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RE: AAA 2004 Annual Meeting to be in Atlanta, December 15-19

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  • Lewine, Mark
    Philippe s letter below helps further clarify the core values of our profession and reminds us that we need to apply those values more consciously to our
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2004
      RE: AAA 2004 Annual Meeting to be in Atlanta, December 15-19

      Philippe's letter below helps further clarify the core values of our profession and reminds us that we need to apply those values more consciously to our collective actions as AAA members, as section members, as faculty in our colleges and universities.  Such crises present us with opportunities to clarify the directions needed for change.  I will be meeting with my section in SF to discuss this and other matters; I will send my paper to The Panel in a few weeks. 

      -----Original Message-----
      From:   PennyO106@... [mailto:PennyO106@...]
      Sent:   Sat 10/30/2004 8:29 PM
      To:     Lewine, Mark; Chadmorris1@...; ejhaanstad@...; jill.boncek@...; bourgoi@...; ant101@...; kaori-oconnor@...
      Cc:    
      Subject:        Re: AAA 2004 Annual Meeting to be in Atlanta, December 15-19
      I think that Mark's idea about sharing our papers with each other and writing
      about this incident to one another in preparation for a bigger, more powerful
      panel next year is a wonderful idea. ... by the time next year comes around
      we will, perhaps, all be real colleagues.

      Saying that, here is a letter from Philippe that I am also sending to my
      other sections:

      Dear Anthropologists,

              Please do not go to Atlanta for the sake of the workers locked out of
      the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco and for the sake of hotel service workers
      throughout the country.  The Hilton Hotel in San Francisco has locked its
      workers out for asking for basic necessities that are common sense in the rest of
      the industrialized world and should be considered a basic human right:  decent
      minimum wages and health benefits... (for full-time employees!)  The
      conference in Atlanta is at a non-union Hilton Hotel.  All sections of the American
      Anthropological Association should cancel their sessions in Atlanta.  The Hilton
      Hotel and the Hilton Company will benefit financially and symbolically by
      having anthropologists attend their hotel in Atlanta.
                By patronizing any Hilton Hotel while its workers are locked out in
      San Francisco (or anywhere else in the world or the country) we would be
      behaving exactly like United Fruit Company executives in Central America and
      multinational executives throughout the world who break the backs of unions by
      simply switching production to non-union plantations/sweatshops in neighboring
      countries when one of its plantations/sweatshops tries to unionize.  That is
      unconscionably abusive and is much more important than any of our
      anthropology-meeting-related concerns.  We should have the decency and humility to realize
      that whatever we have to say at our academic meetings can wait for another year
      or six months for the sake of hotel workers.  Service workers have a chance of
      winning this fight for their rights because hotels, unlike plantations and
      sweatshops, have to stay put.  The service workers union will lose if
      organizations like the AAA move around the country at the  will of the Company to
      whichever city has the cheapest wage and most abusive working conditions.  This is
      not a complicated issue.  It should be easy for anthropologists with a global
      perspective to understand the stakes.



      Philippe Bourgois
      Professor
      Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine
      University of California, San Francisco
      Box 0850
      3333 California Street          [@ Walnut  street]
      Suite 485
      San Francisco CA 94143-0850
      (For express delivery use zip code 94118)
      Tel 415 502-8400
      Fax 415 374-7160
      http://www.dahsm.medschool.ucsf.edu/faculty/bios/bourgois_philippe.aspx






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