CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | December 5, 2018

December E-News:
CAGJ is Solidarity in Action: Make a Year-End Gift. New Sustaining Members receive a T-shirt or poster!
People Power! AGRA Watch AFSA meetings Report-Back
1/15 FJP Meeting & gene-drive discussion
4/9 - SAVE THE DATE "Salmon People" Film Screening at Town Hall
11/30: 20th WTO Anniversary at Town Hall
Uganda passes GMO law
UN & gene-drive risks
Local events


Get Involved! Upcoming CAGJ Meetings:

Food Justice Project:
3rd Tues/month, 6:30 - 8:30; for more info email us.
AGRA Watch:

time varies, for more info email us

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Please support the food producers who support CAGJ & SLEE!
Alvarez Farm, Alter Eco, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, City Fruit, Clean Greens Farm and Market, Eleven Winery, Equal Exchange, Georgetown Brewing Company, Growing Washington, Kamayan Farm, Kirsop Farm, Local Roots Farm, Loki Fish Co., Mac and Jacks, Madres Kitchen, Mair Farm-Tami, Martin Family Orchards, Metropolitan Grill, Nash’s Organic Produce, One Leaf Farm, Organically Grown Company, Pok Pok Som, River Run Farm, Rockridge Orchards and Cidery, Steel Wheel Farm, Tall Grass Bakery, That Brown Girl Cooks, Tonnemaker Hill Farm
Happy Holidays!

Solidarity and Movement Building Locally to Globally

Give to CAGJ before 2019!

CAGJ is Solidarity in Action: We mobilize people to engage in frontline-led campaigns locally, regionally, across the US, and internationally, while providing political education and leadership development to show up with a strong analysis and commitment to food justice and food sovereignty. And we wouldn’t be who we are without all of the volunteers, interns, and members who make our work possible. Thank you! Check your mailboxes this week for our end-of-year appeal letter that highlights some of our accomplishments  - you can read it here! We hope you will be inspired to include CAGJ in your year-end giving. Make your tax-deductible contribution today.


Become a Monthly Sustainer! Can you help us reach our goal of 18 new Sustaining Members by the end of 2018? To show our gratitude, all new Monthly Sustainers will receive a beautiful T-shirt designed by artist Heather Elder, or our poster with art-work by Nikki McClure. Marc Auerbach shared why he supports CAGJ: “CAGJ is a smart, scrappy organization that advances social justice by making connections across borders and across struggles. CAGJ members are consistent and principled activists who show up day in and day out, to do the hard work.” Become a Sustaining Member today - Thank you!


Share our memes and why you support CAGJ with your networks and social media!


Check out our CAGJ Store for great holiday gifts!


CAGJ/AGRA Watch Blog
People Power! Report-Back on Meeting with the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa in Senegal
In this blog we reflect on our experience last month participating in the 2nd African Food Systems Conference, and the annual General Meeting of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) in Senegal; enjoy photos from our trip on Facebook. In a previous blog Simone shared about their experience in Kenya meeting with our partners, agroecological farmers, educators, and food sovereignty activists. Senegal Blog Excerpt:

These are a few of the recurrent themes we heard throughout the conference:

  • Traditional foodways are being lost as fast-food becomes popular: How can we attract people, especially youth, to growing and appreciating indigenous foods, that are healthier for our local economies, soils, waters and bodies?
  • To counter the dominant narrative that industrial ag and biotech are the only scientifically proven way to feed the world, we have to find a way to promote agroecology that doesn’t fall into the modern/traditional dichotomy, and acknowledges agroecology as an ever-evolving scientific practice and movement.
  • African governmental officials are under tremendous pressure from industry (backed by the Gates Foundation) to pass so-called biosafety laws, giving the greenlight to grow and market GMOs and newer technologies; AFSA members feel real urgency to educate their often poorly informed leaders.

On the final day of the Food Systems conference CAGJ had the opportunity to share our appreciation with the group for having been invited, and presented the flag of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance to AFSA as a symbol of our commitment to collaborating over the longterm. We are excited that USFSA will be applying for membership in AFSA in 2019, and CAGJ is facilitating communication between the networks. Read the rest of the blog and see more photos here.

TUES JAN 15, 6:30 - 8:30PM
Monthly Food Justice Project Meeting & Discussion: What are gene drives? How does this technology threaten food sovereignty?
New Member Orientation at 6PM: Please RSVP

Please note: No Food Justice Project Meeting in Dec

Our December meeting has been canceled due to its proximity to holidays and celebrations. Join us again in January for a political education-focused meeting! We will learn about gene drives, who is promoting this technology, how it is being used, and why food sovereignty activists are concerned. RSVP to receive readings in advance for the discussion.


FJP Meetings are a great way to get involved in CAGJ, and are held the 3rd Tuesday/month at Homestead Community Land Trust in the ID - 412 Maynard Ave S. Seattle. All are welcome! For more info, email the Food Justice Project.

TUES APRIL 9, 2019, 7-9PM

Save the Date! 'Salmon People' Film Screening at Town Hall!

