|As the Labor Day holiday in the United States approaches, many of us will take time to reflect upon and celebrate the achievements of American workers.
But living in a globalized economy where many of the goods we use every day are produced elsewhere, we should also take time to consider workers worldwide and what we as consumers must do to demand fair labor conditions for all. Palm oil touches most of our lives every day, and yet the living and working conditions of the people who harvest palm oil are foreign to most of us.
Millions of people work in the global palm oil industry, and thousands toil under inhumane conditions, including child labor and conditions of modern-day slavery. Companies like PepsiCo are buying palm oil without guaranteeing that the rights of workers making that palm oil are respected and upheld. Instead, PepsiCo has launched its ironic summer marketing campaign calling on consumers to just #LiveForNow and continue consuming PepsiCo products, rather than worry about the children and adults that are forced to work under inhumane conditions to produce palm oil for PepsiCo products.
This Labor Day, help us make sure that PepsiCo knows we won’t #LiveforNow by letting labor abuses and modern-day slavery persist in PepsiCo’s palm oil supply chain. If you haven’t already, please join our Twitter campaign to make sure PepsiCo hears your concerns today.
Not sure what to write? Feel free to use the ideas below:
With your help, we can stand in solidarity with global palm oil workers and send a clear message to PepsiCo that cheap gimmicks won’t fool us to only #LiveForNow. PepsiCo has already responded to our campaign by releasing a new forest policy and palm oil commitment — a step in the right direction but not enough to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil. We know we’ve got the attention of PepsiCo executives, but we need your help to keep the pressure up and push PepsiCo to go all the way to eliminate slavery and protect the rights of palm oil workers in its supply chain.
Together, we can make PepsiCo understand that #LiveForNow means ending modern slavery and labor abuses in the palm oil industry.
P.S. Not on Twitter yet? Don’t worry, it’s simple to get setup and tweeting in minutes.
Most people have heard about Twitter, but not everybody has an account. Here’s a quick and easy guide to getting setup to Tweet your outrage over Conflict Palm Oil in less than 5 minutes.
2. Create a Tweet! (Be sure to upload your photo by clicking the Camera icon).
3. Post your feelings on PepsiCo’s Conflict Palm Oil use! Use the hashtag #LiveForNow in your Tweet so others can find it.
Many of us have wrestled with intense emotions—sadness, anger, shock, and more—as we’ve followed the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
The police killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown has ignited weeks of demonstrations. Even though most protesters have been peaceful, police appeared armed with military-grade equipment.1 Reporters have been threatened and arrested by police while trying to report the story.2 The whole country has been watching what’s happening in Ferguson.3
Many of us have asked: What can we do to ensure justice for Michael Brown? What is this awful situation revealing—or reminding us—about racism in America, police militarization, and the way our criminal justice system too often fails communities of color?
Many of us have been moved to take action. Nearly 150,000 MoveOn members joined ColorOfChange.org to call on the Department of Justice to intervene in the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. That petition will be delivered next week in Washington, DC.
Tens of thousands of us added our names to MoveOn member and Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed’s petition calling for an independent prosecutor in the case. And many of us have made phone calls, joined community protests and vigils, and more.
The vigils and national outcry have already had an impact in Ferguson. Attorney General Eric Holder—who came to meet with Ferguson residents in person—is overseeing a Department of Justice investigation.5 The FBI is conducting an investigation into civil rights abuses by the Ferguson police department.6 And a grand jury has been convened to determine if charges will be filed against Officer Darren Wilson.7
We still have much left to do and many complex issues to address before Ferguson—and America—can heal and move forward. There is no quick fix. But there are things we can all do right now to get involved in the push for justice.
One step you can take—if you haven’t already—is to sign Senator Nasheed’s petition calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of Michael Brown. Faith leaders and local residents have joined Senator Nasheed in expressing serious doubts about whether the prosecutor in St. Louis County, who previously failed to charge officers for murdering two unarmed black men, will objectively investigate the officer responsible.8
There’s also a huge amount of thoughtful online commentary that’s been sparked by this tragedy. Whatever you’re reading about Ferguson now, consider passing it along to a friend to keep the conversation going. Here’s one option: This piece from MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” puts the story in a broader perspective in a conversation with Marq Claxton, a retired New York Police Department detective, and Phillip Agnew, founder of the young activist group Dream Defenders:
Together, let’s continue to reflect, to speak out, and to take action.
