Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rana Plaza factory

Activists In DC:  Identifying Long-Term Police Protest Infiltrator

Rumors have flown for many years that DC police routinely infiltrate and spy on the frequent protests in the nation’s Capitol.

Until now, activists have never been able to identify a specific undercover cop at a protest. After months of piecing together evidence, attorneys Jeffrey Light and Sean Canavan working with United Students Against Sweatshop (USAS) have confirmed that under an assumed name, Metro police officer Nicole Rizzi has participated in USAS protests against companies doing business in Bangladesh who refuse to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the death of as many as 1,129 workers in the Rana Plaza factory collapse.

Mike Elk posted on Popular resistance this August 6th, 2013

Activists In DC Identify Long-Term Police Protest Infiltrator


USAS and its lawyers have numerous pieces of evidence placing Rizzi at protests under a pseudonym.

District of Columbia Public Employee Information List records obtained by In These Times confirm that Rizzi has been on the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) force since December of 2003.

USAS filed suit on Monday against the District of Columbia seeking an injunction to stop police from spying on the group’s activities.

The story of how Rizzi was uncovered reads like a mix of “Gossip Girl” and “The Wire.”

Activists pieced her identity together from her obsessive posting to social media sites, including Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, FacebookWordPress and Yfrog.

Lacy MacAuley, an activist and media manager for the Institute for Policy Studies, has suspected for the past several years that a protester named “Missy” was an undercover cop. “Missy” seemed to be at every protest, but no one knew her. However, MacAuley had no way of proving her suspicions.

In November of 2012, MacAuley was at a bar on U Street when a friend recommended that she follow a Twitter account of a funny person with the handle @snufftastic. MacAuley immediately identified the user in the photographs as the person she knew as “Missy.” The user Tweeted frequently about the daily grind of being a police officer in DC.

MacAuley says she then spotted Rizzi as “Missy” at an anti-Keystone pipeline protest at the Canadian Embassy on March 21, 2013.

That was when MacAuley decided to approach Jeffrey Light, an attorney who works on police misconduct issues, with her suspicions. Light and his law partner Sean Canavan began searching for evidence to peg Rizzi as an undercover police officer.

The trickiest part was establishing Rizzi’s real name. But on @snufftastic, she let clues drop.

On August 2, 2012, she Tweeted, “They used to call me No Sweat Nico because no matter how hot it was at academy, I never sweat.”

Light and Canavan did a public database search of all police officers in D.C. and found only two named Nicole; one was Rizzi. Photos on “Nicole Rizzi”’s Facebook account matched those on the @snufftastic Twitter and Instagram.

Moreover, a post on Rizzi’s since-deleted Tumblr account seemed to indicate that Rizzi worked undercover.

In response to a post from a reader asking her how flexible her dress code was as a police officer, Rizzi said she wore “ordinary clothes,” but made a distinction between her position and that of a “plainclothes” patrol cop: “In the position I’m in, it’s beneficial to wear ordinary clothes. Plainclothes assignments too, you wear what would blend in.”

Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord

Last month, over 1,100 poor working women and children died when a clothing factory collapsed. The government of Bangladesh decided to close dozens of these factories, pending structural investigation for the usage of these building…

Bennetton had a supplier in the Rana Plaza factory that collapsed last month, killing more than 1,100 people. All these building were meant for residential dwelling, and not for hundreds of heavy machineries…

A 2010 factory fire at a facility that made cardigans for H&M killed 21 people.

The deadline to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh passed on Tuesday, and at least 14 major North American garment retailers declined to participate in signing the Factory Safety Accord.

The Huffington Post  posted this May 17, 2013:

The agreement, which demands a 5-year commitment from participating retailers to conduct independent safety inspections of factories and pay up to $500,000 per year toward safety improvements, has seen greater support abroad than in the U.S.

Major European retailers — for example, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour — have joined the agreement.

