Friday, March 28, 2008

Reports from the Global Demonstration in SL

The protest against forced IBM outsourcing took place yesterday, after a global call by IWIS (IBM Workers International Solidarity)....after many "real" initiatives in previous day in Italy, Spain, France against FORCED OUTSOURCING OF EMPLOYEES FROM IBM TO AT&T AND RICOH, WITHOUT EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEES.... hundreds of people joined the virtual demonstration in SecondLife !
We showed also in the virtual world that there's a very big concern to our company about this situation, and we asked to open negotiations with worldwide IBM unions, country by country.
We asking respect for our job and guarantee of employment for the outsourced colleagues !

We had NSD and PSD people from many countries... but also non-IBM avatars: SL activists (thanks to CPSL, SLDM, SLLU), supporters, friends, unionists and employees representatives of IBM and other companies, journalists.
Confirmed partecipation from: Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, USA, Canada, Germany and other countries. Supporters also from UK and Switzerland.
Many interviews, and we had journalists coming to see and join the protest! Many national newspapers are preparing today articles about the IBM Global Demonstration !

In parallel of SL demonstration, an online petition signed by >500 employees ( was sent to Sam Palmisano and Randy MacDonald.


What happened in the last hours.....
After training courses in the previous days in "Union Island" (good partecipation!), a strike kit was ready for the IBMers with tshirts, signs and more objects to bring the protest inside the IBM's heart in SecondLife.
The meeting point for all of us was "Commonwealth Island"... many avatars were ready to demonstrate already one our previous the official start of the demonstration !
A big number of avatars, from many countries, was ready to protest at 6pm CET: they responded to the IWIS global call !!!
Thanks to a teletrasport and detailed instructions, different groups of protesters went to IBM, REUTERS and MANPOWER ! It was really a nice demonstration...the protest was full of coloured signs, slogans and noises... every avatar bring its words and concerns to IBM. The demonstration was also a moment with music and many discussions between the avatars about IBM and its strategy related to outsources and impacts on affected employees. We occupied the IBM main reception for 4 hours (!!!), stopping their activities (meet customers, give business information to the public) cause the sim reached the maximum allowed number of people, and no more avatars were able to come to IBM reception. No reactions from the IBMers that were working in the reception... but IBM sent many people to control what was happening inside its most important meeting point....
Some groups of protesters went in parallel to Reuters (the most famous journalist was present and discussed with the protesters) and Manpower !
Some protesters interrupted the business of Manpower and after a while been banned from their site.
But no griefers or problems: all the protesters were peaceful and respected all SL rules.

We got our objectives ! Demonstrate our concerns to IBM and to the public worldwide opinion.

Thanks to all the IBM employees worldwide that joined the demonstration with their fantasy, slogans...and protest's noises ! :-)
Thanks to all SL activists and supporters that helped us!
A particular thanks to John Wood TUC, Christine Revkin UNI Global Union and Vivienne Cassed Commonwealth Island.



Greetings to everyone I met last night at the IBM protest, it was a great atmosphere, with a good mix of people - IBM staffers from around the world, and a number of friends and supporters - old SL friends and new.

I only got to attend a bit of the demonstration myself unfortunately, but I took a few snaps of a crowd in IBM’s Business Center sim, one of the location sims chosen for the protest (once I’d been able to tp in that is, as the sim was so full of protestors that it was turning me away til I got lucky). A group of protestors had gone up to the penthouse reception to hold an impromptu party.

Johninnit Ni


Roy said...

It was a happy day but kinda' sad
I wish I coulda' been there
I wish I coulda' been there
I wish I coulda' been there for that

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