November 27 Launch of Gap Boycott a Grand Success!
Photo in San Francisco Examiner

HIGHLIGHTS OF GAP PICKET DAY: People in at least 23 cities around the nation (and counting) picketed Gap stores on November 27, for the sake of the Redwood forest. The event was covered by the San Francisco Examiner (front page with big photo of the march in San Francisco -- see right), the Sacramento Bee, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Press Democrat, the San Francisco Chronicle, AP and UPS wire services, CNN, KGO (ABC), KRON (channel 4), CBS-TV (San Francisco), KPFA, KZYX, KMUD, and many local newspapers and broadcast stations around the state and the nation that we didn't even know about (reports are still coming in).

The list of cities where we know Gap Picket Day events occurred include: (in California) San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, Eureka, Santa Cruz, Garberville, Marin and San Diego; (elsewhere) New York City (on 5th Avenue), Durham, NC, Chapel Hill, NC, Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM, Boulder, CO, Seattle, WA, Minneapolis, Minn., Missoula, Montana, Phoenix, AZ, Salt Lake City, Utah, Chicago, Ill., Doylestown, PA, Tacoma, WA, and in Hawaii.

We are waiting for more reports. (PICKET ORGANIZERS, GET YOUR REPORTS IN SO WE CAN PUT THEM ON-LINE.)

Following is an update on the city reports, compiled by "Save The Redwoods/Boycott the Gap Campaign" Organizer Mary Bull:

SAN FRANCISCO.

The San Francisco rally and parade were a great success! We made front page of the San Francisco Examiner--with a wonderful color photo of the parade (see above), including the Art and Revolution giant Fisher puppet wearing the sign *Fishers: G-reed A-nd P-rofit,* giant redwoods on stilts, marbled murrelets on 15-ft bamboo poles, and more--marching down Powell street to the Gap flagship store!



Rain Forest Action Network (RAN) lent their 25-foot inflatable chain saw which adorned Union Square, along with a 20-foot clothesline of Gap shirts that read *Boycott Gap,* and many other marvelous props, including 10-foot giant redwoods, brilliantly painted Coho salmon, and a myriad of great banners and signs, such as *Don't Let Your $hopping Do the Chopping!,* *Mendocino is NOT Your Banana Republic!,* and *Fishers = Sweatshop Lumber!* Signs from Mendocino included Paul Bunyan swinging his ax in a Gap T-shirt*, *Don't Fall Into the Gap* (with a painting of a deep gorge with Redwoods leaning into it), and lots of other word play on the "Timber Gap."



THE RALLY! ...was a terrific, crowd-pleasing show that started off with Henry Horton chanting his *Mother's Prayer* for the first time in public, a moving appeal to Mother Earth based on the *Our Father. Bay Area Lindy Hop dancers were an absolute sensation, with their elastic bodies and joyous steps, dancing for the Redwoods in the middle of Union Square! San Francisco Lindy Hoppers were led by Ken Watanabe and Belinda Ricklefs and also included Claudine Co, Paul, Elizabeth Lilly, Eric, and Paul Parrish. Judy Pritchett in Fort Bragg alerted the swing dancer network and dancers responded in San Francisco and New York City (see below).

In San Francisco, Sam Johnston and Hawk each wrote and performed brand-new, written-for-the-occasion, sing-along, foot-stomping tunes that will be available on tape shortly (wonderful lyrics, like "...they're sprayin' garlon on the hills--just to pay Don Fisher's bills!")



Julia Butterfly spoke to us live, on cell phone, from atop a giant Redwood where she's been living for 11 months, and brought tears and cheers-and a huge ovation!-as her lovely, calm voice was amplified across Union Square to thousands of shoppers. (Thank you, Sam Johnston and Joseph Huckaby for miraculous tech support!) M.C. Iris Landsberg, Starhawk, Mary Pjerrou, Norman de Vall and Judith Vidaver gave stirring speeches in defense of the Redwoods and the Coho salmon! Art and Revolution wound up the rally with their mesmerizing gesture dance dramatizing Corporate Greed, the destruction of the forest, and, finally, the restoration of the forest to the jubilant *Rise Up!* song:

Rise Up! Keep the forest alive!
Come together! Got to fight to survive!
Rise Up! We don't have long! Come together!
The Gap is dead wrong!!!!



THE PARADE! Mendocino bagpiper Shug and San Francisco Mime Troupe drummers led a parade of some 300 marchers (including Earth Circus stiltwalkers magically transformed into giant redwoods!) through the streets of San Francisco! Shoppers and merchants ran to the doors of stores and cheered the dazzling parade onward! The music built dramatically as the parade approached the Banana Republic and Gap flagship stores and triumphant marchers cheered our picketers--who were already stationed at the stores--as they passed by! The march ended at the Gap flagship store where many joined the picket line.

