CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | November 3, 2020
CAGJ NEWS &
Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:
Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30; for more info email us.
time varies, for more info email us
Join us for a post-election community de-brief TUES Nov 17 (details below)
It's here: Election Day 2020
Fight 'for the world your hearts yearn for'
We write to you on the eve of the 2020 election, full of apprehension, and daring to hope for a better world. As we traverse this seemingly all-encompassing election in the days and weeks to come, we hope that we remember that our work and our world extends far beyond electoral politics - who we are is far more than our party affiliation and the work of social transformation does not begin, or end at the polls. While the stakes may be high,regardless of outcome, the work continues, our communities persist, and the earth spins on. As we expect a drawn out decision and possibly weeks more of election chaos, we might remember - while change is inevitable, justice is not. So let our hands, hearts, and souls commit to being and doing all that we can to welcome greater justice for all.
We leave you with the words of AFEDES, an Indigenous, feminist grassroots partner of Thousand Currents in Guatemala who sent this message: “The decisions of the governments affect us all; The important thing as human beings is that our hopes are not only based and focused on politicians, but on ourselves. The hope is to build community and reciprocity. May the fire and light that you carry within not go out. Fight for that world that your heart yearns for, the same world that took you to where you are now.”
As we near CAGJ's 20th anniversary in 2021, we are laying the foundation for our next twenty years. Grants don't come easy when speaking truth to power, but small donors mean we are powered by and accountable to you as CAGJ works to strengthen the global food sovereignty movement. With your help, we can raise the critical funds needed for CAGJ to do our part in cultivating resilient food systems in these times of crisis. Join our GiveLively campaign by donating and/or starting your own fundraising page to encourage your peers to support CAGJ, now through Dec 31st!
Food Justice ZINE Project Meeting
Zoom! Registration required to receive the Zoom link; register here.
Be part of the process! Inspired by our conversations throughout our Rise! Up! Summer School sessions, and the importance of capturing all that has grown from the turbulence of this past spring and summer, we had the idea to begin working on the third edition of CAGJ’s publication, Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice, which will combine stories, resources, art, reflections, and yes, recipes, that combine hands-on tools for change with political education and personal narratives, centered around all that has been revealed in 2020.
If that sounds like something you are interested in being involved with in any capacity, please fill out this quick interest form and join us for our next planning meeting! We need artists, visionaries, editors, writers, creatives, activists, graphic designers, and everyone in between. Note:The organizing collective will meet regularly the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30PST. We are meeting on Wednesday this month because of election day.
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting & Community Election Debrief
Orientation for new Members at 6pm: RSVP
We invite you to join us for a CAGJ community debrief of the election during our regular Food Justice Project meeting time. As our newsletter is being written on election-eve, we don't know what the political landscape will look like in 2 weeks, but we know the only way to get through these challenging times is in community. Come for reflection, action, art, and education! (We also recommend The Laundromat Project's post-election community forum taking place on NOV 17, 3:30pm.) As always, new volunteers are invited to our orientation via ZOOM at 6pm: Please email us to let us know you're attending the orientation. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.
CAGJ Holiday Party & Open Mic!
Share a song, story, reading, joke or favorite poem!YOU ARE INVITED! Let's relax together, and enjoy each other's company, COVID-style, as we move into the holiday season. Please join even if you don't plan to share anything, this will be a low-pressure and fun evening, to celebrate a full year, give thanks to CAGJ's amazing members, volunteers and interns, and look forward to our 20th anniversary! Please register for the the Zoom link. Can't wait!
Documentary Film Screening: "Gather"
CAGJ & Beacon Hill Food Forest invite you to a virtual screening of the documentary film Gather, followed by a Q&A with the director, Sanjay Rawal, a James Beard Award winning filmmaker! You have probably heard of this critically acclaimed film about the Native American food sovereignty movement. Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona), opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota), conducting landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California), trying to save the Klamath river.
Three weeks after the Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS) webinar on Agroecology, activists from CAGJ, Uprooted & Rising, US Food Sovereignty Alliance, and others attended a webinar promoting GE salmon on Oct 22nd to inquire about AquaBounty and CAS’s role in threatening Indigenous rights, consumer consent, ecological risk, and more. Asked about whether there was intention to consult with the Northwest Native Salmon People about the release of AquAdvantage fish, AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf, former Senior VP of Tyson Foods, responded “Have we consulted with who? … I don’t know what the consultation would embody.”
Watch the CAS webinar recording and leave your comments on Youtube to call for accountability in solidarity with Northwest tribes for Indigenous food sovereignty!
