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(en) US, Macalester occupation--day 2

From estiens@macalester.edu
Date Wed, 8 Mar 2000 01:02:13 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E


	 At 10:45 yesterday, 16 students began a sit-in at the Dean of 
Students' Office in Weyerhauser Hall at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
These students have occupied the office in protest of President McPherson's
refusal to withdraw from theFair  Labor Association (FLA).  The FLA
represents the apparel industry'sattempt  to co-opt and placate the
international movement against sweatshops.  In  addition, its system of
monitoring reinforces the conditions that allow  sweatshops to exist.
While McPherson has agreed to sign Macalester on to  the Worker Rights
Consortium (WRC), the monitoring group that over  Macalester 600 students,
faculty, and staff have endorsed, the decision is  meaningless if the
administration continues to support the FLA.

	 The occupation grew throughout the day yesterday with participant numbers
surpassing 50 in the late afternoon and with 26 occupying the
administration  building over night.  Students met with local labor leaders
and planned a  large-scale solidarity rally to be held on the Macalester
lawn outside  Weyerhauser at 12 noon, Wednesday.  Present at the rally will
be individuals  from several organizations including AFL-CIO, UNITE!, and
the Resource Center for the Americas.
The administration has said that they will not take any kind of
disciplinary  action against the protesters, but they have thus far refused
to negotiate  Macalester's membership to the FLA or the adoption of the
student drafted  Code of Conduct.

Students will not leave until the following demands are met:

1--The immediate and unequivocal withdrawal of Macalester College from the
Fair Labor Association.

2--The adoption of the Code of Conduct put together by Macalester's Student
Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) as a draft for the college.  This draft will
be further worked on and finalized in the near future with significant
input from SLAC and other student organizations.

3--There will be no disciplinary action taken against any student involved 
in the occupation.

	 The students are engaged in non-violent protest.  They are building a
free speech zone where students, faculty, and staff can come together to
make their voices heard.  The administration has stated that they will not
call the police and that students, supporters, and the media are free to
come and  go.  The students welcome the entire Macalester College community
and supporters from the larger community to the Weyerhauser building to
create an open dialogue.

RALLY DAILY AT 12NOON OUTSIDE WEYERHAUSER...students and labor leaders
speak  out!
Contact Person:    Daisy Pitkin      651/647-1383    
Contact Person Inside Occupation:  Joe Lawton    202/262-1063 (cell)

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