Three generations of CIW women, three hundred workers and consumers, celebrate International Women’s Day by calling on Wendy’s to join the movement for farmworker rights!

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Moving march, vigil in Columbus, Ohio, perfect prelude to today’s big March on Wendy’s Headquarters in Dublin…

After gathering from all four corners of the Fair Food Nation — with buses and vans pouring into Columbus over the course of the day from New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, and Madison, just to name a few — and greeting the tour crew from Immokalee as they arrived at the Summit United Methodist Church (aka, Campaign for Fair Food headquarters, North Division)…


… the growing Fair Food army, now reinforced several hundred strong, only had time to grab a quick bite before hitting the streets again for a colorful march down a busy central thoroughfare to a Wendy’s located on the edge of the massive campus of Ohio State University.


The occasion was International Women’s Day — a day around which the CIW’s big spring action is scheduled every year, a day that has created some unforgettable moments in marches and protests past (like this, and this) — and this year we celebrated with a heartfelt call on Wendy’s to support Fair Food that protects human rights, not fast-food that exploits human beings.  The highlight of this year’s action was a candlelight vigil that brought together three generations of women from across the Fair Food movement whose contributions to that movement — past, present, and, no doubt, future — have helped bring about a quiet revolution for women, and all farmworkers, in Florida’s tomato fields. 

Among the speakers was one of the CIW’s dearest friends, Olgha Sandman, pictured below, who has been with us from the early days of the Taco Bell boycott and never wavered once when the call has gone out for action:


Her words, together with those of all of last night’s speakers, lit a bonfire of hope and resistance that staved off the bitter cold of the Ohio night…


… and shone a light on Wendy’s inexcusable indifference to generations of suffering in the fields where it has bought tomatoes, no questions asked, for years.


The crowd then formed a ring that nearly encircled the entire restaurant…


… and each participant took a moment to compose a short note to Wendy’s with his or her wish on this day:

This note reads: “Do the right thing for justice, for farmworkers, for a food system that is responsive to the rights of women and all people. Sign the Fair Food agreement.”

After the vigil, it was back to the church for a little bit of fun before bedding down for the night in preparation for today’s big march.  The Concert for Fair Food was a huge hit, with a standing room only crowd…


… yet another incredible original song, this time for the Wendy’s campaign, from the CIW’s own Liz Fitzgerald, lyrics pictured below for the sing along as she premiered her new piece (some of her past hits have contributed immeasurably to the Chipotle and Trader Joe’s campaigns)…


… and, of course, some dancing:


Once the dancing breaks out, you know the day is a wrap!  And with Day Four in the books, it’s time for the March on Wendy’s Headquarters, so check back soon for an update from all of today’s action, but not before checking out the video from last night’s vigil, of course: