In April, CAGJ held our first Art-Making Workshop, where we made a stunning banner for the May Day Farmworker March – Marcha Campesina. Organized by Community to Community (C2C) and Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), the Marcha Campesina celebrates farmworkers and their inspiring history of labor organizing, in honor of International Workers Day.
During introductions, we learned about why solidarity is needed to support farmworker labor organizing in Washington, to inspire us to create art for our partners. C2C is an eco-feminist food justice organization led by farmworkers in Bellingham, and FUJ is an independent and indigenous-led farmworker union based in Skagit Valley, the first of its kind to be organized in the U.S. C2C supported FUJ during its formation, and both remain grassroots pillars in supporting farmworker and migrant rights organizing throughout the US.
Long-time artistic volunteer Karly Storms and CAGJ organizer Lisa Colligan led the block-printing tutorial, after which members dove into carving unique designs! We printed the designs onto the banner to create a beautiful border.
Last year, the Marcha Campesina celebrated the Washington Bulb tulip picker strike, where they demanded better working conditions. Pickers had been working overtime because of the painful bouquet rubber-banding process, which causes their skin to burn if not protected, as it comes into contact with the flowers’ liquid. They also accused the company of bonus shorting, and not paying them for the necessary long walk between their cars and the fields. After the workers organized with the support of FUJ, the company met most of their demands. However, the workers are still not unionized, thus they don’t benefit from the labor protections provided by a contract. This year the company honored the workers’ demands, and the popular annual Tulip Festival was able to start without a hitch.
CAGJ is proud to hold up the banner we made to support the strategic and brave organizing by migrant farmworkers in Skagit Valley! We can’t wait to create more art for our campaigns and solidarity partners!
SAT May 20th, 10am – 2pm in Seattle
Art-Making Workshop: Screen-printing & Poetry with David Solnit & Julie Searle
Location: Welcome Table Church, Beacon Hill
We are thrilled that David Solnit and Julie Searle accepted our invitation to travel up from the Bay Area to lead a screen-printing and poetry workshop with us! You may have heard David’s presentation about making art with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers during our February organizing meeting. He was instrumental in the successful direct action at the heart of the 1999 WTO uprising, and has continued his art and activism in support of climate justice, farmworkers and many other movements for social justice! Come to Welcome Table Church on Beacon Hill, 1322 S Bayview St, Seattle (where CAGJ’s office is located, a few blocks from lightrail station) on SAT, May 20, 10 am- 2 pm. Free taco lunch provided! No skills necessary! Everyone takes home a patch! Kids are welcome, (with adult supervision). Registration: tinyurl.com/may20silkscreen