Vandana Shiva & Navdanya Book Launch: "Gates to a Global Empire"
An excerpt of AGRA Watch’s recent report Messengers of Gates’ Agenda was featured by Vandana Shiva’s organization Navdanya in a publication synthesizing research about the role of the Gates Foundation in agriculture. CAGJs Director Heather Day summarized our research findings during a webinar with many other organizations on October 14th. Watch the webinar recording. The report gathers evidence and throws light on the dangers of philanthrocapitalism, which is contributing to the corporate takeover of our seed, agriculture, food, knowledge and global health systems, manipulating information and eroding our democracies. Over the last 30 years it has emerged as a major force, able to derail the international agenda and push the future of our planet towards extinction and ecological collapse. Read Navdanya's publication.
14th Annual SLEE Virtual Gala a resounding success
THANK YOU! SLEE was beautiful! We warmly thank everyone who contributed to making CAGJ’s 14th Annual SLEE and 1st virtual gala a great success! If you missed it, not to worry, you can join the one hour of festivities by clicking here! SLEE grossed over $24,000, (just one thousand short of our goal), and our costs were significantly lower than in past years.
Full 2020 SLEE Gala: Video: 1 hour 10 minutes
Keynote: Tarik Abdullah, “Feed the People: Food, Kids, Community”: Video: 25 minutes
SLEE Welcome: Chef Travis English prepares Loki Salmon for dinner Video: 1 minute
CAGJ Organizing Highlights: Video: 6 minutes
Take Action - Block Corporate Salmon: Video - 2.5 minutes
Erika Lundahl, who performed three songs for the closing of SLEE Video: 13 minutes
Stop AquaBounty's Attack on the Northwest keystone species, wild salmon, in solidarity with Coast Salish Tribes
Aquabounty threatens to start selling GMO salmon in the US for the first time this Fall, so we are ramping up actions to cut off their markets because consumers don't want their fish, the FDA never should have approved it and Northwest Tribes reject interference in their culture and ecomony without consultation of any kind.
In May and June 2020, workers at several different fruit warehouses in the Yakima Valley went on strike to call for safer working conditions during the pandemic. Packers at Allan Brothers fruit packing warehouse were courageously the first workers to go on strike. They returned to work in June, after weeks of holding the picket line, when Allan Brothers management agreed to negotiate in good faith. They have recently formed a new union, Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia/Workers United for Justice (TUJ), in order to negotiate better working conditions and wages. The Allan Brothers workers knew that the only way to have justice in the workplace was through a union and with a collective bargaining agreement. Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia is now seeking to have their newly formed union certified by Allan Brothers Fruit management.
1. Click here to send a message to Allan Brothers management asking that they support their workers’ right to unionize.
2. Follow Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia on Facebook for updates.
Settler Forgetting in Saulnierville: The Sipekne'katik Mi'kmaq Fishery as Reminder
OCT 19, by Mercedes Peters - "We as Mi’kmaq have rights that predate the existence of Canada. And as settlers began to move into our territory centuries ago, we made treaties with them—not to create rights, but to remind settlers that we had them, to protect our rights. We are taught as Mi’kmaq, not only to be memory-holders for ourselves, but to remind Canadians who live in Mi’kma’ki of the agreements that govern our territory, and the responsibilities they have. And because it is my responsibility to serve those reminders, and I’ve been doing this for a while, I would venture to argue that the Canadian issue with memory isn’t a benign one. See, we’re not just dealing with a regular memory problem: Canadians have a problem with deliberate forgetting." Read more here.
CAGJ NEWS & ANALYSIS
US Farmers Call Out US Ambassador Kip Tom for Pushing Agribusiness Agenda and Attacking Agroecology at the United Nations
OCT 1, 2020 - The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), a network of 50+ grassroots organizations and grassroots supportive organizations, has just published an open letter denouncing the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Agencies for Food and Agriculture, Indiana agribusiness baron Kip Tom, for his unprecedented attacks on agroecology – a science, practice, and organizing tool for farmers and food producers that bases food production on ecological principles – and on the U.N. itself. In its letter, the USFSA asserted that food producers around the world and in the United States need agroecology to support their communities, protect the planet, and ensure everyone has access to healthy food. Ambassador Tom asserted in a speech to the US Department of Agriculture in early 2020 and in a recent editorial that agroecology is “anti-science,” and he has made fear-mongering comments that hunger and poverty will be much worse if farmers stop using the toxic pesticides, genetically modified seeds, and expensive machinery and technologies that are controlled by agribusiness.
