We have decided to reprint our ‘Support the ALF’ hoodies. These hoodies are 100% organic cotton and printed on Royal Apparel. Please know that these are not going to ship until after the holiday, so don’t even think you’re getting it in time.
“The American fur industry is going to steal the lives of 3 or 4 million animals in 2012 unless we do something. Mink don’t care about your next vegan potluck. Fox yearn for freedom while we swap recipes and eat cupcakes. If we really believe that “fur is murder”, then we should scream it at the top of our lungs.”- Victor VanOrden
We are very excited to bring back our ‘Mink Liberation’ design, but this time its on a t-shirt! These shirts are also on 100% organic cotton Royal Apparel shirts. This design was inspired by a wonderful and beautiful story in the zine ‘Memories of Freedom’ by Rod Coronado. If you have’t read this absolutely inspiring zine, we highly encourage it.
“The two warriors entered the perimeter of the mink farm itself and began to remove every identification card from the mink cages, first locating two minks slated for contamination, yet still healthy. Borrowing two nestboxes the mink were loaded into the boxes separately for their journey to freedom. The close busy highway prohibited the liberators from opening all the cages and releasing all the mink. Night began to give way to dawn’s early light. The hardest part was leaving behind the hundreds of other mink as well as ferrets and otters that we knew would soon be poisoned. Hours later on the shores of a remote lake the two liberated mink were given their last meal by human hands, a road-killed rabbit and protein rich wet catfood before being released into their native habitat where they quickly disappeared into the lakes underbrush.”- Memories of Freedom
Some of the biggest names in American retail have been linked to a Jordanian garment factory that allegedly rapes, tortures, and abuses its female workers, according to a report by the Institute of Global Labour and Human Rights, formerly known as the National Labor Committee. In a petition on Change.org, the human-rights organization accuses supervisors at Classic Factory, which supplies clothing to Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Hanes, and Land’s End, of sexually assaulting dozens of migrant workers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, most of whom are virtually imprisoned in dilapidated surroundings. “We only went to Jordan to earn money to help our families,” says a young woman who goes by the name “Nazma” to protect her identity. “We had no idea that factory managers would rape so many of us young girls.”
The group’s findings are the result of six-month undercover effort, says Charles Kernaghan, its director and lead author of the study. “One young rape victim told us her assailant, a manager, bit her, leaving scars all over her body,” he says. “Women who become pregnant are forcibly deported and returned to Sri Lanka. Women who refuse the sexual advances of Classic‘s managers are also beaten and deported.”
“In addition to 13-hour shifts at the rate of 61 cents per hour, workers are “routinely cursed at, hit, and shortchanged of their wages.”
In addition to 13-hour shifts six or seven days a week, at the rate of 61 cents per hour, workers are “routinely cursed at, hit, and shortchanged of their wages” for failing to meet minimum production goals, according to eyewitness accounts. “To press the women to work faster, managers grope and fondle them,” Kernaghan adds. They’re also forced to live in bedbug-infested dormitories, without heat or hot water.
Although Jordan’s Ministry of Labor has been made aware of the allegations as early as 2007, he says, it has done nothing. Neither have the American corporations that continue to buy Classic clothing and claim no evidence of wrongdoing. “The minimal efforts of Walmart, Hanes, and the other labels to monitor factory conditions at Classic,” says Kernaghan, who wants the companies to immediately remove the accused perpetrators, compensate the victims, and enforce the worker’s rights laws in the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.
“All we can do is cry,” Nazma says. “We ask the people who buy our garments, please end this abuse and torture we face. We should be able to work without fear of sexual assault.”
“We are the front-line workers who haul container rigs full of imported and exported goods to and from the docks and warehouses every day.
We have been elected by committees of our co-workers at the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma to tell our collective story. We have accepted the honor to speak up for our brothers and sisters about our working conditions despite the risk of retaliation we face. One of us is a mother, the rest of us fathers. Between the four of us we have six children and one more baby on the way. We have a combined 31 years of experience driving cargo from our shores for America’s stores.
We are inspired that a non-violent democratic movement that insists on basic economic fairness is capturing the hearts and minds of so many working people. Thank you “99 Percenters” for hearing our call for justice. We are humbled and overwhelmed by recent attention. Normally we are invisible.
Today’s demonstrations will impact us. While we cannot officially speak for every worker who shares our occupation, we can use this opportunity to reveal what it’s like to walk a day in our shoes for the 110,000 of us in America whose job it is to be a port truck driver. It may be tempting for media to ask questions about whether we support a shutdown, but there are no easy answers. Instead, we ask you, are you willing to listen and learn why a one-word response is impossible?
We love being behind the wheel. We are proud of the work we do to keep America’s economy moving. But we feel humiliated when we receive paychecks that suggest we work part time at a fast-food counter. Especially when we work an average of 60 or more hours a week, away from our families.
There is so much at stake in our industry. It is one of the nation’s most dangerous occupations. We don’t think truck driving should be a dead-end road in America. It should be a good job with a middle-class paycheck like it used to be decades ago.
We desperately want to drive clean and safe vehicles. Rigs that do not fill our lungs with deadly toxins, or dirty the air in the communities we haul in.
Poverty and pollution are like a plague at the ports. Our economic conditions are what led to the environmental crisis.
You, the public, have paid a severe price along with us.
Have you ever written to a political prisoner before? If you have, when was the last time you did so? Don’t you think you are overdue to write another? If you have not, I think its time to start.
The holidays can be a very depressing time for political prisoners. Knowing that their friends and family are spending time together and having good times without them can really make them feel isolated and sad. The holidays also tend to make for a busy couple months for people on the outside, sometimes making it harder to stay in touch with those friends on the inside. Prison is already an extremely dark, lonely and depressing place for political prisoners, so the holidays don’t help much. the good news is that receiving letters of support and holiday cards from friends, families and strangers mean the world for those serving time.
Writing letters is so important for multiple reasons; it gives the prisoner a taste life outside prison, it gives them something to look forward to, and it gives them hope. Having a connection to someone on the outside is the light at the end of a long and dark tunnel for those inside. If you are nervous because you have never written a prisoner before, don’t fret, as we have all been there. Chances are, you don’t know them and you have no idea what to write. Right? Write anything! They are just happy to be able to hear from someone new, and the chance to read about you. Its best to stay away from writing about anything that could incriminate them, or hurt their case. Tell them about your day, what you like to do, movies you have seen recently, your favorite band, things like this. Ask them about their day, what music they enjoy, what tv they like to watch, etc. This will surely spark some conversation. Here are some tips!
Some prisons have restrictions on what can and cant be sent, so it is smart to start off with a simple letter in blue or black ink with a normal envelope. At the top of your letter, write your name and address, sometimes they are only given the letter with no envelope. Feel free to ask them what their prison letter restrictions are. Depending on their response, you may be able to include pictures, newspaper clippings, and things like that.
These prisoners are just like you or me. They are in prison for fighting for the same things we are, whether its animal liberation, human liberation, or earth liberation. We are all in the same fight, and we should be supporting our prisoners in anyway we can. Writing to a stranger can spark a lifetime friendship, and it will make their stay in prison a million times more enjoyable.
Support Our Political Prisoners!
-Because We Must
“As of November 27, 2011, the Occupy movement in every major West Coast port city: Occupy LA, Occupy San Diego, Occupy Portland, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Seattle have joined Occupy Oakland in calling for and organizing a coordinated West Coast Port Blockade and Shutdown on December 12, 2011. Other West Coast Occupies, including Occupy Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada are planning to join the economic blockade and disruption of the 1% on that date, according to organizers.
“We’re shutting down these ports because of the union busting and attacks on the working class by the 1%: the firing of Port truckers organizing at SSA terminals in LA; the attempt to rupture ILWU union jurisdiction in Longview, WA by EGT. EGT includes Bunge LTD, a company which reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year and has economically devastated poor people in Argentina and Brazil. SSA is responsible for inhumane working conditions and gross exploitation of port truckers and is owned by Goldman Sachs. EGT and Goldman Sachs is Wallstreet on the Waterfront” stated Barucha Peller of the West Coast Port Blockade Assembly of Occupy Oakland.
“We are also striking back against the nationally’ coordinated attack on the Occupy movement. In response to the police violence and camp evictions against the Occupy movement- This is our coordinated response against the 1%. On December 12th we will show are collective power through pinpointed economic blockade of the 1%.”
Each Occupy is organizing plans for a mass mobilization and community pickets to shut down their local Port. The mobilization of over 60,000 people that shut down the Port of Oakland during the general strike on November 2, 2011 is the model for the West Coast efforts. Organizers state that a police attempt to disrupt the port blockade or police violence against any city participating will extend duration of the blockade on the entire coast.
“These Ports are public. People have a right to come to the Port and protest. The ILWU has historically honored picket lines at the Port.” stated Clarence Thomas, a member of ILWU Local 10.
ILWU longshore workers are involved as individuals in the planning of the Shutdown. “I am a longshoreman and I support the December 12th Blockade against EGT. EGT is a threat to the survival of the ILWU,” stated Anthony Leviege, a member of Local 10. Dan Coffman, the president of Local 21 in Longview, has publicly thanked the Occupy movement and Occupy Oakland for its actions on November 2nd.
Further interviews and details can be obtained through local Port Blockade committees and the Oakland West Coast Port Blockade Assembly.