PROTEST of NIKE, The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and Corporatized Liberalism

Friday, Jan. 19, 4pm
Office of The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial
1367 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington DC
(South Dupont Circle at Crestar Bank)

*For the Attacked Workers on Strike at the Nike Contractor KukDong (See below for info.)

*For the Students Who Have Fought Against the Weak Oversight of the Fair Labor Association That is Endorsed by The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial which NIKE Funds

*To Say Goodbye to the Corporatized Liberalism of the Clinton Administration and its Pathetic Record on Human Rights

Nike, chronically and recently abusive of its workers, funds the nonprofit The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. For the last four years Nike has funded fundraisers for The Memorial as can be seen in scanned pages from The Memorial's newsletter. ******* 2000 ********* 1999 ********* 1998 ********* 1997

The Memorial's Center for Human Rights, founded by Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, has never challenged Nike for its labor abuses, while receiving Nike's generosity. Moreover, The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial is part of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) which student anti-sweatshop activists have fought against for its weak oversight process that allows corporate accounting firms such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers to carry out inspections. Other funders of the Memorial have included human rights abusers GAP, Chevron, and Waste Management. Kerry Kennedy wrote a book called Speak Truth to Power, but she has never shown the courage to challenge these powerful corporations. Moreover, she has been married into the Clinton administration -- her husband Andrew Cuomo headed HUD; thus it is no surprise that Kerry never held the administration's feet to the fire regarding numerous human rights abuses: free trade policies, the death penalty, the drug war, failure to act in Rwanda, undermining selective purchasing laws, and more. (See's critical reports related to Kerry Kennedy and The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial.)

As a warm-up for protesting the W. Bush administration, join in denouncing Nike, exposing the corporatized liberalism of The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and saying goodbye to the abusive Clinton administration.

Please take additional action about the appalling fact that Nike funds the RFK Memorial -- Kerry Kennedy's perch. Call Amnesty International --202-544-0200 -- and ask for Kerry Kennedy's resignation from Amnesty's board of directors.

Below is an e-mail circulated on the listserv of the United Students Against Sweatshops(USAS). It explains the strife at a Nike contractor in Mexico. Use of the below does not imply that USAS necessarily supports's protest. -- PO Box 53238;Washington D.C. 20009 202-318-1106(voice mail/fax) --


Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2001 14:00:35 -0500
From: <>

<< Please forward widely >>

This is courtesy of a member of USAS who is now on the scene in Mexico.


On Thursday January 12, 2001 at around 10:30pm police in full riot gear
attacked the 300 workers that were guarding the Kukdong factory. The police
were led by Rene Sanchez Juarez, the leader of the illegitimate
unrepresentative union against which the workers have beeen fighting. The
group of workers included pregnant women as well as minors. There was an
excessive use of force on the part of the police. This was uncalled for
considering that once the workers saw the approaching police officers, they
threw their arms up in the air and retreated to the exits. Yet they were
atill hit, pulled, pushed and insulted. At least 15 workers ended up in the
hospital and were later released, two still remain hospitalized as of Friday

At the time of the arrest, two leaders were violently kidnapped by the
judicial police, threatened and then released. The kidnapped leaders were
Claudia Ochoterena and Josefina Hernandez (who had written the letter on the
previous update).

Workers plan to continue mobilizing, despite the company's threat to fire
workers who do not return to work, and need support, both moral and
political. Please continue to pressure Nike and Kukdong so that there is
dialog with the workers and their demands are met. Nike needs to be held
responsible for the gross violations of human rights by Kukdong and the
Mexican police. Please continue to send solidarity messages to this

Please send letters calling on Nike to publicly accept responsibility for the
situation in Kuk Dong and agree to send a fully authorized representative to
Atlixco with specific instructions to meet with the workers' organization to
facilitate a resolution and publicly ratify an agreement with the company
that meets the workers' following demands:

1) That the company recognize the independent workers’ organization, the Kuk
Dong Workers’ Coalition, as the legitimate representative of the workers and
agree to deal with them as such.
2) That Kuk Dong reinstate all illegally fired workers.
3) That Kuk Dong agree not to fire or take reprisals against anyone for
having participated in the stoppage or other protests.

Letters should be sent to:

Philip H. Knight,
Chairman and CEO NIKE, Inc.
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97003-6433
Fax: (503) 671-6300

or via the email addresses of
Simon Pestridge:
Vada Manager:

Letters to Kukdong can be sent to and/or faxed to

Letters should also be sent to the following public officials in Mexico,
denouncing police violence against a legitimate worker protest, and calling
on them to use their leverage to pressure the company to accept the workers'
demands. In particular, letters should be sent to the Governor of the State
of Puebla, who ordered the police to storm the factory.

Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada
Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Residencia Oficial de los Pinos
Col. San Miguel Chapultepec
C.P. 11850
Tel. (5) 515-05 28
Fax (5) 515-1794

Lic. Carlos Abascal Carranza
Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social
Periférico Sur No. 4271, Edif. A, piso 4
Col. Fuentes del pedregal
C.P. 14149
Tel. (5) 645-2962 y 645-5591
Fax (5) 645-5594

Lic. Melquíades Morales Flores
Gobernador del Estado de Puebla
Palacio de Gobierno
Col. Centro
C.P. 7200
Puebla, Puebla
Tel (22) 32-0442
Fax (22) 46-0271

Lic. Roberto González
Secretario del Trabajo y Previsión Social del estado de Puebla
Edificio SELAFE 31, Poniente 2904
Fraccionamiento El Vergel
C.P. 72400
Puebla, Puebla
Tel. (22) 49-9076
Fax (22) 30-1670 ext. 300

Lic. Maximiliano Jiménez Ramírez
Presidente de la Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje
del estado de Puebla
Edificio SELAFE 31, Poniente 2904
Fraccionamiento El Vergel
C.P. 72400
Puebla, Puebla
Tel. (22) 49-9076
Fax (22) 30-1670 ext. 300

Ing. José Luis Galeazzi Berra
Presidente Municipal de Atlixco
Plaza de Armas No. 1
C.P. 74200
Tel (244) 500-28 y 502-81
Fax (244) 53406

USAS webpage: