So Bangladesh is in full on revolutionary protest mode now in reaction to the deplorable and deadly working conditions (1,100 killed in the most recent building collapse) that garment workers face while more than earning their $38 a month salaries. They’re now demanding that they be paid at least $100 a month…aka what I make in one day of work after taxes.
Predictably, Bangladeshi authorities have reacted with the calm headedness attributed in former times to plantation owners and railroad bulls.
Workers took to the streets for a third day on Monday, blocking major roads and attacking some vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.
At least 50 people, including some policemen, were injured, witnesses and police said, as police fired teargas and rubber bullets, and workers responded by throwing broken bricks.
Some workers also vandalized factories, witnesses said.
“We had to take harsh actions to restore order as the defiant workers would not stop the violence,” a Gazipur police officer said.
Don’t feel too bad for the police fighting the protesters. In Bangladesh, the police are basically just an enforcing arm of the garment business which rakes in about $20 billion a year. They’re not there to serve and protect. They’re there to make sure your Forever 21 nylon skirts get stitched together so you can throw it away in six months. Freedom isn’t free, as they say. It costs Bangladeshi lives.
So, all you freedom and justice people out there…if you’re buying clothing made in Bangladesh you’re directly supporting the oppression of men, women, and children. Check your clothing tags and don’t feel too bad, money makes hypocrites out of everyone at some point. Then again, actions do speak louder than words. Just ask those ladies up top.