of them!!!
We gathered at the SE corner of Central Park--a sea of spirited people and colorful props made by Arts in Action among others--for a
rally, including songs, speeches, and a GIANT PUPPET PLAY, complete with the TRUTH FAIRY (Antonia Juhasz, the policy wonkette who
knows all!), and then marched to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the WEF was meeting. The NYPD began their SENSELESS, PUNITIVE
TACTICS at the start of the march, making the entire assembly move through a tiny bottleneck about five-people wide (they had to
adjust the barricades for the stump!)--a long and tedious process--before we were allowed to take the street. (Later, the NYPD would
attack and arrest about 40 marchers for wearing masks (!?!)--however, most of this Anti-Capitalist Convergence/Reclaim the Streets
contingent escaped brutality & arrest by being SWALLOWED up into the march by their fellow activists, including us.) None the less,
SPIRITS WERE SOARING!!!
We drummed, chanted, sang, danced, spoke, and created mini-demos at corporate exploiters, like Gap and Citigroup, along the parade
route! Our contingent created a sensation among protestors and media alike--the STUMP AGAIN was a huge attention-grabber! People
just MELTED at the sight of the BABY REDWOOD CROSS-SECTION (at one point, a group of black bloc anarchists circled round the stump
and hugged and kissed it)! We were interviewed by Amy Goodman among many others.
The march ended about five hours later in a stand-off between police and protestors. A NY organizer made it all the way back to us
(by this time, we were bringing up the very rear of the march--followed by three rows of cops--due to the sheer gravity of the
stump!) and asked us to bring our BANNER--our great GRIM REAPER (painted by 75-year-old Joan Norman, she'd broken her shoulder at
RAN's forest action camp, which prevented her from joining us this time!), made for the WTO in 1999 and re-purposed once more as the
WEF--to the FRONT-LINE. RIO & I braved SARDINE-CAN conditions to bring the banner to the fore. But when the great GIANT DRAGON (from
D.C., I believe) decided to join the frontliners, the crowding was just too much. As we retreated to re-join our AG, we squeezed
passed STARHAWK who was moving with purpose in the opposite direction, and I wondered what magic she had in mind to transform the
situation, regretting that my duties lay elsewhere...
The POLICE were at their BYZANTINE WORST at this point, erecting arbitrary, elaborate, and nonsensical barricades, and managed to
separate the various members of our AG. It was hours before we got the stump re-united with the truck, and it had to be done with a
POLICE ESCORT. Despite this and other unjustifiable police behavior, for us the MARCH was both TRIUMPHANT and EMPOWERING. It was the
first mass action for several members of our AG, and it was great to see them experience that INCOMPARABLE, DIZZYING SENSE OF
GRAND CENTRAL STATION SPIRAL DANCE (Feb 2 surprise capper)! While we were working on stump logistics after the march, unknown to us,
the other global activists had dispersed and headed toward Grand Central Station, where the Pagan Cluster led everyone present in a
SPONTANEOUS SPIRAL DANCE!!! ***What a capper it must have been!*** Not being there, I can only imagine something along the lines of
the waltz scene from "The Fisher King"--only better, because it was REAL! From all accounts, it was--well, a magical experience! I
regret we missed it, but...
IN SUMMARY. Given stump logistics (not least of all, the several hours it took to find parking in Brooklyn every night!), we missed
a LOT, including all the organizing meetings, art-making sessions, and spokes-councils, despite our best intentions otherwise. And
because we had to make the long journey back, we also missed Sunday's and Monday's follow-up actions at Arthur Andersen (ENRON
accountants) and the ARGENTINE CONSULATE, in solidarity with HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of middle-class Argentineans, revolting against
free trade and what it has done to their country, once the poster-child of neo-liberalism! Finally, we missed the march for animal
rights and the environment, where the police went wild with illegal mass arrests--about 200 (note the City of New York just paid
~$500,000 for NYPD transgression of First Amendment rights at a previous protest, and it looks like they'll have to pay again)!
