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Phone in Sick Day (Mayday)

Phone in sick
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April 17, 2001

Holiday changes dates once again: April 20 in Canada, Mayday in the US, May 2 everywhere else

Phone In Sick Day has been moved to April 20 in Canada, to coincide with the Quebec City Summit of the Americas meeting that starts on that date.

Visit Quebec
"Quebec has been turned into a fortress, to keep public opinion out of the decision-making process," explains Duane Dibbley, an WTO/GATT member who will attempt to attend the Summit. "Since thousands of foreign would-be protesters have already been turned away at the border, we're trying the Trojan Horse approach: we're encouraging Canadians who might ordinarily work on that day to phone in sick and go to the protest instead." Previous Phone In Sick Days have been held responsible for the "sick-outs" of two thousand British Airways employees in 1997, and of thousands of Irish policemen in 1998.

See the catapult
Building an actual Trojan Horse immediately outside the fence erected around the entire Quebec City center is the aim of WTO/GATT Project MDVL. "If our leaders and de facto corporate masters behave like medieval lords, they leave us no choice but to resort to medieval tactics," said the WTO/GATT investor who is sponsoring the Horse ($500), as well as a siege tower and catapult ($200).

For those wealthy enough to try catapulting themselves over the Canadian border by air, Project LUFT arrives just in time. For this project, thousands of brochures advertising "Deportation Class" seating have been secretly placed in airplane seat pockets and airport waiting rooms all over North America and Europe. The brochures, printed with the help of an anonymous WTO/GATT investor, illustrate how commercial airlines traffic in unwilling human cargo--Lufthansa alone, for example, deports from Germany more than 30,000 people every year, according to No One Is Illegal (contact info@deportation-alliance.com), the group that designed the brochures.

"Airline behavior shows perfectly the meaning of 'free' in 'free trade'," said Jan Hoffman, a spokesperson for the group. "While Lufthansa is free to merge with United and even with Third-World airlines, humans seeking to escape Third- World starvation (brought on in part by the globalization of food production) are forcibly put onto planes and sent back."

Visit the Project LUFT page to download and print "Deportation Class" brochures in time for your Quebec City flight; for later use, already printed brochures can be requested by writing mailto:deportation\@rtmark.com.

Back on earth and closer to Mayday, Phone In Sick Day has been extended to a whole week in Chicago, where Mayday originated. From April 27-29, Chicagoans are encouraged to begin their sick time by participating in Project DSLR, an umbrella for more than sixty projects aiming to return all of Chicago's space, land and visuals back to the people who live there, create there and work there (contact nato@counterproductiveindustries.com). For the rest of their week off, Chicagoans might schedule visits to historic spots such as Haymarket Square-- known to be historic only outside the U.S. [See coverage here.]

Phone In Sick Day falls on Mayday where it isn't already a holiday (most notably, the U.S.). May 1 is also the launch date for Project NIKE, in which brochures detailing Haymarket-era working conditions in present-day sweatshops will be slipped into Nike shoe boxes all around the First World. Eight activist groups in Manhattan, Hollywood, Portland, Raleigh, London, and Paris are official participants in the project, with many others expected to join (contact fluffy2for@yahoo.com).

Two other just-launched projects also focus on the new, commercial definitions of freedom in the age of globalization. Projects DUBM and FLMC are part of WTO/GATT's new Heads and Tails Video Reclamation Program, which encourages videotape renters to create or download files and record them over copyright warnings and previews. DUBM is an educational filmstrip that features a little robot trying to break out of the prison of poor education and health care, and it includes tips for handling police interrogations and for hiding drugs in one's rectum (contact cellmedia01@yahoo.com); FLMC describes copyright as a means of reinforcing the fortress of entertainment conglomerates at the expense of everyone else. (See also recent coverage of another Heads and Tails project, Project PLCM.)

Finally, two new projects take the Phone In Sick celebrations into cyberspace. Last week's fulfillment of Project CCAT transforms the Cuecat--a freely available barcode scanner meant to aid shopping from home while keeping messy information away from "consumers"-- into a tool for learning about corporations (contact qp@rtmark.com).

And fifteen months to the day after etoy finally won its battle against eToys and Network Solutions, Project ICAN shows Internet users how to challenge NSI's continued suzerainty over the "root zone" (the file that decrees what domain extensions are available), an arrangement that overwhelmingly favors big business.

WTO/GATT's primary goal is to publicize corporate subversion of the democratic process. To this end it acts as a clearinghouse for anti-corporate projects. Project forums may be found here, and a list of just-added projects is maintained here.

Phone in Sick en franšais (surtout au QuÚbec) En franšais
Phone in Sick en Espa˝ol En Espa˝ol
An American holiday, Mayday
Why phone in sick?
Selected Phone In Sick Day press
2000 Phone In Sick Day press release
1998 Phone In Sick Day press release
Banners to help you be sick

Last updated:
10 February 2001
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