NO SWEAT | 16.06.2002 17:16
While most people were in the pub celebrating England's victory over Denmark in the World Cup, about 50 protestors were giving the red card to Nike and it's lack of action on giving it's millions of workers worldwide decent living and working conditions. With the Elvis soundtrack backing us up, we exposed Nike to passersby, explaining the conditions that Nike workers slave under. For example, children as young as 8 or 9 years old in India and Pakistan are forced to put together footballs for the world cup. These children are paid 18p for a ball that is marketed for £64. That is superexploitation.
Tha's slave labour. Instead of being at the peak of their fitness, teenage workers will be old within a few years, their bodies and health destroyed by the conditions that they work under. Like Ronaldo and Beckham, they've sold their youth to Nike, but they won't retire to a life of lucrative crisp advers ot tv commentating. They are disposeable commodities to these companies; once they are worn out they'll be sacked to be replaced by another set of desperately poor people.
At 3pm, the protestors decided to show a bit of action and take Oxford Circus for an impromptu game of footie. Wicked! The cops were taken completely off guard and had to run to catch up (maybe a little less donuts and a little more exercise). We took Oxford Street and headed down to Hyde Park to continue our match.
But the cops panicked and started trying to shove us back on the pavement. They were being very agressive to a very peaceful demonstration. As we neared Marble Arch, three cops jumped on one of the protestors as he walked on the road. Then they tried to forcibly disperse the rest of us, saying 'Now you've had your little protest, so go home.' Condescension - a step too far.
We didn't go home. We sat in the park planning our next action and providing legal support for our capitive comrade.
Get involved in the No Sweat! campaign. There are actions happening all over the UK, so get in touch and we can let you know what is happening. Or better yet, set up an action in your own area!
END SLAVE LABOUR! END CHILD LABOUR!