Filed under: Human Rights, Olympics, Oppression, PlayFair, Politics | Tags: Catch the Flame, Olympics, Play Fair, PlayFair
This month, MSN (Maquila Solidarity Network) is helping to coordinate an international action to pressure the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Chinese government to address working conditions in factories producing Olympic-branded goods by organizing an alternative Olympic “torch relay” — with maximum media attention.
The relay starts on March 20 in Amsterdam, and ends in Beijing on May 20. The Canadian portion goes from April 15th to the 18th.
Participants receive a “Catch the Flame” text message and/or graphic via cellphone. Both will be available in multiple languages, including French and English. Upon receiving the “flame”, participants are called upon to visit a website and chart the progress of the flame. While on the site, they send messages to the IOC and other relevant authorities in support of the PlayFair demands. Lastly, they forward the text message on to as many of their friends and associates as possible.
Participating in “Catch the Flame” is a simple way that people can get involved in PlayFair and show their support for the campaign’s demands. The initiative uses a medium that appeals to young people and other audiences who rely on their mobile phones and internet for communications.
To take part in this action:
- Contact the PlayFair campaign to indicate your willingness to take part. They will make sure to involve you in the action. Send an email to the facilitator info[AT]catchtheflame.org.
- Copy the Maquila Solidarity Network (alo[AT]maquilasolidarity.org) to let us know about your participation
- Send a note to all of your members or networks that will participate in the action, informing them of the campaign and letting them know how they can participate.
The Play Fair 2008 campaign is a coalition of Global Unions (The International Trade Union Confederation and the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation) and the Clean Clothes Campaign which has been endorsed by about 190 organizations around the world including the Canadian Labour Congress and the Maquila Solidarity Network. The Play Fair campaign was established to push for respect for workers’ rights in the global sporting goods industry.
The website contains the following features:
- Brief explanation of the campaign’s message
- Information available in five languages French, Spanish, English, Russian, and Chinese
- ‘Celebrity-corner’ – where athletes and other possible high profile role models call for action
- Messages from people who are supporting CTF: Avatars and personal stories give visibility to CTF participants and make the website lively by giving a voice to the diverse support we have for this campaign.
- Google map shows progress of the flame and make the participants feel they are part of something ‘bigger’
- Countdown graphic to show the ever-growing number of people signing and progress made towards Beijing
- Sign-on message to the IOC – automatically indicates the increasing number of people signing on. This letter will be sent to the IOC on May 1 when the CTF initiative comes to a close.
- Links and back links to participating organizations for interested people and to increase Google position
- Attractive downloadables (the flame/avatars)
- Link to Play Fair 2008 website, which includes e-actions to other Play Fair targets
The relay itself is organized by time zones. All participating countries situated in the same time zone start sending their messages simultaneously. The messages will move in two directions around the globe. This ‘movement’ of the flame will be tracked and made visible on the website.
Information and communications, Maquila Solidarity Network
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