Last week, an estimated 75,000 Montrealers took to the streets to protest an agenda to privatize Québec society. Because corporations do not operate with a moral compass, it was inspiring to see the widespread distrust in their running a country turned to personal action.
We need to follow the lead of these protesters and make everyday decisions of our lives in line with what we believe.
Corporations in North America exploit slave labour by means of the prison industrial complex. Millions of prisoners are paid cents per day and provide a massive unpaid workforce that cuts costs for corporations: without a wage worth mentioning, workers receive no benefits, are guaranteed to show up for work through violence, cannot form unions, and have few if no rights to contest poor work conditions.
For prison populations that are disproportionately filled with people of colour, this private exploitation of labour recreates conditions of slavery: a reliable and unpaid work force secured through systemic violence that exploits labour to profit a hyper-minority of property owners.
Stop your support for these corporations in order to align your personal beliefs with how you live your everyday life.
You can stop your support contemporary slavery by choosing not to purchase from these corporations until they stop exploiting prisoners.
Some cases are harder than others – there’s something about your Starbucks that just isn’t elsewhere, right?
Actually, it is elsewhere – and done better.
Start your support today by choosing more equitable cafés such as Pikkolo Espresso Bar – at Parc and Sherbrooke W – who do it better.
Pikkolo Espresso Bar via Trip Advisor
I wasn’t aware of this until I came across the incredible work of Angela Davis on the prison-industrial complex and convict leasing. Now that I am aware, I will stop buying from companies whose focus on profit seems to justify the enslavement of millions.
I will instead support companies whose mission is reflective of my values.
Tweet a picture of your #newchoice and tag us (@word_and_colour) – we’ll share it to our community!
Liam Lachance, Montréal