A Jeanne Site
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: February 21, 2000
Curran or Takata.
On Saturday, February 19, jeanne recieved this e-mail over her peace and education listserv announcing that non-violent student demonstrators had been arrested at by riot police at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on Saturday, March 19, 2000. There was no local California news on the item. Jeanne contacted Susan.
This e-mail was accompanied by a request: PLEASE FORWARD EVERYWHERE. I hope this will qualify as everywhere.
POLICE ATTACK NON-VIOLENT PROTESTORS
Folks, there's something significant happening in Madison, Wisconsin ... and this is spreading quickly across the continent, from Penn to Michigan and beyond.
The time to act is now.
This afternoon, students and workers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison began an occupation in Chancellor David Ward's office in Bascom Hall. in the continued efforts to get the UW to use its leverage to stop sweatshop exploitation. There are 7 students that are locked down with bicycle locks inside of the Chancellor's office. Campus police have entered the office with bolt cutters, attempting to arrest the seven students. In the efforts of the others to enter the office following the police to ensure the safety of their comrades, over half a dozen of us were maced by the police, some injured badly. About 50 people are still are sitting in the hallway directly outside of the office, and more are expected to join the occupation beginning tonight.
The Wisconsin administration has been belligerent in resisting basic demands for public accountability and social justice. Despite a pledge last June to pull its support of the Fair Labor Association -- a corporate scheme derided by nearly the entire anti-sweatshop community worldwide as nothing more than a permanent coverup for sweatshop abuses -- within 6 months if it didn't make substantial changes. After no improvement by the FLA, and the creation of a system called the Worker Rights Consortium to introduce real accountability into the sweatshop industry and supported by anti-sweat advocates around the world, the Chancellor ignored a vote of the official anti-sweatshop committee on campus to pull out of the FLAw and become a member of the WRC. It is because of this blatant move to run over the democratic process at UW and bow down to corporate interests that students have recently resigned from the committee and are taking this serious action. The supposed commitment of the Univ of Wisconsin last year to support worker and human rights has been all but forgotten. It is time for all people to take the lead in all issues of social justice at our corporate universities.
If you are at the University of Wisconsin at Madison or elsewhere in the region and can make it to Madison, please support the students by joining he occupation immediately. For more information, call the support office for the occupation at the UW-Madison Alliance for Democracy 180/MDE: 608-262-9036.
If you are elsewhere in the world, call the administration letting them know that the physical and legal repression of the students is intolerable and must end now, and that you expect them to support the demands of the occupiers to pull out of the Fair Labor Association and become full participatory members of the Worker Rights Consortium.
Chancellor David Ward
Chief of UW Police Sue Riesling
Statements of Support
608-262-9036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is spreading folks. Active solidarity is needed. The climate is
changing very quickly on college campuses, and you are needed now.
- - - - - -
Benjamin Manski - 608-262-9036 - 731 State
Four Lakes, Madison, WISCONSIN 53703
Associated Students of Madison
Midwest Headwaters Earth First!
UW Federation of Labor - Madison Area
http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~uwfl (link not working on February 21, 2000)
UW-Madison Alliance for Democracy
180 Movement for Democracy and Education
United Faculty and Academic Staff
American Federation of Teachers Local 223
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Sunday, 2/20/00
Derek Wright (Chair, Organizing Committee)
Frank Emspak (President)
Bob Israel (Vice President)
The United Faculty and Academic Staff, American Federation of Teachers Local 223, strongly condemns the arrest of students, campus workers, and community members at Bascom Hall this morning. We stand in total solidarity with those struggling to cut UW's ties to sweatshop exploitation, and support their demands.
Chancellor David Ward, after telling the participants of the sit-in he would meet with them on Monday, has broken all trust by sending in riot police in the middle of the night to clear Bascom Hall. We are outraged the administration would use force against non-violent protesters in an attempt to silence a movement for social justice. We condemn this action and the curfew imposed at Bascom Hall. We call for all charges to be dropped against the protesters, and for their immediate release.
Moreover, we demand that the administration follow through with its written agreement of last February and withdraw the UW from the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), since it does not include a code of conduct that guarantees women's rights, a living wage, and full public disclosure of all factories that produce clothing with the UW logo. Moreover, we call on the UW to become a full member of the Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), which relies on the workers themselves, organized in unions and non-governmental organizations, to monitor factory conditions. The so-called "Fair Labor Association" (FLA) instead relies on the corporations that profit heavily from the use of sweatshops to monitor themselves. This is unacceptable. We are tired of Chancellor Ward's stalling. He has had four months to review the WRC. Many unions, human rights groups and universities have already signed on. The Living Wage Symposium in Madison last fall recommended the UW sign onto the WRC.
The administration is only hurting the UW-Madison's reputation of concern for social justice and human rights by its actions. Now is the time to begin to repair that reputation. First, release our students and co-workers. Then, take the decisive actions needed to cut all ties between the UW and sweatshop factories around the world.
United Faculty and Academic Staff, AFT Local 223
- AFL-CIO resolution calls for "calls for granting a permanent legal immigration status for illegal immigrants."
- "This resolution comes from the same organization that fiercely opposes even a modest increase in number of H1-B visas (to a total of 200,000 a year) which allow highly trained and talented professionals from abroad to legally work in USA in academia and hi-tech industries, such as computers and software (1 million job openings in 1998, expected to double by 2005), communications, and internet, to name a few, and pushes for discontinuation of that program. "
- "AFL-CIO harshly criticizes, in the same resolution, the "guestworker programs". (H1 visas)
- H1 visa holders: "Albert Einstein. . . in Physics, Paul Erdos in Mathematics, Edsger Dijkstra in Computer Science. They contributed not only to this country but to our entire civilization. Many of their accomplishments would not benefit our society should AFL-CIO leaders have had a chance to dismiss them as a "class of easily exploited workers" who would only inflate the "abundance of well-educated college people" so it could be used to "discriminate against U.S. workers, depress wages and distort labor markets". "