An award-winning journalist of nine books, Naomi is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

Here Come the Students

April 5th, 2000
By Naomi Klein

Follow the logo.

If there is a guiding principle in the current wave of student activism, that is it.

At the University of Toronto, students are following their school’s logo from T-shirts and sweatshirts to contract garment factories in Asia and Latin America. Last week, after a nine-day sit-in, students and administrators finally hammered out a strong code of conduct for the university’s products. If it is approved by the U of T’s governing council next month, the companies that license the school’s insignia will have to pay their workers not only the legal minimum wage, but a living wage.

Teenage students at Toronto’s Linden School also followed the logo last week, these ones on their Nike sneakers and Victoria’s Secret tank tops. They staged a "sweatshop fashion show" in the school gym. Doing their best Kate Moss impersonations, they strutted down a makeshift catwalk while listening to stories of the punishingly long hours and low wages endured by the workers who keep them in cotton and denim.

The student anti-sweatshop movement, exploding on more than 200 campuses across North America, is taking student politics global and it is doing ...

My Mafiaboy

March 13th, 2000
By Naomi Klein

Dear Mafiaboy,

As I write this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are closing in on your position. Maybe you are already behind bars, imprisoned for crimes against Yahoo. They say you had something to do with the rash of attacks that crippled some of the most powerful commercial sites on the Net this month. They overheard you bragging about your exploits in an online chatroom: "U just pin em so hard they can’t even redirect," you wrote, calling yourself "mafiaboy." They’re still not sure who you are exactly, but they have a few hunches: You are based in my hometown (Toronto), you are 15 years old and you have a preoccupation with Satanism.

Nice cover. I know better, of course. Like so many who have secretly cheered your exploits (if indeed they are your exploits), I can see through the nihilistic pranksterism to another kind of Mafiaboy. My mythic Mafiaboy isn’t a vandal but an anticorporate freedom fighter for the e-commerce age.

But I’m afraid not everyone sees the precision with which you aim your electronic salvos, Mafiaboy. According to Steve Bellovin, an AT&T security ...