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Leeds Mayday Protests

Joel Smith | 01.05.2001 17:35 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Culture | Ecology | Education | Free Spaces | Gender | Globalisation | Health | Indymedia | Migration | Repression | Social Struggles

the Leeds Mayday protest - the tour of shame!

Today at 12.30pm people congregated at Central Square as part of the Global Mayday protests against the prioritising of Multinational greed over people’s need – Capitalism. The protestors hung up banners against the use of sweatshop labour by companies such as GAP, Nike and McDonalds. The Chief executive of GAP earns $172.8 million in salary bonuses and stock option per year while the worker sin Mexico in Tehuacan earn 28 cents per hour, working in intolerable conditions. Nike employ similar practices. McDonalds also stand accused of paying low wages, paying high executive bonuses, and environmental destruction by raising beef cattle on cleared rainforest land. Another issue addressed by the protest was the Labour government’s continued support for the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATs). This agreement threatens public services such as education and health with wholesale privatisation.

About 40 protestors toured Leeds centre, stopping at Disney Store, GAP, McDonalds, JJB Sports (Nike stockist). Thousands of flyers explaining the issues were given out to the public. Most members of the public were receptive – already being concerned about the impact of capitalism of theirs and others lives and on the environment. Those who could joined the protest for a time, and more expressed their support. After the reporting in the run-up to Mayday, many members of the public were interested to hear what the protests are really about.

Despite an over-heavy police presence, including a riot van and video evidence gatherers, the protest passed off peacefully with no incidents or arrests. From our point of view, the protest was a success in informing the public in Leeds about the effects of multinationals unethical behaviour and Capitalism on the world, and reminding those multinationals that we know what they’re up to.


Joel Smith
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Hide the following 2 comments

hotmail? hypocrit!

01.05.2001 18:17

you say you are against multinationals yet you use one of the largest (Microsoft) to manage your email? there are plenty of alternatives, perhaps you should checkout GreenNet ( you can afford to pay, perhaps GMX ( if you cannot, or use Google ( to search for others


"Hypocrits" R Us

01.05.2001 20:03

Anonymous, no need to call Joel a hypocrite for using only a handful of affordable internet options he has. The problem is that he HAS to pay more to get a comparable service from a provider he likes. In my area, if I want a digital cable connection, I have one choice: AT&T. I use it because it is cheaper than DSL even though some local DSL providers are more in line with my own philosophies. But I can't afford to support them financially. What choice do I have? To go broke supporting an ISP? Then I don't have any money for any internet connection. And another voice goes silent in the great corporate pricing upsurge.

It's ironic that if I want to eat some organic, non-GMO chicken - it costs me $7/lb. This is because I want to be safe. But if I don't have the money on me, I have to risk buying the $3/lb. chicken that is loaded with chemicals which may cause cancer in the long run. It's ironic because only the wealthy can afford to eat a healthy chicken. We shouldn't have to pay more to not eat products that are loaded with harmful additives.

If Joel had a better choice (and I'm sure he'll look into the options you were kind enough to provide) he wouldn't have to resort to a Microsoft product that he disagrees with.