History and Photos___________________________________

Here you can find the pictures and press-makings of SOLE since 2006.

[2008] [2007] [2006]

[-] Campus Worker Appreciation Day

12.11.07[view photos]

The praises of the workers on U-M's campus often go unsung, and the state they keep the facilities in is almost never appreciated. So one day, we decided that we could get up early for once, and come and serve them breakfast. So, we got donations from local businesses (thx Ambrosia) and set up shop in the lobby of the Business School. Some students got confused when they found out they couldn't have any.


[-] U of M Medallion Production found in sweatshop

12.06.07[view press]

In late November, it came to light that St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York was sourcing crucifixes from a sweatshop in China. Photos of aggregious labor abuses were smuggled from the factory. The interesting part is that some of the workers said that they were producing medallions with the University's logo on it. Despite pictures, interviews, and invoices--the Labor Standards and Human Rights Committee declined to act at their 3rd and final meeting of the year.




[-] School of the Americas Protest

11.18.07[view photos]

The Solistas traveled down to a military base in Georgia to protest the operation of the School of the Americas (SOA). The SOA is where a plethora of Latin American countries send their militaries to learn "counter-insurgency" tactics. Upon returning to their home nation, officers put their America-gained know-how in not-so-humane ways. Droves of graduates are known human rights violators, and many posit they pick up these ideas while training in America. You can find out more at soaw.org.


[-] Adidas Executive Visit

11.28.07 [view press]

Gregg Nebel, Ah-dee-das' a cross between a Public Relations Dancing Bear and Road-Rage Prone Seattlite, defended the company's labor policies. My favorite quote of the night was when Gregg said that they were once penalized by the UN ILO for being "too much in support of workers' rights".


[-] New Era at it again.

11.27.07 [view press]

Another flare-up this semester was surrounding the cap producer, New Era. New Era had its contract cut in 2002 for labor abuses at a distribution facility in Derby, NY, bu the contract was reinstated by President Coleman upon arrival. This time they are indicted by their workers as discriminating against women and people of color. The University's Labor Standards and Human Rights Committee has yet to support the WRC's call for an investigation.


[-] Popcorn Committee

10.31.07 [view press]

At the end of October, the Labor Standards and Human Rights Committee decided to convene for the first time in over half a year to spearhead the University's new nebuluous plan to stop the use of sweatshops. Naturally, we thought this was funny. Even popcorn-worthy.


[-] Living Up to the Standards

10.22.07 [view press]

The Daily's Editorial Boards' view on the University's contract with Adidas.


[-] Adidas Comes Under Fire

10.17.07 [view press]

As a prelude to the visit of Adidas' (pronounced Ah-dee-das)social resposibility mouthpiece, the kind folks over at the Michigan Daily primed the student body for his visit.


[-] We asked the President to Pay our Fines...

9.21.07 [view press]

In September, we showed up at the first Regents' meeting of the semester, and waited outside the Fleming Adminsistration Building for Mary Sue Coleman to come out and pledge to help us with the burden of our court costs, via tution credit, gift cards, or even a check. Alas, she did not come out, and we did not get our fines repaid that day. Luckily, lots of good folks from unions all around the state showed up and pledged strong support, and helped us alleviate the over $6,000 dollars in fines we owed from the sit-in.


[-] Daily decries the Adidas Contract

7.23.07 [view press]

In the middle of the summer of 2007, the University switched its athletic apparel supplier from Nike to Adidas, and gleans an annual 7.2 million out the deal. The strings? None. That's the problem, this Daily editorial says.


[-] Meeting with President Coleman

4.20.07 [view press]

Two days after finals began, President Coleman finally had time to meet with the Sweatfree Coalition. Despite how busy everyone was, many students took time to prepare another powerpoint, publicize the event, and attend. President Coleman, however, had not taken time to read her own committee’s recommendations. She spoke very little, like a good politician, and weeks after classes were finished and the students had left she released her decision to not sign onto the DSP.


[-] Leaders and Best Under Arrest: Open Forum on the Recent Sit-in

4.09.07 [view press]

To educate students, answer questions, and plan our next steps, we held a forum shortly after the sit-in. The room was packed as we presented a powerpoint with details about the Designated Suppliers Program, the program we demanded the university adopt when we sat-in.


[-] Sit-In at the President’s Office

4.03.07 [full story] [view press] [view youtube]

After a year and a half of waiting for President Coleman to act on the sweatshop issue, we realized that something more must be done. We had tried delivering letters of support and even tried to take the legitimate route of speaking at the Regents Meeting, which we were shut out of. So to get President Coleman’s attention we tried an old SOLE tactic. With sleeping bags, boxes of food, and laptops, we set up a sit-in next to the secretaries, offering chocolates and coffee as an apology to them for our disruption. Despite our courtesy, President Coleman decided to arrest the 12 students who sat-in rather than meet with them. Learn about the current legal situation and make a donation for fines here.


[-] USAS Sweatshop Speaker Tour

03.29.07 [view photos] [view press]

We were again humbled to have the opportunity to host a United Students Against Sweatshops worker tour. Yenny, who was several months pregnant, had just lost her job after her and others organized a union in the garment factory where they worked. Nike and Adidas were both placing orders at the factory until it became “too expensive” because of the rights workers were earning. We invited President Coleman to speak with Yenny, but she was out of the office when we told her we would stop by.


[-] Michigan Peaceworks March with Campus Unite!

03.17.07 [view photos] [view press]

After the success of the Campus Unite! Rally, we couldn’t turn down the invitation to take part in the Michigan Peaceworks March with this group of amazing campus activists. A couple of us spoke to the large community crowd about the growing strength of student movements and the importance of connecting issues of peace, labor, equal rights, and the environment.


[-] Regents Meeting Public Comments and Campus Unite! Rally

03.15.07 [view photos] [view press]

Keeping with the deadline we requested, Sweatfree Coalition members planned to speak at the Regents Meeting on this day. We contacted other groups who also wanted to address their concerns with the administration and decided to hold a rally before the meeting to educate each other and the student body about our issues. Unfortunately, no one from the Sweatfree Coalition was allowed to speak at the Regents Meeting even though our members signed up before others, who were selected as speakers, (the University claims it is a “first come, first serve” sign-up process, but we have hard evidence this is not the case).


[-] March 15th Deadline Drop at the President’s Office

02.16.07 [view photos] [view press]

SOLE members knew we needed to show the widespread support there was for Sweatfree, so we approached other student and community organizations about forming a coalition. Shortly after the “Sweatfree Coalition” had it’s first meeting, we had another delivery to make to President Coleman. This time, one letter contained a deadline for when we wanted her to sign onto the Designated Supplier’s Program, and another folder contained all the endorsements we had from professors, students, community leaders, and organizations.


[-] Winterfest

01.23.07 [view photos]

Winterfest, the indoor version of Festifall, gave us another chance to snatch student’s shirt tags to decorate our world map. We also had the premier of new “got sole?” t-shirts, (for sale here), and put up different DIAG boards that some talented artists in the group created.