THE PICKETS. Base teams of spirited and dedicated Mendocino, Forests Forever, and San Francisco activists anchored the pickets at the Gap and Banana Republic stores from 1--6 pm! Four Banana Republic customers actually made an about-face and returned their goods after listening to the pleas of forests defenders! At the flagship Gap on Market, the huge crowds pouring across Powell Street, to and from the cable cars, largely avoided the Gap store because of the picket. Our 4000 flyers were not enough: we had to make many emergency runs for more copies, and ended up distributing an estimated 8 to 10 thousand flyers! We could have distributed twice that many if the copy shops hadn't shut down in mid-afternoon. As it was, Forests Forever came to the rescue and provided copying services at their nearby office.

In one of the more moving and special moments of the day, Anna Marie Stenberg and Margaret Howe visited the Gap and Banana Republic stores, prior to the day's events, and spoke to the employees, told them not to be scared, we are not angry at them, and explained our concerns about the Redwood forest. Gap employees were visibily relieved. Peacefulness and non-violence triumphed over fear! The San Francisco police were also very helpful during the event, cheerfully directing traffic for the parade, providing information and keeping the peace. The rain, which threatened all day, waited until early evening to fall. The 300 hundred rallyers and picketers who braved downtown traffic and crowds numbering in the many thousands, on this huge, frantic shopping day, were rewarded with great interest and sympathy from the public. Many people stopped and listened and talked.

BERKELEY, CA. Berkeley protesters, led by Mary Rose Kaczorovsky and Robin Lindheimer, effectively shut down the Gap store on Telegraph Avenue near the U.C. campus! Less than 40 shoppers entered throughout the course of the picket, on the biggest shopping day of the year which normally draws hundreds of customers. Our picketers accomplished this by creating a friendly, pleading gauntlet for would-be shoppers--by the time shoppers reached the end of the gauntlet, most were convinced to spend their money elsewhere. The Berkeley event began in Peoples' Park with a memorial vigil for forest defenders David "Gypsy" Chain and Judi Bari, followed by a walk down Telegraph and an afternoon of picketing, petitioning and spreading the word.

SANTA ROSA, CA. - report by Mischka Gerken

The Mendocino Community High School's entourage of students experienced a terriffic protest (on Nov. 27). Naturally upon arriving,we were immediately hassled by police and the mall manager, but all our conflicts were settled within minutes by stepping out of their jurisdiction of private property onto the side walk.

To my surprise, people were enormously receptive to our pleas. We quickly ran out of petitions, and had to resort to binder paper in order to gain more signatures. Our leaflets likewise ran out rapidly, causing numerous missions to the nearby copy shop. It was again satisfying to see people read the leaflets as they walked on.

Several members of our party walked the mall with demonstration T-Shirts, and went inside GAP stores to educate customers. Here we were once again blessed with reception. Many people left the stores without purchase, and some people even went back to return their previously purchased merchandise, with smiles.

That was the bottom line; it was fun, exciting and invoked hope for our future. The Mendocino Students for a Sustainable Future (MSSF) wish to thank all the forest defenders of the Gap Boycott and Gap Picket Day for their outrageous commitment and support.

NEW YORK CITY. Paolo Lanna and 10 Lindy Hop dancers swung for the redwoods in front of the Gap at 5th Avenue and 54th Street! After an hour, police told them they had to turn off their music--but this did not stop our intrepid New York City Redwood forest defenders! They moved to the Gap at 34th and Broadway for another hour of swinging protest! Paolo reports that, with the help of Wetlands Preserve activists, who gathered signatures while the Lindy Hoppers danced, they had a very effective protest.

"Hey SF Swingers,

"Just a quick note from the Right Coast. We had a small demonstration/ swing dance in front of the big GAP store on 54th Street and 5th Avenue. New Yorkers are still protesting at other GAPs as I write this.

"The cops shut down our dancing after a few songs. Apparently its okay to leaflet and petition, but swing dancing [!] is a danger to public order. Okay, my aerials are pretty scarey, but puh-lease.

"Rik Panganiban"

SEATTLE, WA. Get ready for this! Peter Weiss, professor of Environmental Science at Seattle Central Community College and his group of activists actually got GAP EMPLOYEES TO SIGN THE PETITION!! Peter reports, you can add this to the Gap Picket day success stories:

"In Seattle at the new Old Navy Store where throngs of hungry shoppers cruised by, 5 to 8 of us stood strong educating the masses with our picket signs made in my environmental science class. The store had their rebuttal being handed out inside, which basically said what we were saying out side. We handed out about 800 flyers and got about 500 signatures, in 4 hours. We got several store employees to sign. We even persuaded a few people not to shop there. Most importantly, we taught the connections between corporate greed, a forest, and the health of the salmon. All in all it was a lot of fun. Keep us informed as to the progress of the movement."

SANTA CRUZ, CA. Pat Kittle led the protest in Santa Cruz, which lasted 4 hours! Pat reports that the response was extremely positive: His 300 flyers were not enough--they ended up distributing 800 flyers-a problem common to many Gap Picket Day protests. Forest defenders everywhere underestimated the amount of interest by the public in the fate of the Redwood forest and had to make emergency runs to copy shops. (Gap Picket Day organizers minimized the use of paper by printing only half page flyers, front and back.) Santa Cruz was one of the last cities to sign up for Gap Picket Day (besides spontaneous protests in several locations), and was a resounding success nevertheless.

