Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Book / A new year to campaign for fair labor standards

On the heels of the Bay Area Labor Day events (below) come two separate news items in my inbox this morning, both of which are restlessly in need of attention. First, from N Stephens, the long awaited We Press Ourselves Plainly.  Below. I am so happy for Stephens. And who deserves our attention, and who gave a reading out here at Evergreen last year which was marvelous, eviscerating, honest, complex. As were talks afterwards about Derrida, Algerian Jewry, all manner of philosophical-literary stuff I rarely get a chance to talk about during the skool year.  Congrats to Stephens.

And not completely unrelated, below that, is our yearly check-your-university/college-sweatshop status and accompanying call to action. Buy the book, not the sweatshirt, in my opinion (school pride, I think, is regressive) and then organize organize organize. If you must buy an ugly sweatshirt that is fashionable with nothing else in your wardrobe, do so in a way makes sure it isn't produced by slave-laborers. Announcements:

We Press Ourselves Plainly

The book will begin in San Francisco (reading schedule below). It will mark its time also in Chicago, and Prince George. Other moments, as they become manifest, will be indicated here: 


Fall Reading Schedule
San Francisco

September 19
The (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand

September 23 
The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University
with Brian Teare

September 25
Small Press Traffic

Student  activism has proven to be a powerful voice in the worker rights  struggle once again. As we start the new school year, evidence of this  will be in our bookstores in the form of the Alta Gracia  clothing line. Born out of a decade-long struggle against Nike and  Adidas/Reebok by union activists in the Dominican Republic and USAS,  Alta Gracia collegiate apparel is produced by the same workers from the  former BJ&B factory who fought to establish the first independent  union in the free trade zones of the Dominican Republic.


USAS  has a long history of campaigning in solidarity with the workers at the  Alta Gracia factory, formerly known as BJ&B, first when we  campaigned alongside these union leaders in demanding that Nike and  Adidas/Reebok respect worker rights and recognize their union,  Fedotrazonas, and again before Nike ultimately pulled out all their  orders and shut down one of the few non-sweatshop factories that  produced collegiate apparel. Now, the former BJ&B unionists who  stood up for their rights against two of the world's largest sportswear  giants are back to work, producing apparel for our universities with a  strong union and living wages!


Celebrate former BJ&B unionists' courage to stand up for their rights: Find Alta Gracia at your university bookstore now!


Spread the word that it is possible  to produce clothing in factories that aren't sweatshops, but where  workers' rights to organize a union and to bargain for living wages is  respected!

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