Protesting and Pro-testifying
Here are some photos from this weekend ...
Standing with farmworkers in a protest for fair food in Naples, a plea to Publix grocers to give just one penny per pound more to the farmworkers of Immokalee ...
By the way, in case anyone from Publix checks this ... We keep hearing you say this:"We do not have a conflict with the CIW. The CIW is seeking to negotiate wages and working conditions of employment with the growers and the CIW is trying to drag Publix into these negotiations. This is a labor dispute and we simply aren't involved. "But you either don't understand or are not acknowledging that the CIW is not trying to drag Publix into their private negotiations with the growers. No, the growers have already agreed to improve pay and working conditions - if their buyers will join them. That's why we're asking Publix (and Trader Joe's and others) to join McDonald's, Taco Bell, Whole Foods, and others who have already agreed to the fair food agreement. If Publix would simply agree to buy from the growers who add the extra penny, they'd join the good guys and we could celebrate that as publicly as we're protesting now.
Then in this article, I hear the Publix spokesperson saying something very different:
However, Patten said Publix will pay more if farmers "put it in the price" that they charge for produce.
"We are more than willing to pay a penny more per pound if they put it in the price they set for the industry," Patten said. "We can't pay employees of other companies directly for their labor."
... So, if Publix is willing to pay the extra penny, maybe we're close to a breakthrough? If you'd be willing to sign on to the fair food agreement ... then we're all on the same team!
Then our Occupy Naples group joined with the Occupy Ft. Myers folks to walk across the Caloosahatchee River bridge ... signifying bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
Our group of marchers included white folks, black folks, and Latino folks ... employed and unemployed ... students with huge student loans who can't find a job and would-be-students who can't afford to go to school ... old and young, adults and kids and teenagers ... richer and poorer, lots of formal education and less ... we were all united by our desire to advocate for change, deep change. It was a good day. It felt like democracy.