DURHAM/CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA. Our wonderful forest defender Candice Carr led a highly successful protest that took in two cities and lasted much of the day and night--they tallied 300 signatures on our petition by the end of the evening and garnered many supporters, including a mall manager! Picket Tip from Candice: A CUTE DOG in the picket line gets a lot of people to stop and sign! Candice plans to be tabling the petition and flyer at her campus throughout the campaign. Another dedicated North Carolina forest defender, Zuzanna Vee, and her growing network are also gathering signatures like mad, posting the flyer and petition everywhere they can, and planning actions throughout the campaign.

SANTA FE and ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO. It seems that the energy of our Beyond-the-Bay Forest Defenders knows no bounds--this time in New Mexico: Hannah-Leigh Bull led a protest that spanned two cities: Santa Fe and Albuquerque! First, Hannah-Leigh tabled the petition at Plaza Mercado for 4 hours; then gathered signatures in front of the Gap store at the main Plaza. Later, she joined forces with Buy Nothing Day at a rally in Albuquerque where there were *...a lot of receptive people,* she reports, *No TV cameras, but many signatures!*

BOULDER, CO. Our Colorado Organizer and revered veteran activist from Redwood Summer, Betty Ball, reports that Forest Defenders in Boulder plan a protest for mid-December that will take in 3 Gap stores "on the famous pearl street mall with tons of foot traffic." Betty offers the following wonderful chants for upcoming pickets and rallies:

mr fisher have a heart
with the redwoods we won't part

mr fisher you have a store
what do you want redwoods for?

GARBERVILLE, CA. Picketers all day at the Old Navy store in Garberville on Nov. 27, reported by Scoop Wilson of KMED. (Gap Picket Day organizers didn't know about this one ahead of time--apparently there were several spontaneous pickets around the land.)

MARIN, CA. A phone-in report from Dian--of the dynamic duo MACHA and DIAN--indicated that Dian led the Marin County action in front of the Mill Valley Banana Republic. A follow-up email report with more details was promised!

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA. Our Minneapolis organizer, Greg Bosco Robinson, with the help of local Wobblies (who also helped us in the Bay Area) had a very successful action which included handing out over 500 flyers and many copies of Mary Pjerrou's articles from our web site! Bosco proudly reports that he only found a couple of leaflets discarded in the gutter during clean-up after the picket. Here's an excerpt from Bosco's report:

"Our solidarity efforts in Minneapolis were small, but also very effective. We began the Gap Day Picket at 1:00 PM in front of their busiest and most visible store in trendy Uptown Minneapolis and went well into the evening after the shopping day crowd had petered out. We had a small initial turnout of eight dedicated picketers that grew throughout the day to a grand total of 15, or so. But we made up for our small size with a big return on petition signers, postcard signers (more about that later), great would-have-been Gap consumer converts and a pleasant show of general support and solidarity from the consumer community at large." [The postcard addressed Gap's atrocious global labor policies].

EUREKA, CA. A local TV-watcher called in that she saw a report on the Eureka TV station of a picket at the Eureka Mall Gap store (another spontaneous picketing event--we didn't know). The reporter said it was Earth First! and then gave the Gap party line (Gap has nothing to do with the logging) with no rebuttal by the picketers or anyone else, and no effort to dig out the truth. This is the most unfair coverage we got, except for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Mendocino Beacon and the Fort Bragg Advocate News (all in or near Mendocino), where the Fishers have been running expensive ads, and where the editors and reporters are merely writing puff pieces for the Fisher family and their logging company. (The Fishers recently ran five full page ads in the Mendocino Beacon!) Those who are savvy to corporatespeak will understand this sort of "news coverage" and will read between the lines. Others may be fooled.

We still don't know who the Eureka "Earth Firsters!" were, or if, indeed, they were Earth First! Local reporters often use "Earth First!" as a generic term to dismiss a protest as "extremist" no matter what the facts may be. In any case, picketing is hardly an extremist act; neither is non-violent civil disobedience (which Earth Firsters! are known for); and neither is calling for an end to clearcutting, the logging of old growth, herbicide use and winter operations-the position of many in this campaign against Fisher family logging. As a matter of fact, this is a conservative position, considering the state of thenorthern California Redwood forest.

Three cheers for the Eureka "Earth Firsters!", whoever you are!

______________________
A message from Mary Bull: "Forest defenders throughout the country: Thank you for your tremendous spirit, dedication, and support! Because of you, the forest will triumph! Viva the forest! Viva the planet! In solidarity with nature! Viva the peoples and creatures of the earth! For Gaia! Blessed Be...."
_______________________

Additional reports on Gap Picket Day (and photographs) will be posted here, as they arrive. PICKET ORGANIZERS, SEND US YOUR REPORTS! And if you can send photos, we will post them at this site. If you can scan them, send as jpg's to these two email addresses: kenridge@hotmail.com, and pirohuck@mcn.org. Or send via snail mail, to: Mary Bull, San Francisco Coordinator, 252 Frederick, San Francisco, CA 94117, (415) 731-7924, chalicenew@earthlink.net.



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