However, THE EFFECT THE STUMP HAD was ultimately worth the time and trouble! The stump has always been a charismatic object, but in
New York, it BLEW OUT ALL THE STOPS!!! Everywhere we went, the baby redwood cross-section provided a vivid and deeply moving
indictment of corporate greed and the deadly infrastructure we're attempting to transform. It invoked INCREDIBLE TENDERNESS and AWE
from just about EVERYONE who saw it, INCLUDING THE COPS. And this little drama unfolded over and over again...
The anti-WEF protests were a great Festival of Resistance, to which we added significantly with our collective spirit, redwood
stump, artwork (the triptych shrine of a sustainable planet), roadshow, and Gap warm-up action! We accomplished an amazing amount of
outreach for the world's forests and other aspects of globalization at home and abroad, and of course, paramount, the issues of
redwood deforestation, sweatshop labor, and the Gap Boycott. We handed out about 12,000 LEAFLETS in total, and media coverage was
about as good as it gets.
***HANDFULS OF 100%-POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED CONFETTI TO ALL THE GREAT GAPTIVISTS WHO PARTICIPATED!!!***
THANK YOU, NY LEGAL EAGLES!!! Our personal experience with the NYPD and their Intel division was mixed. They escorted us from our
staging area to the Gap demo and were there in force (see Washington Post and NYT's photos). Many were very friendly and some
VISIBLY AWED by the stump, while others were contentious and attempted to circumscribe our rights. NY attorneys from the ACLU
(CHRIS) and from the National Lawyers Guild (ED) observing our event nipped this infringement in the bud. LESLIE BRODY of the NLG
was the police liaison for our demo and the Big March (her nine-year-old daughter, btw, is known to walk into Gap stores and
confront shoppers on the issues!). MAC SCOTT of the People's Law Collective got us our SOUND PERMIT and shepherded the Opening Vigil
through the permit process!!! MANY THANKS TO THESE AMAZING, TIRELESS, SELFLESS LEGAL EAGLES!!! As reported elsewhere in this
article, the police brutalized other members of the public and made mass illegal arrests on no provocation. The PEOPLE'S LAW
COLLECTIVE is handling their legal defense:
***PLEASE donate via money order to PLC, 126 University Place, 5th Flr, NY 10003 nycplc@... ***
THANK YOU, NEW YORK ACTIVISTS!!! Last but not least, HATS OFF TO OUR GREAT NEW YORK HOSTS for an empowering and powerful FESTIVAL OF
RESISTANCE!!! These incredible organizers also supported our group very generously AT EVERY TURN--media, outreach, legal advice, art
material sources, housing, and turning out for our demo!!! THEY ARE AWESOME!!!
JOURNEY HOME. The Stump Crew passed through formidable towns, homeward bound: Louisville, Kentucky; St. Louis, Missouri--and THAT
LEGEND OF THE PRAIRIES: The Socialist Republic of LAWRENCE, KANSAS (they've done a lot of Gap demos in Lawrence, as well, and it was
great fun to set foot there!), where we got provisions at their wonderful natural foods store (26 years old, they boasted!) and
talked with fellow dread-locked radicals about our ADVENTURES IN DEMOCRACY, and left the last of our leaflets... We saw MIGHTY
polluted RIVERS like the OHIO, the MISSOURI, and the incredible, incredible MISSISSIPPI... We hit the HIGH PLAINS and skirted the
ROCKIES. And all along the way, where once there had been unique, diverse home-grown cafes, motels, souvenir shops, curiosity
museums, independent gas stations, gin joints, and jazz clubs--OASES of AMERICANA, footprints of American culture, small-scale
entrepreneurism--there is now CORPORATE MONOCULTURE: blando franchises, uniform wares, and a terrible sameness.
MACWORLD DEMO: REPORT-BACK!
