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News ::
Central Square Gap Store Defaced
18 Jun 2001
The Gap store in Central Square in Cambridge has been defaced with an anticapitalist slogan and accompanying anarchist symbols. (article 2)
The Gap, a clothing store chain whose name is used, in North America, as a synonym to Nike and sweatshop, has had one of its stores in Cambridge, Massachusetts, (Central Square) defaced with anti-capitalist slogans.

The politicization of the Gap store occured before midday Friday, June 15th, and is rumoured to have been done in daylight. For at least four days now, and despite a few attempts at erasing the political message, the windowed store front on the busy street reads "Must crush capitalism" with accompanying anarchist symbols. But this is only the latest development in the string of protests against the Gap in the Boston area, and with reason.

The Gap is one of the big beneficiaries of sweatshop labour. Around the world, yes, but also made in the "USA". USA is in quotation marks because the corporation makes use of dastardly marketing practices to avoid the accusations of "made in Sweatshop Thailand," by labelling some of its garment made by young women in the US territory of Saipan as made in the USA. But there is little more to the meaning of "USA" on that label because those workers are certainly not protected by labour rights. They work for less than minimum wage, work up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week with irregular overtime pay. When it's not working, they're living in sleeping quarters surrounded by barbed wire.

And pedestrians on Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge often have the chance to learn these facts near this particular store by reading a number of small posters placed throughout the area. When it's not a factsheet stating the extravagant hourly salary of its CEO compared to the hourly salary of its garment workers, it's a poster inviting the people of Cambridge to take part in May Day, anti-capitalist or anti-Bush actions.

But the windowed store front, which allows uninformed customers inside the store to see events occuring outside the confined area, has also been welcoming to activists. Many times anti-sweatshop and anti-capitalist demonstrations have taken this location as their center of action. And these actions have lasting effects. Next to the spraypainted anticapitalist slogans was a sticker from a previous action stating: "Throw brick here."

One might suspect that the workers don't feel committed enough in their relationship with the Gap to remove the sticker..