AP Urbana—I went to Strawberry Fields to buy a pear and a loaf of bread. Afterwards I spoke to people striking outside a Firestone station, handing out literature about a boycott. There was a woman with a crazed black poodle on retractable leash. She handed me some literature from the United Steelworkers of America and told me that she was actually a member of a union of graduate students at the University of Illinois. I told her that I know of no such organization at Illinois State University. Bridgestone, the Japanese multinational, bought Firestone in 1988 for $2.6 billion, paying what many analysts believed was twice the market price. Bridgestone eliminated (American) holidays, cut wages, forced 12 hour shifts with no overtime, cut health benefits, and fired strikers. The poodle lunged and tore the plastic retractable leash mechanism from her grasp. They refused to let experienced workers return to their jobs, hiring instead scabs. The leash retracted and the plastic mechanism slid towards the poodle across the parking lot, and, alarmed, it sat down as the mechanism orbited to a stop on the asphalt. It wasn't sure what to do next.

Boycott Firestone Tires, out of patriotism or socialism.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books