In early Jan we got wind of a Gap-hosted kick-off party for MacWorld, the huge week-long, Mac users convention in SF, where Steve
Jobs unveils his latest high-tech achievement. It turns out that Jobs sits on the Gap Board--in fact, Gap and Apple have
interlocking Boards of Directors (please, Steve, think different!). We decided to outreach to Mac users, and we created a unique Mac
User Group to that end: Mac Users Against Gap. Like good conventioneers, we had printed name tags that designated us as such--very
tongue-in-cheek--and Mary Pj created a terrific leaflet for the occasion, uniting the Apple logo with a lovely Julia Butterfly
drawing of a redwood tree!
It was one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL DEMOS we've ever done: The sidewalk outside the new Gap HQ (subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of
$18 million), where the party was to be held, is of EMPIRE PROPORTIONS... At least THIRTY ACTIVISTS alternating with REDWOOD
SAPLINGS created a SACRED SPACE--a deeply moving, ARCING SEMI-CIRCLE--around the STUMP, which sat center, underneath our special
banner--Mac Users Against Gap--all lit by Gap's empire neo-classical lighting under the Gap logo. We sang songs from our anti-Gap
repertoire and created a new anti-Gap cheer that thundered through-out downtown:
Who are we?
Mac Users Against Gap!
WHO ARE WE???
MAC USERS AGAINST GAP!!!
W-H-O A-R-E W-E ? ? ? ? ?
M-A-C U-S-E-R-S A-G-A-I-N-S-T G-A-P ! ! ! ! !
What we got for our trouble besides the moral edification was an amazing, right-on, perfect-tone article the following Monday, Jan
14, by none-other-than the SF Chronicle's high-tech columnist Henry Norr, who was critiquing the MacWorld convention. (The news
crews did not air their clips because the party had been canceled, and Pia broke her camera so we have no pics of the event).
SEVERAL OF US went on to leaflet the convention throughout the week--and the response was UTTERLY AWESOME (Mac Users really ARE more
progressive than the average citizen!).
***MANY THANKS TO THE INTREPID GAPTIVISTS WHO MADE THESE ACTIONS ON SUCH SHORT NOTICE!!!***
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE GAP
Our entire 2001 GAP CAMPAIGN centered around this event and the Regional Months of Action leading to it. It was an enormous
success--with approximately 200 Gap actions throughout the US, UK, and Canada during the holiday season, and dozens upon dozens of
actions--great and small--throughout the year and around the globe leading to the main holiday event! In the Bay Area, over 50
people committed to donning Santa suits, carrying the 200-foot, anti-Gap clothesline-banner, and singing sweatshop and deforestation
carols at the four Gap stores circling Union Square! Due to MISERABLE WET WEATHER about 25 DIE-HARD GAPTIVISTS showed up (BRAVO!!!).
Still, the SFPD gave us a lane of traffic, and our procession--though SOGGY--was colorful and SPIRITED!
***THANK YOU, GAPTIVISTS EVERYWHERE FOR THIS INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!***
MASS ACTION, ANYONE???!!!
The ANTIDOTE to rage, impotence, and despair--is ACTION : Taking political action for true democracy and justice! Doing this with
many thousands of like-minded and like-hearted people--well, it just doesn't get much better! Here are three upcoming opportunities
to speak Truth to Power en masse:
-April 19--22, DC: SHUT DOWN THE SOA/Stop Plan Colombia!!! The School of the Americas (SOA), renamed the "Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation" (WHISC), is a military training school for Latin American soldiers, located at Fort Benning, GA.
Over its 56 years, the SOA has trained over 60,000 Latin American soldiers in counterinsurgency techniques, sniper training,
psychological warfare, military intelligence and interrogation tactics (torture training manuals have been found on the premises).