We are excited to annonunce that CAGJ's film Salmon People, co-produced with Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project and New Canoe Media, will be screened at the newly reonvated Town Hall Seattle, followed by a panel discussion about NW native opposition to GE salmon. Two of the people featured in the film will join the program, Valerie Segrest and Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, along with other speakers TBD. To help organize the event, please contact the Food Justice Project!


SAT NOV 30, 2019

Save the Date! 20th Anniversary of WTO Protests

We are excited that Town Hall Seattle has agreed to co-produce a day-long event on SAT Nov 30, the 20th anniversary of the people’s victory and shut-down of the 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle! Contact us to get involved in planning the event, where we aim to learn from our history and build today’s movements for global justice.



Uganda Passes Genetic Engineering Regulatory Act to the Applaud of Civil Society

AGRA Watch Celebrates Win for Ugandans and Civil Society

For the past several years, AGRA Watch has worked closely with our allies to challenge the Gates Foundation’s efforts to push legislation through the Ugandan Parliament that will enable the commercial production of genetically engineered crops. The Gates Foundation and its grantee, the Cornell Alliance for Science, have aggressively pushed the government to allow GE crops and particularly the “biofortified” banana. In 2017, the Ugandan Parliament passed a Biosafety Bill that would allow GE crops, but the President sent it back with concerns about protecting indigenous crops. Now in 2018, the Ugandan Parliament has passed a new bill, the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Act, which makes clear what the subject of this law is. The Bill is a major win for civil society, because it includes clear protections for farmers by ensuring benefit sharing a strict liability for the corporations marketing and developing genetic engineered seeds. The Gates Foundation, its grantees and subsidiaries continue to push countries to an industrial agenda in Africa and new technologies that will consolidate control over food and agriculture. But today, we celebrate a major win for our allies! Read the statement from Ugandan and African civil society organizations on the passing of the GE Regulatory Act in Uganda here.


United Nations Governments Acknowledge Risks of Gene Drives

Gene drive is a new genetic engineering technique, designed to "hijack" normal heritage laws in sexual reproduction, forcing a novel gene through whole populations of organisms – potentially wiping out entire species (definition from ETC Group). 


On November 29 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, a global decision on gene drives was made by 196 governments attending the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). This landmark decision puts three necessary preconditions on governments before considering the release of gene drives: 1) conduct strict risk assessments; 2) ensure risk management measures are in place to "prevent or minimize adverse effects"; and 3) seek the free, prior and informed consent or approval from local communities and Indigenous Peoples potentially impacted by the release of gene drive organisms. Traditional Indigenous and local knowledge and uses of land and water could be impacted by gene drives, which makes the principle of consent so crucial: communities have the power to decide whether their land, territories, and livelihoods should be experimented on. Read the full news release from ETC Group and Friends of the Earth here.


The COP CBD decided to develop research and analysis guidance through a “Risk Assessment Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group” which could take years, and means that it's up to governments to responsibly wait for this guidance before considering any approvals. While ETC Group and others view this as a practical brake on the approved release of gene drives, La Via Campesina issued a statement declariing that by referring the issue of regulation to expert committees, the door is left open, noting that “In the meantime, industry can continue to release its new patented GMOs, even in countries that reject them, but will not be informed in the absence of binding international standards.”


In October, CAGJ joined over 200 civil society organizations and signed onto a letter calling for a moratorium on gene drives. Activists in this arena were up against a huge PR campaign backed by agribusiness industries, state actors including the US Military, and Bill Gates, who has invested and developed gene drive technology with the highly unethical Target Malaria project. While the COP CBD decision is not the formal legal moratorium we had all hoped for, we will stay vigilant to gene drive supporters who might spin the language to their advantage and ignore implementation. Civil society organizations will continue to push for justice through prioritizing consent, organizing farmers, and hold governments accountable to protecting our ecoystems, biodiversity, and cultures from the extermination potential of gene drives.


To learn more, join us at our January 15, 2019 Food Justice Project meeting, where we will discuss this topic; we will share articles in advance if you RSVP!



January 3rd – 13th, 2019

Food Sovereignty & Agroecology in Nicaragua Delegation

The Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC) is a member organization of La Via Campesina that trains, organizes, and fights for the rights of Nicaraguan farmworkers and small-scale producers. Friends of the ATC — a solidarity network that supports the ATC and La Vía Campesina as they promote food sovereignty and agroecology in Nicaragua and internationally — participated in the recent USFSA National Assembly, bringing ATC leaders included Fausto Torres. This January the Friends of the ATC invites you to join their January delegation to Nicaragua. Details: We will tour agricultural cooperatives and agroecological schools, meet with peasant-, youth-, and women-led organizations, and help with various installations and work projects. Through these exchanges and our rural homestays, we will learn about not only food sovereignty and agroecology, but also popular education, feminism, and socialism in Nicaragua. Cost: The trip begins and ends in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. Cost is $1500 (or $1000 for low-income individuals) and includes lodging, meals, in-country transport, translation, and staff coordination. (You are responsible for travel to and from Managua.) Email Erika [email protected] for a delegation application or learn more here.


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