Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Justice (still) being served


We are gathered to meet with the New York Foundation. Our Sweatshop Free Upper Westside campaign workers. The National Movement Against Sweat Shops. And Justice Will Be Served. And the NYF’s staff person.

The campaign has begun to pick up support from a new contingent of Columbia students. Organizing happening at multiple locations. And New Jersey. And Binghamton, as students continue to spread the word to thei colleagues. In multiple languages. Success in the Domino’s boycott campaign in moving form local to national corporation. The small victories, accomplished without pickets or boycotts, like Columbia favorite V&T Pizza, Gabriela’s (one of my favorites: cocina Oaxacana) and Land Thai and Grand Sechuan.   There’s a need for their work to be  better publicized.  There is also the win in the Domino’s case with the court holding not only the local franchise but the international corporation culpable. What is needed is to spread the word of the Domino's boycott wider. 

Hope speaks of how workers from around the city have learned that the picket lines are places where workers can gain information form other workers and gain resources  from other struggles for their own. New alliances develop. More outreach has begun with fast food workers around the city. 

I continue to be impressed at what is a true community based organizing model.  Undocumented immigrant workers, workers with papers, union workers, faith community, neighborhood residents,  politicians and perhaps most significantly, now79 small businesses. (And I’m honored that West-Park can be the base for the weekly outreach efforts.)  

The Foundation is impressed. Will renew its support. And extend an offer for a grant to help improve communications capacity. 

Economic justice happens in more than policy decisions in Albany and City Hall. It’s part of every consumer decision we make: where we buy our food, where we eat, what services we choose. Part of what the foundation wants is a list of the small businesses that have signed on to the campaign. It’s more than choosing not to, choosing to boycott. It’s also about positive choices, choosing for  those businesses that support justice. 

The list of Upper West Side businesses supporting the campaign can be found here:

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