Colombia, with over 10,000 troops trained at the SOA, is the school's largest customer. Colombia currently has the worst human
rights record in all of Latin America, averaging one massacre per day. 2,000,000 people have been killed or displaced by
civilian-targeted warfare carried out by graduates of the SOA. Schedule of events:
Fri, Apr 19: Vigil and Lobbying to Shut Down the SOA at the US Capitol (Upper Senate Park)
Sat, Apr 20: Nat'l Youth & Student Peace Coalition Demo, Teach In, Direct Action Training, Concert
Sun, Apr 21: Colombia Mobilization Festival of Hope: Speakers, Music, Puppets, Street Theatre
Mon, April 22: Solidarity March and Nonviolent Direct Action
More info: http://www.soaw.org
--Apr 20-21, DC: PROTEST THE IMF & WORLD BANK! Mobilization for Global Justice is calling for mass actions protesting the IMF &
World Bank who are meeting that weekend in DC. More info will be forthcoming.
--June, Alberta, Canada: MASS PROTESTS AGAINST THE G8! The Group of Eight is meeting in Alberta, Canada, in June. According to the
UN, G8 policies are responsible for the deaths of 19,000 children a day. Planning is just getting under way for mass protests
against the G8 and their policies at the Alberta summit. A Solidarity Tent Village (from June 21--28) is in the works--the web-page
is under construction http://www.oxygensmith.com/g8camp/. Please check out the following URLs for more info:
http://g8.activist.ca/event/ & http://g8.activist.ca/village/ .
***Given the proximity of Alberta, SRBG may organize a group to join the demonstrations! PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in
coming with us or meeting us there!!!***
***Meanwhile, a rough and ready NOVA SCOTIA GAPTIVIST, Aaron Doncaster, is fired up about organizing a related GAP ACTION in BANFF
and/or CALGARY. If you are planning to go and want to help organize the action, contact Aaron at aaron@... !*** THREE CHEERS
CALIFORNIA INITIATIVE TO SAVE OLD-GROWTH!
This one's a no-brainer: Stop logging trees 150 years old or older (less than 3% left in California!). 420,000 signatures are needed
before the end of April to get the initiative on the November ballot. Of course, the initiative does not address the protection of
most of the forest land and resources in California, which are being obliterated by commercial timber interests at a nauseating
rate. Some feel that, if passed, Californians will believe that forests are adequately protected; that misconception can be avoided
with a little education--a leaflet and a few judicious words as people sign the petition. To help with this important initiative:
-GATHER SIGNATURES! Check out http://www.ancienttrees.org for the forms center nearest you or send a self-addressed, stamped
envelope to CFOG, PO Box 17456, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
-DONATE! Make your check payable to CFOG (Campaign for Old Growth) and mail to PO Box 714, Ukiah, CA 95482.
-DISTRIBUTE THIS CALL-FOR-VOLUNTEERS! Send this call-for-volunteers to your email lists, friends, & family!
-MORE INFO: (213) 484-4474 info@...
***SRBG will be tabling for this and other forest issues in the coming weeks! If you want to join us, PLEASE CONTACT 415-731-7924
Mobilize for Universal Health Care: Leaflet John Q!
The CORPORATIZATION of HEALTH CARE has been an unmitigated disaster in this country resulting in skyrocketing premiums, degraded,
impersonalized care, and 47 MILLION people without health insurance. The US is the only industrialized nation without universal
health care, and we pay more than any other country for our health care. We all have horror stories to tell. Health care and
corporate profiteering, like education and corporate profiteering, don't mix--the goals are mutually exclusive.
***Universal Health Care activists are rallying around the movie, JOHN Q, which runs with some of these themes, providing an
opportunity to get the general public moving on this critical issue! Activists are leafleting movie-goers as they leave the
theaters! Public response has been great!***
To find out more about the issue and what you can do, contact http://www.healthcareforall.org barastorey@... 888-442-4255.
Twenty-three chapters throughout California. Gray Panthers are also big on this issue!!!
Stop Slave-trade Chocolate: Join the Fair-trade Chocolate Crusade!
Global Exchange launched a fair-trade chocolate campaign on Feb 14. Why? Because...
