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Report Back: Don't Mention The Garment Workers

12 September 2014

On Friday 12 September 2014, as London Fashion Week Started we took action to London Fashion Week tells a story of fashion that keeps the dark side of the industry in the shadows.

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Don't Mention The Garment Workers

12 September 2014

Tansy Hoskins the author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion has written this guest blog about why she and War on Want have decided to send the message to the London Fashion Week "Don't Mention the Garment Workers"

Twice a year London is enveloped in the glittering spectacle of London Fashion Week – a giant sales show generating over £100 million in orders for some of the biggest corporations in the world.

It is at London Fashion Week, along with parallel events in New York, Milan and Paris that the story of fashion is created. Fashion is sold as aspirational, glamorous and inclusive, a way of creating an identity, of making your mark upon the world. The models strut, the clothes swish, the cameras flash and the front row gasps.

But something is missing. The hemlines are perfect, the makeup is flawless, the music is pumping – so what can it be?

The missing are the millions of people hidden behind this façade. The 1,138 Bangladeshi garment workers killed at Rana Plaza, the 6 Cambodians shot dead for asking for a pay rise, the Pakistani workers burnt alive in their factory, the Haitians trapped in poverty wages.

Fashion Week deliberately obscures these stories, it demands you look away, that the only thing you gasp at and connect with is the runway. It demands that you forget the billions of pounds in corporate profit, that you forget about what fashion does to the planet, that you ignore your misgivings about over consumption and that you forget about the people that stitched the clothes on your back.

With the distinction between high street and high fashion shrinking and with ‘designer‘ profits increasingly dependent on perfume, cosmetics, t-shirts, jeans, and accessories, the entire industry needs to take responsibility and become accountable for it’s actions.
This is our city and we want the truth told. It’s time to stop pretending they don’t exist. It’s time to talk about the garment workers.

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At the Frontlines: A night of poetry, music and politics

11 September 2014

See photos from our inspirational 'At the Frontlines' event at the British Academy. With live music and performance poetry, the evening highlighted the struggles of War on Want's partners in Nigeria, Palestine and Colombia.

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Mobilisations in Colombia and London over violence against communities in Buenaventura

28 August 2014

Activists in Colombia and London took to the streets this Wednesday 27 August to highlight the ongoing violence and mass displacement occurring in the Colombian port city of Buenaventura.

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Communities in the Niger Delta demand justice

06 August 2014

Ogoni protest 2014

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Gaza: the call for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions

05 August 2014

Three great short films from our friends at the Rainbow Collective on why this is the moment that everyone must join the global movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. Filmed at last week's demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London, in solidarity with the Palestinian people besieged and under attack in Gaza. 

 

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Tags: campaigns | gaza | palestine

   

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TTIP: battle of the choirs

04 August 2014

The battle over TTIP, the major corporate power deal currently being negotiated in secret by the European Commission and US government, has moved into the cultural sphere. Here are our friends from the Strawberry Thieves Socialist Choir with a bespoke TTIP version of Cole Porter's 'Don't Fence Me In': 

 

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Tags: films | trade justice | TTIP

   

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Gaza under attack! Stop Arming Israel! BDS now!

01 August 2014

Photo: Patrick Abi Salloum

Photo: Patrick Abi Salloum

On 8 July 2014, Israel launched its third military attack on Gaza in five years. Entire neighbourhoods have been wiped out, with even more people killed than in the massacres of January 2009. Palestinian families living in Gaza have no safe places to flee to as schools, mosques and hospitals have been targeted by the Israeli military. Buildings hit include Gaza’s main hospital, a home for the elderly and disabled, a UN school which constitutes Gaza’s principal evacuation centre, a busy food market and Gaza’s main electricity plant.

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GM promotes poverty and dependency in Africa

28 July 2014

Millions of BBC World Service radio listeners were misled again on why African civil society rejects genetically modified crops and big business control over food. The misinformation came when the programme Science in Action featured Rob Bailey, acting research director at the UK-based international affairs think tank Chatham House. Bailey co-wrote the new Chatham House report On Trial: Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa.

Leading campaigners in Africa have already responded to Bailey's misleading arguments in the Guardian, yet Bailey continues to recite the same lines.

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Launch of European Citizens' Initiative on TTIP and CETA

21 July 2014

On Tuesday 15 July 2014, the European Citizens' Initiative on TTIP and CETA was officially launched in Brussels. The initiative calls for an end to negotiations on both the EU-US and EU-Canada trade talks, and demands instead a new approach to EU trade policy that puts people and the planet before corporate profit. In order to be successful, the initiative needs to collect at least one million signatures from across the EU in the space of a year. War on Want is coordinating the collection of signatures in the UK. 

 

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Tags: campaigns | CETA | trade justice | TTIP

   

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