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GAP clothing stores linked to Redwood destruction (11/24/98)|
Logging Triggers Grassroots Boycott of Gap Stores
- Gap stores to be picketed in 24 cities around the country --
A coalition of grassroots organizations is spearheading a nationwide boycott of Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy clothing stores, to protest logging on 235,000 acres of Redwood forest by the Fisher family, founders and executives of the Gap. The kick-off event for the Save the Redwoods/Boycott the Gap Campaign, will occur Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving - the biggest shopping day of the year - with a rally and picket of Gap stores in Union Square, San Francisco, a simultaneous event in Berkeley (starting in Peoples' Park), and pickets around the country: in Santa Rosa, San Diego, Salinas, and Marin County, California; Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Utah, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, and Alaska.
On July 1, 1998, the Fisher family - whose fortune from Gap clothing stores is reported to be eleven billion dollars - purchased all Louisiana Pacific Redwood forests and several mills in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. Local watchdog groups are gravely concerned about the Fishers' logging practices, particularly the logging of the last old growth trees, clearcutting, herbicide spraying, and the extensive use of winter operations (especially damaging to fragile Coho salmon populations).
"We've already had two decades of liquidation logging by L-P," said Mary Pjerrou, President of the Redwood Coast Watersheds Alliance. "These forests can't take any more of this kind of logging. There is almost no old growth left. The Coho salmon is near extinction."
Local environmental groups-including the Redwood Coast Watersheds Alliance and the Sierra Club-met with the Fishers and their logging company, and asked them to stop these unsustainable logging practices, with no success.
"Our talks with them were fruitless. We need the help of Gap consumers," Pjerrou said.
The Union Square rally in San Francisco features Lindy Hop dancers, bagpipes, drums and giant Redwood stilt-walkers, and will include picketing of the three Gap stores near Union Square. Speakers at the Union Square event include Julia Butterfly (by cell phone from the Redwood tree she's been living in for 11 months), and Starhawk, author of "Dreaming the Dark."
The Berkeley event starts with a memorial vigil in Peoples' Park, for forest defenders David Chain and Judi Bari, then a walk down Telegraph Avenue to the Gap store near the UC campus. Both events begin at 12:00 noon.
Gap Picket Day is also supported by the Mendocino Environmental Center, the Action Coalition for Global Change, the San Francisco and East Bay I.W.W. General Membership Branches, Global Exchange, the Berkeley Ecology Center, and by members of the Alliance for Democracy.
The video "Luna" (about Julia Butterfly) will be shown at the The Berkeley Ecology Center (2530 San Pablo), on Wed., Nov. 25, 7:00-9:30 pm, at a sign-making event for the Nov. 27 rally.
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