new york farm workers rally and walk for bargaining rights and decent working conditions

posted May 24, 2016

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Walking the 200 miles from Long Island to Albany, protesters stopped at City Hall in New York City last Saturday chanting si se puede. According to Democracy Now!the protesters are walking in support of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act (more about this from the ACLU), asking that farm workers have the right to collective bargaining, an optional day off every week, and overtime pay– rights people in virtually every other industry in the US take for granted. The walkers are led by Rural and Migrant Minstry, a NY-based nonprofit that supports rural and migrant communities in the state.

“I would like to say, each time you are eating, or each time you have something in your hands that you are going to eat, remember us, who do not have the rights that other workers have. And if you can, support us. We are going to be marching for another week and a few days. If you see us, it would be good if you support us by walking with us, maybe a couple of hours, one hour, for a day if you can. That would be very good.”

Heriberto Gonzalez, former farm worker, and fellow at Rural & Migrant Ministry

Greenhorns! Let us join them where we can! They will be marching until May 31 and you can find their schedule, route, and updates here.


WA farmworkers walk a thousand miles in footsteps of cesar chavez

posted April 12, 2016

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On March 17th Washington-state-based independent farm worker union, the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), began a 28-day tour from Bellingham, WA to the US-Mexico border to galvanize a boycott of Driscoll berries to be undertaken in solidarity with their contract negotiations with their employer and Driscoll-supplier Sakuma Berry.
So far, they have:
  • walked 1,090 miles
  • visited 13 different cities
  • gotten 13 new boycott committees to join the international boycott of Driscoll’s berries

The boycott will continue until union contracts are signed for both Familias Unidas por la Justica and El Sindicato, the independent farmworker union from San Quintin Mexico that went on strike and endorsed the boycott last March. For more updates on the tour, visit FUJ’s Facebook page.

Greenhorns, we’re all in this together. Keep boycotting Driscoll’s, its subsidiaries, and the brands that use its berries. (See this info graphic.)



kale, racial justice, and reclaiming our collective right to the earth

posted April 5, 2016

 

A beautiful walk around Soul Fire Farm with the thoughtful, insightful, and fiercely passionate Leah Penniman. This film was produced by The Next System Project and the Laura Flanders Show, as part of their series on gender, race, and the next system.

I’d write more about the farm, but my paraphrasing would never be as powerful as their own words: “Soul Fire Farm is committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. We raise life-giving food and act in solidarity with people marginalized by food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, we work to reclaim our collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system. We bring diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health and environmental justice. We are training the next generation of activist-farmers and strengthening the movements for food sovereignty and community self-determination.”


free webinar on collaborative trade and fair markets

posted April 5, 2016

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Yellow Seed, a nonprofit organization that facilitates connections between farmers and fair markets, recently partnered with Impact Hub Berkley, a social impact working hub out of the Bay Area, to host six curated working groups to focus on Collaborative Trade. The project was called From the Ground Up: Change Accelerator and aimed to “design healthy, global food supply chains where farmers are treated as equal partners and like-minded organizations work together to accelerate the shift towards sustainability.”

Small farmers, social justice groups, and some big names of the chocolate industry participated. (See the Yellow Seed blog for more detailed information!) To bring the sessions to a close, the groups are inviting anyone interested to take place in a webinar that will present the key findings of the working groups. The “welcome all curious minds, open hearts and everyone interested in learning about how we can revolutionize our global food supply chains together.”

