March 23, 2006
Dominic J Costa, Chief of Police
1203 Western Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
The Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance is planning a large demonstration to take place on Roberto Clemente Bridge and around PNC Park before, during and after the July 11 Major League Sweatshop All Star Game. We are planning on approximately 5,000 Pittsburghers and several bus loads of workers from Baltimore, amongst other places, to join us in our demand that the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club publicly request that MLB lock its apparel licensing agreements into the factories where the apparel is being sewn now, what we call the ALL STAR MULIT FIBER FREEZE. It is very possible that the Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Club will agree to this before the Sweatshop All Star Game, in which case our demonstration will become celebration.
As a co-founder for the Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance and someone who spent many game days standing next to the Roberto Clemente statue talking to Pirate Fans about sweatshops, no one is more concerned for the safety of everyone at PNC Park than I am. I do not believe that we need a permit for the Major League Sweatshop All Star demonstration and that the rules and regulations spelled out in the federal consent decree between me, Joel Woller, Michelle Gaffey and Kevin Maley (the plaintiffs) and the City of Pittsburgh (4/9/02) is adequate for our needs. Please inform us at the earliest possible opportunity if you have any reason to believe that any aspect of this Federal Consent Agreement could be changed or suspended in anyway on or before July 11, 2006.
Please also be advised that “Flying Squads” will be active throughout the city in the days immediately leading up to the Major League Sweatshop All Star Game in front of restaurants and hotels with leaflets and signs. We also plan to leaflet on the sidewalk underneath the David L Laurence Convention Center. There is some confusion on the part of the Convention Center management team as to whether this sidewalk area is indeed a public sidewalk where our free speech rights and non commercial solicitation rights are in full effect.
Finally, members of Pittsburgher’s waterfront and non-motor boating community have expressed interest in launching a Pirate Sweatshop Armada from the Waterfront Feature of the David L Laurence Convention Center and paddle across the Allegheny River to PNC Park during the Major League Sweatshop All Star Game. I will be taking this up with members of the David L Laurence Convention Center team, who I suspect will be delighted with positive attention the Convention Center will receive and members of the River Front Safety Task Force who will probably want to provide some sort of a river escort for the Pirate Sweatshop Armada. Members of the Pirate Sweatshop Armada will need to assemble their boats and safety gear some where near the Waterfront Feature and I suspect we need a permit for such a staging area.
Thank you for your attention to all of the security, permit and free speech issues that will arise in the context of the 2006 Sweatshop All Star Game at PNC Park. As a primary organizer, I will make myself available to work with you. All the members of PASCA will very much appreciate being promptly advised of any anticipated suspensions or changes to the frame work of our Federal Consent Agreement that may be requested by other parties.
Pittsburgh is an important place in the history of the world. We have a history of labor struggle and free speech struggle that we need to embrace during this period of time. A message of solidarity to workers in the global apparel industry is the message that is going to come out of Pittsburgh in the context of the 2006 Sweatshop All Star Game. This is a message we can all be truly proud of. It is certainly the hope of PASCA members that by standing up with people in other parts of the world we will learn to more effectively stand up for ourselves.
Cc: Elizabeth Pittinger, Civilian Police Review Board
Witold Walczak, Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU
I love this idea of a PIRATE Sweatshop Armada. Next, we need to get the Women of RollerDerby to agree to use the right equipment and uniforms -- and lend their support to the activities of the summer.