OK, you got your DeCSS button on your page, you've got a
"Fuck the MPAA" bumper sticker, you've handed out
informational leaflets at work... still feel like poking at
the status quo? The folks at www.u-can.org have a great
suggestion for some low-tech semi-passive, semi-legal,
When I was out in front of the Sony Metreon the other night protesting DeCSS
and getting harassed by rent-a-cops (and later real ones) this well dressed
women brushed off my info-sheet saying "Why don't you protest something
real, like starving children?"
Now well it's true that DVD viewing, and even freedom of speech is on the low
side of the necessary-for-human-survival list, I still felt I had the moral
upper-hand. 'Cause see I was protesting something. I was trying to
change, to inform, to affect the world around me. I wasn't on my way to a $8 a
drink cocktail lounge.
People need to get in the habit of protesting. When something pisses me off,
I'm pretty comfortable with printing up a bunch of leaflets and standing in the
street on my Friday night and complaining about it. I'm not gonna scream in
people's face, and I've only been involved with blocking traffic a few times,
but if you want 100 good reason why you shouldn't give Nike or McDonald's you
money, I'm happy to let you know.... oh, and I'm not a hippy, in case you were
wondering. We had a lot of leather, some very nice latex and no tie-dye
in front of Sony-- not that people of the crunchy persuasion should be shunned
or anything. I'm just saying.
Which brings me to the U Can folks. The have an amusing and effective idea for
spreading the word about clothing companies' labor rights abuses. Now I know a
lot of you don't care, you'll shell out your $$$ to the massive
Old-Navy-Banana-Dictatorship-Gap machine and maybe even be amused that some 10
year old girl was paid $0.13/hour to put together your3/4 length kakhi cargo
pants... and that she can't leave the compound... and the stuff she makes has a
"Made in the USA" label cause of some loop-holes
... or that she'll be fired if she gets married or pregnant .... or that
Nike could divert about
1% of its ad budget and pay all it's employees a living wage...
Yes, life sucks for a lot of people in the world and you probably aren't going
to really help any of them... but you don't have to pay for their problems. You
don't have to be manipulated by Old Navy's funny commercials or Benneton's deep
emotional multi-racial love fest bullshit. So while you're in a protesting mode
and all frothy at the mouth over bad big buisness, take a look at some of the
other battles that folks have been fighting...