2007 Sit-In________________________________________

[-] update:

please donate here to help the 12 arrested students pay for the combined $6,120 in fines. Learn more below:

[-] sit-in media

[-] what happened

On May 5th, 2007, 12 Sweatfree Coalition students were arraigned for two charges: “Trespassing” and “Unlawfully Remaining on the Premises of an Institute of Higher Education”. This hearing was in response to the peaceful protest that took place on April 3rd in the office of President Coleman. The students were demanding the university administration take action against sweatshops by signing onto the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP).

The DSP, which has already been accepted by over 30 predominant universities like the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Georgetown, Columbia, and the entire University of California school system, ensures that all university apparel is made in safe and fair conditions. As the United Students Against Sweatshops has defined it, this means "University logo apparel goods will be sourced from a set of designated supplier factories that have been determined by universities to have affirmatively demonstrated full and consistent respect for the rights of their employees". Conditions of the DSP include the rights of workers to form a union, receive a living wage, and have decent factory working conditions.

We used this previously successful tactic after a year and a half of waiting for President Coleman to act on the sweatshop issue. 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. But President Coleman spoke with us long enough on the morning of the sit-in to let us know she “does not accept demands from students”, and that she would not be meeting with us until April 20th, two days after our finals would begin. While it would have been easier and less controversial to take the meeting and avoid arrests, we thought of Yenny and felt we had to do more for sweatshop workers like her.

Fortunately we had the support of organizations like Ann Arbor Democrats, Michigan Peaceworks, The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and the Lecturer Employee's Organization, to name a few.

Want to know more about what we were fighting for? Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.