“Ambassador Tom’s disdain for agroecology reveals that he indeed has a minimal understanding of the concept of agroecology,” said Patti Naylor, a farmer from Iowa who represented the USFSA and the North American region at the U.N. Committee on World Food Security (CFS) for when it discussed agroecology in 2019, where she met Ambassador Tom. “Agroecology is not simply a set of farming practices but instead comes out of people’s movements, in which social commitments and political education make agroecology the pathway to food sovereignty. All of this is a threat to the power and influence of a global agrifood industry. The Ambassador’s role at the U.N. is to defend and expand the dominance of the agrifood industry, but his task is becoming more and more difficult as the global health pandemic has revealed a fragile food supply chain, dependent on the exploitation of people and nature....
Honorees: Somali Bantu Association of Maine & All Nepal Peasants' Federation
As the COVID-19 pandemic adds 83–132 million people to the world’s hungry this year, the Food Sovereignty Prize highlights grassroots efforts meeting urgent needs while advancing transformative solutions. Organized by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), the Food Sovereignty Prize is announced on World Food Day. The Food Sovereignty Prize is recognized as a counterweight to the World Food Prize, which critics decry for its singular focus on food production based on Green Revolution approaches. The 2020 Food Sovereignty Prize awardees are the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) of Maine and the All Nepal Peasants’ Federation (ANPFa). The Somali Bantu Community Association’s Liberation Farms have served as a lifeline of food and financial security to more than 200 refugee farmers whose communities are disproportionately hit by both COVID and hunger, while also serving the broader community, including provision of fresh, healthy foods to local schools. According to Jennifer Taylor of Lola’s Organic Farm in Georgia, also of the USFSA, “While leading the way in food systems transformation in Maine, the Somali Bantu Community Association has confronted both the pervasive structural racism exposed by the Black Lives Matter movement as well as inhumane immigration policies coupled with anti-immigrant sentiment. Particularly inspiring is SBCA’s new Little Jubba Central Maine Agrarian Commons, an innovative model of collective land ownership and farming, inspired by the traditional Somali ishkashito model of cooperative sharing.” Learn more: Watch this short video: "Accessing Land for Sustainable Agriculture and Cultural Identity for Somali Immigrant Communities". Read full release on USFSA's website.
MON-TUES NOV 9-10 Tilth Conference: REGISTER by midnight NOV 4! Sliding scale tickets. This year's Tilth Conference will be held virtually November 9-10. The deadline to register was extended to midnight WED NOV 4. Over the course of two afternoons, farmers, food system professionals, researchers and educators have the opportunity to learn from one another and share best practices, catch up with old friends, and make new connections. Covering a range of scales, experience levels, and interests, knowledgeable presenters speak on topics such as crop and livestock production, pest and weed management, marketing, certifications, land access, and opportunities and challenges in sustainable and organic agriculture. Browse the conference schedule. Keynote: Chris Newman, Sylvanaqua Farms, "Indigenizing 'Big Agriculture'" - Evening of Monday NOV 9
Chris Newman is the co-founder of Sylvanaqua Farms, which is based in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They raise forest-raised pork, grass-fed beef, and pastured chicken and eggs. A member of the Choptico Band of Piscataway Indians, Chris places a heavy emphasis on the indigenous ethics, values, and knowledge serving as the (often unacknowledged) foundation of the modern permaculture movement, and the decolonized worldview necessary to ensure the sustainable stewardship of natural resources. An engineer and technologist by trade, he also accepts and explores the potential of modern scientific innovation to address the gaps left by ecosystem farming in solving a sustainability problem wherein timeliness is a factor.
About the keynote: Farming has largely been regarded as an individual or family enterprise since the invasion of America, from the sugarcane and tobacco plantations of centuries ago, to the modern multi-thousand acre family farm in the corn belt, to the smallholdings and homesteads that comprise most of the farm-to-table and regenerative agriculture movements today. This reverence of the individual — the organizing of farms around nuclear families, romantic partners, or a single person - is the central legacy of settler-colonialism that lies at the heart of most of the core problems farmers face in this industry: farm succession, farmworker exploitation, farm-owner burnout, access to land, training, capital, and the marketplace. All of these can be traced in a straight line to our culture's elevation of private enterprise and laissez faire economics over collective responsibility and kinship economics. In this talk, we discuss a prosperous future for the communities of all living things on Earth by re-indigenizing agriculture: building food systems around large, integrated, collectively-owned, community-focused, team farming.
WED Nov 25, Worldwide
International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Violence against Women
On this Day of Struggle in #Nov25, we as La Via Campesina call on our member organizations and allies to join in our struggle full of hope and resistance to transform the realities that perpetuate violence and ensure that the rights of all women and LGBTQ people are respected; to ensure that they are able to participate in the construction of new societies. #TimeToTransform #WomenInTheStruggle #StopViolenceAgainstWomen - See more here to Call for Life, against Violence!
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