Asian and Pacific Islander Students from around the United States are meeting today to discuss the state of our communities at Stanford's Annual Asian American Activism conference.
Besides Stanford's Asian American Students' Association, SF State's Asian Student Union and many other college student groups, grassroots people's and workers' organizations from Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philly and the SF/Oakland Bay Area and other communities are also in the mix today. Activists are using the weekend to develop closer coordination of national and regional work of our movement-building organizations and activists in the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities.
Direct Action at the GAP
Fei Yi Chen of the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) is pictured above at a summer action at the Gap Store in SF's Union Square area. She and student leaders this afternoon are continuing their direct action protests at the Gap store in Stanford this afternoon.
They are challenging the Gap’s lack of corporate responsibility in San Francisco, the Bay Area and around the world.
Why: In San Francisco today, employment in the garment manufacturing sector has declined from 20,000 jobs in 1990 to under 1,500 jobs today. Over the past 2 years, over 1800 garment workers have been laid off in San Francisco including a local factory, which, until recently, manufactured apparel for The Gap. Outsourcing of garment manufacturing from the US to countries with lower labor standards has led to devastating impacts on local garment workers, their families and the broader community.
The Gap is one of the leading retailers in the clothing industry. Last year, they had $16 billion in sales. While Gap has been a leader in sales, they can also be a leader in supporting local workers. Although Gap has been socially responsible than some other corporations in addressing sweatshops issues abroad, we feel like they can do more to address the “sweatshops in their own backyard” – San Francisco Chronicle. In Gap’s 2004 Social Accountability, Gap admits there are still many issues within their factories. We are asking the Gap to become more socially
responsible by committing jobs to the community that helped it prospered to what it is nowadays.
For more info on the GapSew Local Campaign Campaign or the API Movement Building work - contact the the Chinese Progressive Association - or email Mark Liu at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Tom at email@example.com.
Links to API Movement Building organizations -
Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (Oakland)
Asian American Resource Workshop (Boston)
Boston Progress Coalition of Asian Pacific American Youth (Greater Boston)
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities (New York)
Chinese Progressive Association (Boston)