San Francisco Examiner
Sunday, May 14, 2000
2 rallies converge in S.F.'s downtown
By Ryan Kim
OF THE EXAMINER STAFF

A pair of mostly peaceful protests, one large and one small, disrupted traffic and annoyed shop-, pers in downtown San Francisco' Saturday.

A massive throng in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia man on death row for killing a police officer, marched down Market Street after a 10 a.m. rally at Justin Herman Plaza. The group of some 1,000 participants slowly made its way down Market, at times stretching out over three blocks.

The march terminated at the Civic Center, where a large outdoor festival and rally was set up in the center plaza. The event featured numerous speakers, who railed against capital punishment and Jamalls death sentence in particular. His case will be reviewed by a federal judge in the coming weeks.

The rally was made up of socialist groups, labor organizations and capital punishment critics.

A smaller demonstration took place outside of the Banana Republic store on Grant Avenue. Around 10 a.m., about 20 protesters denounced Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, for its alleged poor working conditions in overseas factories.

The group also protested against the Fisher family, which owns a large chunk of the Gap and also owns a company that cuts redwood trees in Mendocino County. The group brought in a huge redwood stump as a prop.

Shoppers at the store had to get past security guards, who closed the doors to keep out protesters. The event continued until noon.' Afterward, some of the protesters: moved on to the Civic Center to, join the Jamal rally.

No arrests were reported in either protest.






 

A Mother's Day Action for Mother Earth and Sweatshop Mothers Everywhere
Save the Redwoods - Boycott the Gap Report

The action that the Save the Redwoods - Boycott the Gap Campaign (SRBG) pulled off on Saturday, May 13, was nothing less than an AWESOME and MIRACULOUS TOUR DE FORCE!

Starting with the CONCEPTION -- hatched three weeks ago at the A16 report-back at Cell Space in San Francisco by SRBG Core Group members....

...Followed by the REMOVAL of this MAGNIFICENT STUMP through the AWESOME efforts of two wonderful Mendocino activists: Equipped with chainsaw, jack, winch, shovel, make-shift ramp, rollers (logs), and DAUNTLESS HEARTS, they got this two-foot cross-section -- OVER FIVE FEET in DIAMETER and weighing ~700 LBS.!!! -- of an old-growth (over 200 years) redwood (cut under protest and then discarded as too difficult to mill by the Gap Fisher logging company) into the SRBG truck!!! LET'S HEAR IT FOR MENDOCINO ACTIVISTS -- especially these GREAT RESOURCEFUL FOREST MEN!!!...

...Followed by the BORING of the ARM HOLES: We decided that, rather than locking around the stump, it would be more powerful and beautiful to LOCK INTO it (WE ARE THE FOREST!!!). It took MARK and me ALL DAY to find a drill bit (BIG--4" diameter) and extension to do this! WHAT AN ADVENTURE! Everywhere we went, the STUMP in the back of the pick-up created an ABSOLUTE SENSATION! Everyone was IRRESISTIBLY ATTRACTED TO IT, from wonderful old-timey San Franciscans running tool rental shops South of Market (alas! these are an endangered species, too, being run out by developers) to the diners at the place we had lunch!... Boring the holes was a feat in itself: it took several hours and both of us to keep the MONSTER DRILL from kicking out of control...

...Followed by the TRANSPORTING of the stump to the Banana Republic: KUDOS to the INTREPID STUMP TRANSPORT TEAM -- JOHN, CAROLYN, TODD, LON, & ROSIBEL, under the brilliant direction -- brains and muscle -- of MARK, greenbuilder extraordinaire!!! This involved lifting the stump from the truck, putting it onto a cart, wheeling the cart into a trailer, taking it out of the trailer, carting it up the street to B.R., and lifting it off the cart onto the (hollow!) sidewalk in front of the store! **And remember that all the while everything had to be done INCOGNITO to AVOID Discovery and possible ARREST!** WHEW!!! This was accomplished with the help of a pulley, a winch, and four upright dollies.

At first, we didn't know what to expect: Could we lift it at all? Could we control it? Would the stump fly off the cart and go careening through the plate glass windows of Banana Republic???? There were many hair-raising (and body-raising--Lon and I were catapulted from our dollies a couple of times during the lowering process) moments, such as when the stump fell off the cart in the middle of Grant Street at 8 AM! ...But by the end of the day, we were old hands at STUMP-HANDLING -- we carted that incredible piece of redwood from one flagship store to another -- again, causing an absolute SENSATION: PEOPLE are simply ENTHRALLED by the GRANDEUR of the SEQUOIA, if only a modest cross-section! -- down the middle of the street, with a POLICE ESCORT!!!...

...To the ACTION itself: Once we deposited it in front of B.R., people began to flock over! We -- MARK, ROSIBEL, LON, and I -- immediately locked down. The action was made all the more WONDERFUL through the efforts and presence of these other **G-R-E-A-T** ACTIVISTS: MARGOT for the Mother's Day banner ("Fishers of Gap, Inc, A Mother's Day Gift for Mother Earth: Stop Logging!"), MARY PJ for the press release, and our WONDERFUL FO-FO and CORE GROUP ACTIVISTS -- including Jean (our terrific photographer, responsible for most of the great pics at our web site), Chad, Sam, Steve, Deana, Tara, Ryan, Moira, Pablo, Aaron, Amy, Alex, Dax, Victoria, Andrea, Thrush, Quentin, Mike M, Amaya, Raven, Sarah, Joseph, Yvette, Rachel, Sprite, and Mike S. -- who donned funny costumes (our foam trees & SRBG sashes and shirts from A16), sang and danced their hearts out, leafleted and educated the public, and even managed to convince a Banana Republic employee to QUIT ON THE SPOT and join FoFo!!! LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR THESE INCREDIBLE ACTIVISTS!!!!

We sang and danced to "We Are Family!" (many times over with the help of Sister Sledge on the boom box) with slightly modified lyrics: "All People, wildlife and trees! ...We are family! There's no room for meanness and greed!" We also sang "Old Man Fisher" (from May Day), and "Springtime for Davis and Forestry" (from the March 14 action in Sacto). SAM led us in his fun anti-Gap song. STEVE, DEANA, and others also spoke and led CHANTS. At about 12 noon, we released ourselves from the stump and marched down the middle of the street WITH THE STUMP and a POLICE ESCORT to the Gap flagship at Powell and Market for another demo --the tourists LOVED it!-- and to intercept the INCREDIBLE MUMIA MARCH -- many thousands of people rallying for an end to the death penalty, institutionalized racism, and social injustice!!!

The COPS, by the way, decided to be completely BENIGN, much to the media's chagrin! There were no arrests, which was a pleasant surprise for us. WHAT A DAY!!! It was recorded by the media: photo and story in the SF Chron Sunday paper--front page of Metro, KPFA, KGO TV, the San Diego Union Tribune, among others.



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