Planning for the “Now is the Time” Tour takes off!

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NTT_PreparationFrom snowy Columbus down to sunny Immokalee, the Fair Food Nation is preparing for 2014’s spring action…

Everyone is getting excited for the 10-day, 10-city “Now is the Time” Tour (March 5-15). Before we go into the flurry of activity across the country, we want to introduce you to the Tour’s brand new website, which launches today as the hub for the Tour’s schedule, latest news, photos, videos, and more!

If you’re already ready to join the tour, head over to registration and sign up!

The Tour has two major actions along its extensive route: a march on Wendy’s in and around Columbus, OH, and a 24-hour vigil and rally down south in Lakeland, FL, the hometown of Publix Supermarkets. Here are the key pieces you need to know:

Saturday, March 8: A now-long-standing tradition, the CIW will be celebrating International Women’s Day with action! We will be holding a candlelight vigil and concert in Columbus on the eve of the large action at Wendy’s headquarters.

Sunday, March 9: Farmworkers — and the countless consumers who are growing tired of Wendy’s excuses for refusing to join the Fair Food Program — will be marching through Dublin, OH, to Wendy’s headquarters for a major rally (and a theater piece!).

Friday, March 14: After many stops throughout the Southeast, the Tour will culminate at the heart of Publix territory for a 24-hour vigil at Lakeland’s Southgate Publix! Join us starting at 2:00 PM for the vigil.

Saturday, March 15: For the culmination of the vigil, the CIW will march through downtown Lakeland!

Now, to the preparations from north to south! Consumers have already begun mobilizing a month out from the Tour, with dozens of presentations, community meetings, and calls to get people out to the various stops along the tour. Hot off the presses, here are the national caravans (including their points of contact, so you can hop on board!) flooding in for the tour:

CIW's Oscar Otzoy giving a presentation in Nashville, Tennessee
CIW’s Oscar Otzoy giving a presentation in Nashville, Tennessee

Northeast Caravan (Click here to register!)

Boston & Providence: Shelby, shelby (at) sfalliance.org
NYC & Greater Hudson Valley of NY: Sarah,  saraha (at) sfalliance.org
Philadelphia: Daniel, daniel (at) sfalliance.org
Pittsburgh: Jamie, jamie (at) sfalliance.org
Washington, D.C.: Sarah, sarahv (at) sfalliance.org
All others: Claudia, claudia (at) sfalliance.org

 Midwest Caravans

Chicago: Maya, maya (at) sfalliance.org
Twin Cities: Claudia, claudia (at) sfalliance.org
Madison: Nazka, nazka (at) sfalliance.org
Detroit: Jake, jake (at) justharvestusa.org
St. Louis: Joe, joe (at) sfalliance.org
Cincinnati: Sameerah, sameerah (at) cworkers.org
Cleveland: Ruben, latinoleadershift (at) gmail.com
All others: Ohio Fair Food, ohioforfairfood (at) gmail.com

West Coast, Mountain Region, Southwest Caravans

California: Natali, natali (at) sfalliance.org
Denver: Joe, joed (at) sfalliance.org
New Mexico: Joe, joe (at) sfalliance.org
Texas: Kandace, palante.con.migo (at) gmail.com
All others: Claudia claudia (at) sfalliance.org

(For Southeast and Florida contacts, visit the Contact page!)

And last — but certainly not least — farmworkers in Immokalee have been making their own preparations for the big tour (as evidenced in the photo at the top of this post!). This past week, the CIW’s Central Committee gathered for a lively  meeting to prepare for the Tour, and set the tone for the coming weeks. The meeting began with a beautiful ‘dinamica’, in which a ball of string is passed from one to another across a circle, culminating with a giant spider web — which illustrates the strength of a united community.

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Although they may be blind to it, Wendy’s and Publix will never be able to outlast or overcome this perennial spirit and strength that emerges from farmworkers and consumers coming together to call for the the basic human rights of the men and women who harvest our food.

It is that spirit that we carry into these final weeks of mobilizing for the “Now is the Time” Tour. Stay tuned for more updates — we hope to see you there!