ACTIVISTS SHUT DOWN THE GAP! REDWOOD DESTRUCTION, LABOR ABUSES CITED
NEW YORK CITY- Two environmental and labor activists - including one from California - blockaded the doors of the Gap store at 34th Street and 6th Avenue on Sunday, June 13th to protest the corporation's involvement in redwood destruction and sweatshop practices. Activists JK Canepa and Redwood Mary locked to the doors of the Gap store in an act of civil disobedience to say, "No more business as usual until the Gap puts people and the environment before profit." Both were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct, and released, but 25 demonstrators continued to protest until 5:30 PM.
The multi-billionaire Fisher family, founders of the Gap Inc. clothing empire (which includes Old Navy and Banana Republic), are clearcutting some of the last 3% of the old growth redwoods left in this country, which are the only ones in the world.
Gap profits financed the founding of Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC), which purchased 235,000 acres of redwood lands in Mendocino County, CA last summer. MRC's clearcutting and use of the toxic herbicide garlon are pushing the endangered Coho salmon to extinction, and jeopardizing other species, as well as local residents.
"As consumers, we give our dollars to corporations such as the Gap
and Home Depot, the largest retailer of rainforest wood in the world
in exchange for their goods. Those dollars are then used to invest in the destruction of our old-growth forests," states Redwood Mary. An activist from California, Redwood Mary is the working partner of Julia Butterfly, who has been living 200 feet up in a redwood for over a year and a half.
The Gap is also operating sweatshops on the South Pacific island of Saipan. The corporation is one of several being sued for using indentured labor (predominantly young women from Asia) to produce clothing. These immigrant workers must sign contracts that deny them their basic human rights, pay exorbitant recruitment fees that keep them in a state of indentured servitude; work up to 12 hours per day, seven days a week, and live in over crowded housing in unsanitary conditions.
For more info on Gap's redwood destruction
For more info on Gap's sweatshop abuses