On Saturday a group of protesters gathered in front of a Forever 21 in Pasadena, CA to promote a boycott against the company after they announced plans to build a warehouse on the land of the much-adored South Central Farm, which developer Ralph Horowitz acquired earlier this year despite public outcry.
The group hopes to discourage Forever 21 from building a new factory on the property, and in turn discourage Horowitz from attempting to develop on the land. The South Central Farmers and student groups California Statewide MEChA and D-Q Unity issued an invitation to the rally that detailed the logic behind a boycott of Forever 21:
“Forever 21 is the proposed tenant for the Farm land. A mammoth warehouse is planned for the company, moving 2500 trucks daily in and out the over-industrialized neighborhood. Forever 21 has a history of underpaying workers and violating workers’ safety, concerns workers still have in spite of a 2006 settlement against the retail and manufacturing giant.
Developer Ralph Horowitz bulldozed the site of the South Central Farm, the nation’s largest urban farm, in June of 2006 after negotiations between the Mayor’s office and Horowitz failed. Four months later, executives from Forever 21 accompanied Mayor Villaraigosa on a trade mission to Asia. In June of this year, the Mayor named Forever 21’s vice president, Christopher Lee, to the influential seven-member Industrial Development Authority. A month later, the Farmers and area residents were forced back to City Hall to stop construction of the warehouse. They temporarily halted Horowitz’s planned construction of a mammoth shipping center for Forever 21, forcing Horowitz to agree to an Environmental Impact Report before construction could go forward on the warehouse.
Forever 21 has threatened to pull all their stores from the Los Angeles area if they are not allowed to build on the farm property. Perhaps with a boycott, we can call their bluff.
Photo Credits: RP on LA Indy Media