* 43% of the world'ss cocoa comes from the Ivory Coast, a country where child slave labor was recently uncovered on cocoa
plantations! Cocoa workers who are actually paid get wages that leave them at the edge of poverty and starvation.
* The world market price of cocoa has fallen so low- currently at 40 cents per pound- that cocoa plantation owners have been forced
to use child slaves or pay their workers poverty wages.
* Though many companies in the US chocolate industry have agreed to work towards ending child slavery, their plan includes no
provisions to insure that adult workers are given fair working conditions and wages, which is the only way to guarantee that slavery
doesn't resurface or continue in secret.
* Not a single company in the $13 billion US Chocolate industry sells Fair Trade Certified Chocolate, meaning that cocoa workers
will be left with poverty wages even after child slavery is eradicated.
For sources of fair-trade chocolate, see http://store.globalexchange.org/chocolate.html . To help with the campaign, contact Melissa
at melissa@... or 415-255-7296 x 352
TACO BELL TRUTH TOUR: BOYCOTT THE BELL!
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers needs your help to make Taco Bell a part of the solution in Florida's farmworkers' fight for
dialogue and a fair wage. By contracting for cheap tomatoes grown and picked by farmworkers paid sub-poverty wages in Florida
(workers are paid 40 cents for a 32-lb bucket of tomatoes--to make $50 a day, a worker would have to pick 2 tons), Taco Bell (with
sales of more than $5 billion in 1999, while Tricon, Inc., Taco Bell's parent corporation--together with Pizza Hut and Kentucky
Fried Chicken--reported worldwide system sales of over $22 billion last year) contributes significantly to the continued misery of
farmworkers and their families.
Write or call Emil J. Brolick, President and Chief Concept Officer Taco Bell Corp.--17901 Von Karman Irvine, California 92614 tel.
(949) 863-4500--and tell him what you think.
Support the Truth Tour:
-TAMPA, FL Thursday, Feb. 28, 2002
-ATLANTA, GA Friday, March 1
-SOUTH BEND, IN Saturday, March 2
-CHICAGO, IL Sunday, March 3
-MADISON, WI Monday, March 4
-DENVER, CO Wednesday, March 6
-SAN FRANCISCO, CA Friday, March 8
-FRESNO, CA Saturday, March 9
-LOS ANGELES: Sunday, March 10: day of music, workshops, and ACTION!
-IRVINE, Monday, March 11: March on Taco Bell Corporate Headquarters
-FLAGSTAFF, AZ Tuesday, March 12
-ALBUQUERQUE, NM Wed., March 13
-OKLAHOMA CITY, OK Thurs., March 14
-LITTLE ROCK, AR Friday, March 15
-MEMPHIS, TN Saturday, March 16
Check http://www.ciw-online.org for exact details and contacts for each stop on the tour as they become available. Contact Phone #:
(941-821-5481) OR (941-285-2368) or Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida (941- 839-3970); in Southern CA: TOLL FREE: 866.206.9073
Join the Student Mobilization for West Papua!
West Papua shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea. Right now, while New Guinea's virgin rainforests--some of the last
on the face of the earth--are being pillaged by corporate timber interests, the Indonesia military has been massacring the people of
West Papua, who were sold down the river by the UN in 1962. Recently retired UN officials have begun to talk about the whitewash,
throwing international attention on West Papua--with Irish students taking a lead! Read on!!!
Face Up (Irish magazine for young people) January 2002
Starting to Remember that West Papua Exists
For many years the world turned a blind eye to the little country of West Papua and allowed it to be oppressed by Indonesia. But
not any more. Students in Laois and people worldwide are beginning to campaign for the freedom of a country long forgotten, writes
Clare O'Grady Walshe.There is no doubt that West Papua, which has lost over 100,000 or 10% of its people to the Indonesian military,
is not a priority of either the Irish government or the international community. Not yet anyway! This is why the recent decision of
students in Laois to begin to campaign for West Papua is very welcome. They have set up a group called Students for West Papua, and
would like to form a network of students in Ireland. They can be contacted at studentsforwestpapua@... and plan to develop a
special student section of West Papua Action's website http://westpapuaaction.buz.org
The question of West Papua has been buried so deep it takes a while to realize "Irian Jaya, Indonesia" is the same place on the map
as "West Papua", that West Papua shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea, and that both are directly north of
Australia. Together with the Amazon, New Guinea has one of the largest surviving tracts of virgin rainforest in world. Often
described as the lungs of the world, these forests are being cut down at an alarming rate.
