250 hit the streets of Sarasota to protest Publix!

Growing protests signal exciting season ahead…

The past several weeks have seen some truly impressive actions in the Campaign for Fair Food. First there was the 400-person march on Trader Joe’s headquarters in Monrovia, CA, then more than 200 people showed up for a two-mile march to a Trader Joe’s store in Oakland.

And now, this past Sunday, more than 200 people took to the streets in yet another massive protest for Fair Food, this time at a recently opened Publix store in Sarasota, Florida. From the WMNF radio story on the protest:

“Yesterday, about 250 protestors packed the sidewalks in front of Sarasota’s newest Publix. They are asking the food giant to sign the Fair Food Agreement in support of tomato harvesters across Florida. For over two years, Publix has refused to support their request for what amounts to one penny more per pound, along with reasonable working conditions in the field.

The sidewalks were filled with protestors, chanting and marching around the edifice of the corporation’s newest retail store. Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a farm worker with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, says they are asking the supermarket giant to help with fair wages and improved working conditions by agreeing to support demands for what most would consider humane treatment…” read more

Click here for a photo report from yesterday’s big action.

And click here to listen to a great WMNF radio story on the protest.

In another note, friends and family of Ellen Peterson (right) gathered yesterday to mark the passing of one of Florida’s most dedicated activists for environmental and social justice. With a simple and beautiful gathering at Fisheating Creek — itself testament to Ellen’s unflagging determination to save Florida’s environment — we said goodbye to Ellen and pledged to continue her struggle.

We knew Ellen was there, among the soaring cypress, tannic waters, and teeming wildlife of her beloved Fisheating Creek, but we also knew that she was there with the protesters in Sarasota, bringing her indomitable spirit to the ongoing fight for farm labor justice, just as she had so many, many times before…