The Hand That Feeds trailer from Robin Blotnick, a film on reforming the food system by organizing from the ground up for fair wages, fair working conditions, and collective bargaining rights. This is a rare story in which workers, with tenacity beyond imagination, are actually able to defeat the giant. It is also a good reminder that food justice work in the United Staes should be inherently intertwined with immigration reform.
In case you missed it, two weeks ago, our friends and allies at the Hawai’i Center for Food Safety took five cases through the 9th circuit appeals court focusing on the rights of local communities to regulate and legislate genetically engineered seed crops and pesticide use. The video embedded below has the live recording of court proceedings. Scroll to 1:40:00 to see CFS lawyer Andy Kimbrell in action in court. See fellow CFS lawyer Sylvia Wu speak about the impacts of these cases here.
Have you been listening to Earth Matters?? This fabulous podcast series gives voice to indigenous activists, environmentalists, and people around the globe working for social justice. We cannot recommend it highly enough. Hailing from Australia’s community radio station 3CR AM, Radical Radio, you can stream episodes online or download straight form iTunes.
The link above will bring you to this past Sunday’s episode, “Creative Dissent: the pen (and voice is mightier),” which spans themes of deep connection to land, climate change, colonialism, “nationalism, nuclear disaster, direct action and love on the frontlines” in the voices of actives poets.
Social obstacles faced by the youth of San Luis are many for a small town. Since traditional ways of life have been eliminated by loss of land rights, youth are challenged by poverty, northbound drug trafficking, and alcoholism. Costilla County has the highest rates of diabetes in the state. The 2012 Census states 37.3% of residents of San Luis were below the poverty line; more than double the rate of Colorado. Despite these challenges, the youth involved in our program are achievers. 19 out of 21 surveyed youth at the culmination of Summer 2015 internships agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I have a plan for my future that makes me feel excited.”
Move Mountains focuses on transforming all forms of oppression by focusing on empowering individuals and learning how to best support their organizing efforts to make change. To learn more and to support their cause, click HERE!
International Conference on Agrarian Reform
La Via Campesino, The Peasant’s Movement
Marabá, 15 April 2016
From 13 to 17 April 2016, in Marabá, Pará, Brazil, more than 130 delegates from 28 countries around the world were brought together as part of La Vía Campesina and allied movements, as part of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform, a symbol of the fight for freedom for men and women in the fields, the mangroves and on the sea. The aim of the conference was to draw up a much-needed proposal for Popular Agrarian Reform to override capitalist and neoliberal expansion.
At this time of struggle and resistance for peoples of the world, we debated thecriminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defense of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth, promoted by capitalist interests imposing political, economic, military and social terrorism. This all occurs with the consent of State Governments by means of their lethal projects such as extraction-based infrastructure projects, or capitalist ‘development’ (tourism, carbon markets, mining, hydroelectricity, monoculture, agribusiness, industrial agriculture and mariculture), as well as the militarisation of our lands. Deprivation, social instability and repression are widespread as a result of systematic assassinations, massacres, forced disappearances, high rates of femicide, imprisonment and arbitrary detention, intimidation, harassment and threats, prosecution of leaders, forced migration and wars against ordinary people.
On top of this there is political instability with the purpose of maintaining an imbalance among populations over the world, as well as frequent coups on the US government’s radar, a state which begins by creating unstable, failed states, as is the case in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, and the current attempted coup against the Brazilian people and the systematic meddling in the Venezuelan process.
We see collusion between the State, private companies, corporations and elites who create a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to escape unpunished.
Faced with this wave of unbridled criminalisation of those of us who defend water, land, mangroves, sea, territory and life, we denounce and call for the punishment of those responsible for thousands of assassinations of social leaders, we denounce the legal prosecution of thousands of campaigners, we call for the liberation of thousands of political prisoners, we denounce the extreme case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, one of the most symbolic leaders in the fight against capital plundering and a campaigner for peace in Honduras. We urgently need an end to the criminalization of the fight for land, mangroves and sea, and the social struggle.
Today, more than ever, we reaffirm that our fight is part of the defence of human rights and life. For life we give everything, for death we give nothing.
Throughout our lifelong struggle, not one moment of silence for our dead!
La Via Campesino is an international movement that seeks to unite peasants, landless, woman farmers, and rural youth to fight to defend and promote small-scale sustainable agriculture as a lifestyle and livelihood. Read more about their work here! And check out our 2011 blog post about their food sovereignty youth training program.
Read our blog post from yesterday for more info! Today the walkers are walking from Garrison to Wappingers Falls.
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.