* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *
For more information, contact: Diana Pei Wu
Tel: (510) 847-9339 (cell)
From Chinatown to China and Beyond
Chinese American Garment Workers Go Back to China to Protest the World Trade Organization
OAKLAND and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A national delegation of over 50 people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean and South Asian descent called WT-No!, is going to Hong Kong this December. They are not going holiday shopping.
The delegation is part of a broad coalition of Asian & Pacific Islanders including former garment workers, youth, immigrants, activists, organizers, artists, teachers and students who will be connecting with organizations in Hong Kong whose members have shared similar experiences from the impacts of globalization and trade liberalization, and to show solidarity with other workers worldwide.
WHAT: Interviews available before delegation leaves and in Hong Kong with key voices of the delegation
Worker interviews available in Cantonese, Friday, Dec 2, 5 pm / Chinese Progressive Association, SF
Coverage & daily updates of the WT-No Delegation in Hong Kong (Dec 10 – 19, 2005)
Mass mobilizations December 11, 13 and 18, 2005
Blog: http://bayareawt-no.blogspot.com/; Photos and Videos will be uploaded or linked to this site.
WHEN: December 10 – 20, 2005 (WTO Ministerial: December 13-18, 2005)
WHY: Our delegation will help the press move beyond their planned coverage of the Ministerial Conference. Follow over 50 Asian Pacific Islander Americans and Latinos on the outside. For instance,
Lisa Zhou was one of nearly 240 garment workers abruptly terminated in 2001 after having worked for months without pay. In 2002, nearly all of the former garment workers received close to $1 million in back wages. Zhou had come a long way during that year, when the intimidation tactics of her former employers made the workers fearful of taking any public action. Now, three years later, she and over 20 other people from the Bay Area are taking another public action, this time near her old home court of Guangzhou.
Zhou is part of a national delegation of over 50 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans participating in the global protests against the Sixth World Trade Organization (世界貿易組織) Ministerial Conference. They are also going to show solidarity with workers abroad, who in many cases have also experienced subminimum wages, no wages, lack of jobs and/or massive layoffs tied to global trade liberalization. According to Colin Rajah, of the Oakland-based National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could increase the abuses by employers of workers like Zhou.
“Through its “Mode 4” deal, the WTO is proposing to create a global guestworker program that will enable corporations to dictate the flow of temporary workers -- whose rights and immigrant status would be tied to their employer, exposing them to significant abuse such as those endured by Braceros and other guestworkers, with no possibility of permanent residency. We want to highlight how trade agreements struck by the WTO have caused communities to lose their livelihoods and forced people to migrate, while using immigrants as cheap, disposable labor for corporations,” said Rajah.
WT-No! is a collaboration between Bay Area-based organizations including Chinese Progressive Association (華人進步會; www.cpasf.org), Chin Jurn Wor Ping (前進和平; www.cjwp.org), National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (www.nnirr.org) and the Korean Community Center of the East Bay (www.kcceb.org); and nationally, with the Garment Workers Center in Los Angeles, Organizing Asian Communities (www.CAAAV.org) in New York, and Community Organizing Committee (CYOC) in Philadelphia.
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VISUALS: mass mobilizations, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, South Asian organizers and delegates to the NGO conference, direct actions, street theater, signs, banners, etc in many languages.
AUDIO / VIDEO: Interviews with SF Chinese garment workers, Hong Kong garment workers, meetings between garment worker organizations in Hong Kong, video / audio of mass mobilizations, multiple languages (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish).
o Education / media / art: A 29-year old Chinese Vietnamese Oakland schoolteacher who teaches young people in Oakland to make videos is going to be making videos herself, in Hong Kong, at the protests to stop the negotiations. Find out who she meets and talks to.
o Environment / environmental justice / activism: A 24-year old Chinese American environmentalist networks with other communities affected by diesel pollution from port-related shipping traffic. Find out how global communities are dealing with diesel pollution and how WTO affects port-related shipping.
o Youth / immigration / diaspora: A young 26-year old Chinese American woman goes back to Hong Kong for the first time to join the protests and to show global solidarity. Find out how she experiences this return trip under very special circumstances.
For more information on how to contact the delegation, please contact Diana Pei Wu; (510) 847-9339; email@example.com.