Anyone interested has the choice of joining either of the two webinars:

Session A: Fri, Apr. 8, 2016 12:00PM – 1:30PM PDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/521009293
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 521-009-293

Session B: Mon, Apr. 11, 2016 6:30pm – 8:00pm PDT
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/413804301
You can also dial in using your phone: United States +1 (224) 501-3212
Access Code: 413-804-301


just food? conference, march 25-26, cambridge

posted March 17, 2016

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JUST FOOD?
FORUM ON LAND USE, RIGHTS AND ECOLOGY

A CONFERENCE EXPLORING LAND AND THE FOOD SYSTEM: HOW LAND AFFECTS WHAT WE EAT, WHO WE ARE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN

March 25–26, 2016

Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

This year’s Just Food? conference will examine the relationship between people and land, primarily through agriculture and food. Conference events will explore the legal, moral, policy, health, historic and environmental aspects of our modern domestic and international food system, with a focus on the intersection of land and justice. The conference will bring together scholars, farmers, activists, practitioners, and other authorities to discuss the growing concerns about who has access to land, how agriculture changes land, and who is marginalized or dispossessed by our current system. Our goal is to educate attendees, empower them to make changes, and engage them in a larger dialogue about food.

A full conference schedulewhen it becomes available, will be posted. But please feel free to register here now!



call for a GLOBAL LAND ACCESS FORUM

posted November 15, 2015

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In their call for signatories, the organizers of the World Forum on Access to land write:

“The current situation – persistence of hunger, population growth, exclusion, massive unemployment, environmental crisis and loss of food sovereignty – as well as the persistence of acquisitions, leases and land concessions, invite us all to revisit the issue of access to land and productive resources. Though shareholders of large-scale projects often obtain a return on investment, their overall economic efficiency – and, in particular, the interests of concerned populations and their generations to follow – are far from guaranteed.

Will the choice to promote agricultural companies based on the production of a small number of commodities, the heavy use of synthetic inputs and fossil fuels, and the employment of salaried workers result in a significant increase in production and wealth? Will it create jobs and income for hundreds of millions of those active today by way of exclusion? And likewise for as much or more who are expected to enter the labor market? Will the agricultural revolution to come, capable of both feeding 9 billion people and giving work to the greatest number while eradicating hunger, be based, as in the past, on a massive replacement of labour by capital? How to ensure that the principles enunciated in the context of “the voluntary guidelines” will be actually translated into action respecting the rights of rural populations and promoting sustainable development?
Finally, the issue of rights and “commons” on the agenda of international discussions seems, in our opinion, in need of attention again. The massive monopolizing of the planet’s resources, beyond the diversity of its forms, reflects their everexpanding commodification in the name of growth and worldwide welfare. But this leads to ignorance of the historical, social, ecological, cultural and political dimensions of the current dynamics, and minimization of their impacts.

In this context, it seems necessary to re-engage on the issue of human rights. Specifically, people’s rights of equitable access to land, water and natural resources, and to implement production systems according to their ecological, economical, cultural and technical choices, in coherence with the common interest.

We call on civil society organisations and governmental institutions to mobilise and launch a global forum on access to land and natural resources. It is essential to debate the analyses and proposals related to current developments and their consequential, major problems. We call for the creation of such a forum in order to identify and implement the most effective solutions.”

Learn more at http://landaccessforum.org/en/ and sign the call!


the propagandists: outing corporate ties

posted November 12, 2015

Propagandists.org posts information about propaganda, its history, and dossiers of known government and industry propagandists that operate today.

Each year, the US Government and industries spend hundreds of millions of dollars to promote propaganda (now called “social marketing”), assigning government- or industry-funded propagandists (also known as social marketers, social scientists, and thought leaders) who use their academic credentials and smiles to promote a product or idea that you don’t want. Websites like Wikipedia and www.CDC.gov are largely controlled by faceless and nameless industry and government propagandists who ensure that what’s posted does not challenge the industry or governmental dogma.

Many propagandists appear on the evening news and talk shows, promoting the latest pills, tests, and treatments without mentioning the funding they receive from drug companies. Popular actors and activists are sometimes hired to use their celebrity to connect with fans. Propagandists influence television and movie scripts to sell ideas and products.

Unlike propaganda websites used to attack honest clinicians and scientists who question propaganda, we plan to use this website to compile dossiers on prominent propagandists who fail to identify their corporate or government ties.