Swedish retailer H&M and Italian fashion house Benetton  signed on.

PVH, parent to Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, signed the accord, along with Abercrombie & Fitch, which agreed just hours before the deadline.

That leaves plenty of U.S. retailers absent from the agreement, according to the Worker Rights Consortium, an international labor monitoring group. However, some retailers, like Walmart, claim they are working on separate initiatives to improve conditions and workplace safety in Bangladesh.

Here are 14 North American retailers manufacturing goods in Bangladesh that have not signed the safety accord:...

  • Walmart

    Walmart declined to join the Bangladesh safety accord, instead decided to create its own safety program to address factory working conditions in the country. The program will help more than 17,000 workers in 34 factories in Bangladesh, according to “new principles [that] actually go further than the accord,” Walmart said in a statement.

  • Gap

    Retailer Gap will sign the safety accord if rules on “how disputes are resolved” are changed</a>, the company said in a statement. Gap says it does business with 78 factories in Bangladesh.

  • Macy’s

    Macy’s has reportedly declined to sign onto the safety accord, instead electing to develop its own safety standards for factories in Bangladesh, along with other retailers, Canadian Safety Reporter reports.

  • Sears/Kmart

    Sears has not signed the safety accord despite its “ongoing efforts to work collaboratively with other brands and retailers to improve working conditions in Bangladesh,” the company wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. Instead, Sears says the company is working with retail trade associations to create an “alternate proposal” for improving factory safety. <a href=”; target=”_blank”>

  • JCPenney

    JCPenney has said it’s working with the North American Bangladesh Worker Safety Working Group to improve conditions in <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Bangladesh, but the retailer has not signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh</a>, Businessweek reports. “Moving forward, we’ll strengthen our audit requirements related to structural and electrical inspections, and continue enforcing a policy that prohibits the use of factories located within multi-use buildings,” JCPenney wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

  • VF Corp

    VF Corp, which owns brands such as The North Face, Wrangler jeans and Vans, has not signed the accord. It wrote in an email to The Huffington Post that the company “has a long history of working in Bangladesh and intends to maintain operations in the country … We are currently evaluating all agreements and programs aimed at addressing safety standards to determine the best opportunity to create effective change [for Bangladesh garment workers].”

  • Target

    Target has declined to join the safety accord, instead <a href=”; target=”_blank”>highlighting its involvement with the North American Bangladesh Worker Safety Working Group</a>, a third-party organization that will endorse its own <a href=”; target=”_blank”>“broad set of [safety] proposals,”</a> according to The Washington Post.

  • Kohl’s

    Despite <a href=”; target=”_blank”>facing pressure to join</a>, Kohl’s has yet to sign onto the safety accord, according to the Worker Rights Consortium.

  • Cato Fashions

    Despite receiving pressure to sign the accord from labor and consumer groups, <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Cato Fashions is yet to get on board with the agreement</a>, The New York Times reports.

  • Carter’s

    OshKosh B’Gosh parent company Carter’s has yet to sign the Bangladesh safety accord, says the Worker Rights Consortium.

  • Nordstrom

    In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, Nordstrom reviewed its operations, affirming it <a href=”; target=”_blank”>produces apparel at three factories in the country</a>. While saying it will work with the American Apparel and Footwear Association to improve worker conditions, Nordstrom has not signed on to the Bangladesh safety accord, the Seattle Times reports.

  • American Eagle Outfitters

    American Eagle is among retailers cited by the Worker Rights Consortium who have not yet signed on to the Bangladesh safety agreement.

  • The Children’s Place

    Kids’ retailer The Children’s Place is reportedly still evaluating <a href=”; target=”_blank”>whether it will sign onto the safety accord</a>, USAToday reports.

  • Foot Locker

    Despite <a href=”; target=”_blank”>links to Bangladesh manufacturing</a>, Foot Locker has yet to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, according to the Worker Rights Consortium.




January 2023

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