West Papua was dropped off the United Nations agenda on one of the darkest days in that international body's history. The
Netherlands, which controlled West Papua, signed an agreement with Indonesia at UN headquarters in 1962, giving de-facto control of
West Papua to Indonesia: the West Papuans weren't consulted. The agreement said there would be an "act of self-determination in
accordance with international practice" by 1969.
In 1969, after having killed an estimated 30,000 people, the Indonesian military regime rounded up 1,025 elders and intimidated them
into voting, in public, to integrate with Indonesia. The ballot wasn't secret; less than 1% voted (800,000 Papuans lived there
then); the vote was unanimous. The UN representative in West Papua at the time, Fernando Ortiz-Sanz, presented a report of the
take-over, which contained at least one lie, and which did not clearly say that the vote was NOT "in accordance with international
practice"; the countries of the world took "note" of this report on 19 November 1969, and the question of West Papua dropped into
Apart from two international journalists who were witnesses to the farce, there has been a deafening silence in political and UN
circles about the betrayal of the Papuans.Until today, that is. In a stunning breakthrough, a former top UN official who was
involved in the take-over, has gone on the record:
"It was just a whitewash. The mood at the United Nations was to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible," said Chakravarthy
Narasimhan, a retired U.N. undersecretary general who handled the takeover. "Nobody gave a thought to the fact that there were a
million people there who had their fundamental human rights trampled," he said in a telephone interview from his home in Madras,
India. "Suharto was a terrible dictator," Narasimhan said. "How could anyone have seriously believed that all voters unanimously
decided to join his regime? Unanimity like that is unknown in democracies."
Former Irish minister for foreign affairs, David Andrews, followed this by saying that the international community and the UN should
revisit the "sham" of the "Act of 'Free' Choice" (as the so-called vote was called). Another former foreign minister, Dick Spring,
added: "This admission by the former UN official lends irrefutable credibility to the West Papuan people's long struggle for a
proper act of self-determination and casts a dark shadow on the UN itself, which cannot be left stand."
Irish solidarity organization West Papua Action is running a campaign to have the UN re-open the question. Now that the door to
freedom for West Papua has been unlocked, every single person's actions will help to open it wide. For more information, contact
West Papua Action, c/o Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road Dublin 7 Tel. 01 8827563 / 8827581 Mobile. *353 87 2969742 Email. wpaction@...
http://westpapuaaction.buz.org Students for West Papua studentsforwestpapua@...
Mobilize to Defend the Last of the Ancient Redwoods!
From NCEF!: Please come to Humboldt County ACTION CAMP NOW to participate in a campaign to save the last of the Old Growth Redwoods,
which are on the chopping block NOW! THP 01-382 has just been APPROVED by the CDF, and contains an UNENTERED Old Growth Redwood
grove. A base camp is being maintained at Grizzly Creek State Park and the Van Duzen County Park, "Swimmer's Delight." We have to
move every two weeks or so (camp rules), so if we're not at one, we're at the other.
DIRECTIONS: Hwy 36 12 miles to Swimmer Delight on the right (look for brown highway signs denoting > camping, picnicking and
swimming--there's a large wood sign but it's hard to read) and 17 miles to Grizzly Creek on the Right (clearly marked).**** PLEASE
COME to Humboldt County, for the Old Growth, for Gypsy, and for the Earth!
Donations are definitely needed, so if you can't make it up here yourself, you can always send us help.
