Via Campesina Africa Solidarity Statement on the farmworkers mobilization in South Africa
Stop rural slavery! Respect the farmworkers!
(Maputo 14th January 2013) – During the month of November last year, the world watched farmworkers strikes, particularly those working in vinyards, in the Western Cape Province, in South Africa. They were protesting against exploitation and poor working and living conditions on farms, demanding an increase in minimum wages. In many cases, South African police responded to the demonstrations with violence and intolerance and showed no respect for laws. Many farmworkers and activists were arrested, including peasants of The Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign, a member of La Via Campesina.
It was such a non-issue that I really didn’t want to write about it at all. I didn’t know who Mark Lynas was and didn’t know that he had changed his mind about genetically modified crops from being an opponent to a fan. But, clearly, it was a slow news week. The killing and the rape and the corporate crime and the climate change had been successfully reported. So a range of news outlets decided to give Lynas the air time he wanted, following this speech.
Council member Ken Cockrel must be trippin! On Tuesday, December 11, after he, along with Saunteel Jenkins, James Tate, Gary Brown, and Charles Pugh, voted to approve the ill-conceived Hantz land sale proposal, he was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “a ‘no’ vote would have sent the message to the world that Detroit isn’t really serious about urban agriculture.” The foremost advocates and practitioners of urban agriculture in Detroit opposed the Hantz proposal. It is groups like Feedom Freedom Growers, Earthworks Urban Farm, the Garden Resource Program and D-Town Farm that have informed the nation and the world that Detroiters are serious about urban agriculture.
Advertisements showcase products to consumers, convincing them that this product or that product is the choice that best suit their needs. What happens when children are exposed to advertisements for foods that negatively affect their health?
Raj Patel author, journalist, and food policy expert, continuously challenges our presumptions about the global economy with his work both as a policy analyst and activist. He has worked for some of the most prestigious international organizations and protested against them, and constantly works to find ways to improve the world’s food system.
Please join us at the launch reception for the Food Labor Research Center (FLRC), a new project of the UC Berkeley Labor Center.
The FLRC is the first research center in the country to focus on the intersection of food justice and worker justice, and to raise awareness about the wages and working conditions of the 20 million workers in the U.S. food system. Founded this fall as a project of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the FLRC has already collaborated with the Food Chain Workers Alliance to produce two reports, The Hands That Feed Us and A Dime a Day.
Join us for food, wine, and ‘food for thought’ from leading food and labor thinkers.