Protest invades ‘Banana Republic’

banana_0606Demonstrators demanding safety measures protecting Bangladesh garment workers filled the Banana Republic, then moved to the Gap and Old Navy retail stores in Manhattan with chants, “mic checks” and Rude Mechanical Orchestra sounds (see photo of Banana Republic protest). This May 27 action demanded these stores — along with Walmart, Sears, Target and other U.S. based “big brands” that sell clothes made in Bangladesh factories — sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety reached with some European-based retailers. Most U.S. retailers have refused to sign. More than 1,127 garment workers died in the April 24 Rana Plaza building cave-in; 112 died in November’s Tazreen factory fire. Occupy Wall Street’s 99 Pickets, the International Action Center, and other worker and community activists took part in the ­direct action.