We can always use cash, wool and waterproof clothing, non-perishable food (pref. organic), video and still cameras, walkie-talkies,
sleeping bags, backpacks, headlamps, chocolate, and so on. Please help to save the last of these ancient trees, and to keep Maxxam
Corporation from further desecrating Gypsy Mountain...Aho! **********Phone: 707/825-6598 leave message
Mobilize to Defend Eastern Forests!
Eastern Forest Defense Direct Action Camp! May 28th thru June 3rd 2002. In Southern Indiana in the middle of the great Eastern
hardwood forest. From the National Forest Protection Alliance, Katuah Earth First!, the Dogwood Alliance, Heartwood, Buckeye Forest
Council and a bunch of other really awesome eastern forest huggers:
Hey y'all, The great forests of the eastern half of Turtle Island can and will recover if given a chance. However, an impressive
array of greedheads stand in the way of eastern forest recovery. In fact, these entities are actively destroying the struggling
remnants of the great eastern forests. The U$ Forest Service, the pulp and paper industry, developers, strip miners, genetic
manipulators and other greedy industrialists are daily engaged in wanton acts of destruction against our beautiful and biologically
diverse Eastern Forests. We have to mobilize to defend our forest homes! These forests are our collective life support systems.
Their defense is self defense!
All activists, forest dwellers, concerned citizens, and others ready and willing to act on behalf of our forests are invited to
attend. We want to focus on evolving non-violent direct action tactics. We are looking for folks from the Northwoods (Great Lakes
and New England), Central Appalachia, Southern Appalachia (Katuah!), the Great Coastal Swamps, the Piedmont, the Pine Barrens, the
Allegheny Plateau, the Ozarks and the Midwest to join us in southern Indiana as we share skills, techniques and ideas for defending
our forests. We would like to share the latest skills in tree-sitting, road blockades, etc... and come up with new ideas unique to
our ecosystems for forest defense. Put together affinity groups, forest action groups, etc... and come on down. The forests need
Note to our friends out West: The eastern forests need y'all as well. You can support this Action Camp by donating money, action
gear or time as a volunteer trainer or skill facilitator. We desperately need: money, food donations, action and camping gear
donations, volunteers, action trainers, skill shares, camp participants, musicians, etc...
For more info please contact: National Forest Protection Alliance PO Box 1891 Charlottesville, VA 22903 434-971-5990, 434-970-1806
fax scurry@... www.forestadvocate.org or Katuah Earth First! River Faction Perrin de Jong (865)673-5083
BAY AREA ACTIVIST CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS
-->2/22, SF: Going-away Party for Juliette Beck! 8 PM. 331 Capp Street (between 18th & 19th, Mission & South Van Ness; big yellow
Victorian house). Bring a beverage to share. Juliette is leaving Global Ex, taking several months sabbatical to travel to Australia
and the Far East, after which she plans to be back here in the activist ring! But, you never know where this wild and wonderful
activist may end up. Among her vast accomplishments, she singlehandedly mobilized hundreds--if not thousands--of activists to shut
down the WTO (I saw her do it!)! THREE-CHEERS FOR JULIETTE!!!
-->2/23, SF: Peace March & Rallies! 11:00 am - assemble at Dolores Park (Dolores and 18th Streets in the Mission District). 12:00
pm - march by way of General Hospital. 1:00 pm - rally at Precita Park with Walter Johnson, San Francisco Labor Council, Tillie
Olson, writer, Yuri Kochiyama, activist, Dennis Bernstein, KPFA, Shahi Sadat, poet, devorah major, poet, and many more!
COUNTER RALLY: Join the Sheep United 4 Victory (SUV) counter-protest; get your SHEEP MASK, BLEAT-BOOK (e.g., don't worry, bomb
happy; Obeeey Buush- buuy more boombs; etc.), and PLACARD (e.g., Killing Innocent People IS the Solution) at the Dolores Cafe. For
more info, contact baahappy@... or just show up before 11.
-->2/24, Oak: Bay Area Action Council Meeting! 12pm. 1605 Ashby (CAN office): This is a newly-forming Bay Area spokes council for
Bay Area affinity groups. AGs and activists are invited to join. There is a screening process yet to be discussed and defined, but
the general idea is... you have to be into direct democracy, no recruiting for larger organizations, and the like. The vision is Bay
Area mobilizations comparable to Seattle.
-->Feb 25, SF. WEF/WSF report backs. Mon. 6-8 pm Women's Building 3543 18th St. (near Valencia) San Francisco. World Social Forum -
in Porto Alegre Brazil (51,000) and the World Economic Forum - in New York (20,000): Story telling, spoken word, multimedia
presentation with a ton of interesting activists!
-->2/25, SF: Prop A (Instant Run-off Voting) Party & Call for Volunteers! 7:30-11:00pm. Voodoo Lounge 2937 Mission Street (on
Mission between 25th and 26th, one block from the 24th & Mission BART station). Join host Medea Benjamin-together with Tom Ammiano,
Matt Gonzalez, Mark Leno, Harry Britt and Jeff Adachi-for an evening of fun and entertainment in support of Prop A / Instant Run-off
Voting (IRV). Enjoy the music, drinks, sushi bar and talent show. Jazz music by the John Baker Quintet and the hidden talents of SF
Supervisors, politicos, friends & supporters of Prop A. Perform or be a judge in the IRV Awards!! Pick the winners with IRV (Instant
Run-off Voting) Reveal your talents: hip hop dance, opera singing, raunchy jokes, poetry, flamenco, stupid pet tricks, outlandish
drag, spoken word, cowboy songs... Performances from 7:30-11pm, then the DJ spins till we close the place down. Spread the word and
invite your friends. No cover charge but donations for Prop A greatly appreciated.
IRV needs our money...Let's help IRV win the March 5 election!!! PRECINCT-WALK FOR PROP A!!!!For more info call Global Exchange
415-255-7296 or June Brashares 510-551-9689.
Prop A is Electoral Reform - It's "Instant Runoff Voting
* Gets rid of low-turnout December runoff elections
* Uses "instant" runoff to elect a majority winner in 1 election
* final election is in November when voter turnout is highest
* Saves taxpayers $2 million - cost of 2nd election
How "instant" Runoff Voting works: You vote for your favorite candidate - just like you do now. But you also choose your runoff
choices at the same time. You do this by ranking candidates on your ballot, 1,2,3 - You rank the candidates in order of your
preference. Then if none of the candidates wins a clear majority, the second-place votes are used to decide who's the winner -
without the expense of a runoff election (where turnout is traditionally far lower). 15% voter turnout in the December 2001 runoff
election was the lowest in San Francisco history. Minorities were disproportionately affected. Not only that, we had to endure
relentless and expensive negative campaigning. Reduce mudslinging -- With Prop. A candidates have the incentive to court the
supporters of other candidates. Successful candidates win by building coalitions not by tearing down their opponents. It also helps
make third parties more viable, by eliminating the "spoiler" argument. http://www.improvetherunoff.org/
Vote YES on Proposition A
Btw, my ISP got gobbled (globaled) while I was away. So please include this new email address on your personal email lists.
Cheers, hugs, and many thanks for your activism!
Save the Redwoods/Boycott the Gap Campaign
252 Frederick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
415-731-7924 chalicenew@... www.gapsucks.org
FOR REDWOODS & WORKERS, BOYCOTT GAP, BANANA REPUBLIC, & OLD NAVY!
FOR PEOPLE & PLANET, STOP "FAST TRACK" & THE FTAA! www.stopftaa.org
(Too late: This bill, that hands over Congressional trade authority
to George W. Bush, passed the House Dec 6, 2001 by one vote.)
TO END INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM, STOP THE SUPER JAIL FOR KIDS! www.booksnotbars.org