Nearly 1,000 Fair Food activists flocked to Lakeland last Saturday to show their support for the 61 workers and allies who fasted for six-days to demand that Publix do its part to support the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Click here to see a remarkable photo slide show by Forest Woodward, a photographer who spent the entire week with the fasters as part of a documentary film crew.
A week later, support still coming in…
The impact of last week’s Fast for Fair Food will not be fully known for some time to come, but the unprecedented dimensions of support for the fasters and their cause became clear even before the Fast began and only continued to grow after the Fast came to an end last Saturday.
The breadth of support — from faith and student allies to small farmers, environmental activists, and more — has been extraordinary. We’ve collected here below a few of the very latest messages of support that made their way into CIW headquarters.
We begin with perhaps the most unlikely — and so in many ways most encouraging — statement: a letter to Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw signed by 149 students from the MBA Evening Program, Classes of 2012 and 2013, at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Its logic is simple, clear, and most of all, good for business. We include the letter here in its entirety:
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), wrote his own “Statement in Support of the Fast for Fair Food at Publix Headquarters.” Here’s an excerpt:
“… The leaders of Publix have a decision to make.Will they sit face to face, and resolve whatever concerns they have together with the CIW or will they turn aside? Will they be able to see the great transformation that they can help bring about by working together with you? I pray that they will without delay.
I close with the encouragement of God’s words through the prophet Isaiah. These words were spoken to the Hebrew people as they returned from exile. They are a vision of human society, whole and well.
“For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind….They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit…they shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together…They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:17, 21-22a, 23-25).
Be encouraged! That day is coming! Your sacrifice is hastening it. God bless this holy work.” read more
Bishop John Noonan, Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, added his voice to those praying that the leaders of Publix find their way to “work in collaboration with the Immokalee Workers to advance the rights of agricultural worker.” Here’s an excerpt:
Finally, we hear from the community of small farmers, a community that knows intimately the pressure created on farm prices by the volume purchasing power of today’s retail giants, the same price pressure that threatens the survival not just of farmworkers, but of family farms, as well. The National Family Farm Coalition issued this statement in support of the Fast:
And we close with the voice of one family farmer in particular, a longtime friend of the CIW and the Campaign for Fair Food, Wisconsin dairy farmer Jim Goodman, who writes:
That’s all for now. We’ll leave you with one last look at the incredible final video from the Fast. If you’ve seen it already, enjoy it one more time. If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and take three minutes to check it out. And have a great weekend: