Made in Sweatshops, 2012
You’ve got to give New Yorkers credit. They’re not shrinking violets when it comes to expressing themselves, whether it’s yelling at referees and players from the stands at a baseball game, cursing at pokey drivers on Sixth Avenue or making political statements at…well, anywhere.
You might have heard about the recent brouhaha at the Park Slope Food Co-op over in Brooklyn. The Co-op ran afoul of some of its members when among its hundreds, maybe thousands, of items stocked were discovered six products made in Israel. Well, you just can’t have that if you’re going to show respect to Palestinians, can you? Or at least that was the line of thinking among Co-op members recommending a boycott of Israeli products (all six of them).
After weeks of crusading by boycott advocates and increasingly embarrassing media attention, including a visit from The Colbert Report’s Samantha Bee—you don’t have to work too hard to imagine how that one turned out—some two thousand Co-op members showed up at a meeting to vote on whether the Co-op should boycott Israeli products, or not. According to the New York magazine account:
“By the time the vote was taken, the Beastie Boys had been quoted twice — co-op members were asked to fight for their right to party — a midwife, citing her experience delivering both pro- and anti-boycott babies, had implored everyone to play nice, and a woman pleaded for peace: "Please, make it stop!" she said. Dayenu!”
Co-op members eventually voted overwhelmingly against the boycott. Since then everyone has presumably gone back to scooping free trade coffee, bulgar wheat and tofu from big bins into environmentally friendly NPR canvas totes.
I didn’t have to witness any of the Park Slope Food Co-op craziness. My daughter used to work on the same street at the Co-op and lived just a few blocks away. But for the last year she’s lived in another neighborhood where the biggest challenge is figuring out what’s in food packages with Polish labels that don’t have pictures on them.
But that doesn’t mean walking around her neighborhood is without its own consciousness-raising reminders.
Stop the 1%, 2012
Avoid Occupy, Buy More Stuff, 2012