Thanks for all you do.
–Corinne, Maria, Anna, Mark, and the rest of the team
3. “A Movement Grows in Ferguson,” The New Yorker, August 17, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300415&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=9 4. “Concerns arise about prosecutor in Michael Brown case,” CNN, August 20, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300425&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=10“Missouri Governor Won’t Replace Prosecutor in Michael Brown Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300426&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=115. “Jay Nixon: Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Over Supervision Of Security In Ferguson,” Associated Press, August 14, 2014
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=300416&id=100249-17809870-7a_RFkx&t=126. “FBI Will Investigate Death of Black Teenager in Missouri,” The Washington Post, August 11, 2014
7. “Holder visits Ferguson as grand jury hearings begin,” Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2014
8. “Protesting the Prosecution,” Slate, August 21, 2014
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.
Program Note: In May, some parents were shocked by what their children really thought about race. So now, what are they doing about it? All this week, “AC360°” revisits the doll study to see how children view race. Don’t miss “Black or White, Kids on Race,” all this week at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
Kids on Race Part 1
[cnn-video url=”http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/05/17/ac360.doll.study.cnn “]
Kids on Race Part 2
(1) Did you know: It was actually on July 2, 1776, that America gained its independence. So why do we celebrate on July 4?
Keep clicking to find out from Kenneth C. Davis, author of the “Don’t Know Much About” book series.
“Jefferson did not come up with these words out of thin air,” Davis said on “CBS This Morning.” “These were words and ideas that had been floating around for a very long time. Other people had written about things like ‘the pursuit of property.’ Jefferson, I think can say we say happily changed that to the ‘pursuit of happiness’.”
(5) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. Davis explained, “That may be the most extraordinary coincidence in all of history. On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the declaration…the two giants of the declaration both died. … Jefferson died first. Adams was alive, of course, in Massachusetts. He didn’t know that Jefferson had died but said, famously, perhaps apocryphally, that ‘Jefferson still lives.’ And people took that to mean his words will live forever.”
(6) The Liberty had nothing to do with July 4th. It wasn’t called the “Liberty Bell” until the 1830s and that’s also when it got its famous crack.
(7) Only two men signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 — John Hancock (not the big signature!) and Charles Thompson, secretary of the Congress.
(8) Jefferson’s original draft was lost and the one eventually signed is the “engrossed” document and is kept at the National Archives.
(9) The printed version of the Declaration was called the Dunlap Broadside – 200 were made but only 27 are accounted for. One of these was found on the back of the picture frame at a tag sale and sold at auction for $8.14 million to television producer Norman Lear. It now travels the country to be displayed to the public.
1. The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776.
On July 1, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, and on the following day 12 of the 13 colonies voted in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s motion for independence. The delegates then spent the next two days debating and revising the language of a statement drafted by Thomas Jefferson.
On July 4, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence, and as a result the date is celebrated as Independence Day. Nearly a month would go by, however, before the actual signing of the document took place.
First, New York’s delegates didn’t officially give their support until July 9 because their home assembly hadn’t yet authorized them to vote in favor of independence. Next, it took two weeks for the Declaration to be “engrossed”—written on parchment in a clear hand.
Most of the delegates signed on August 2, but several—Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton—signed on a later date. (Two others, John Dickinson and Robert R. Livingston, never signed at all.) The signed parchment copy now resides at the National Archives in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, alongside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
2. More than one copy exists.
After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.
3. When news of the Declaration of Independence reached New York City, it started a riot.
By July 9, 1776, a copy of the Declaration of Independence had reached New York City. With hundreds of British naval ships occupying New York Harbor, revolutionary spirit and military tensions were running high. George Washington, commander of the Continental forces in New York, read the document aloud in front of City Hall. A raucous crowd cheered the inspiring words, and later that day tore down a nearby statue of George III. The statue was subsequently melted down and shaped into more than 42,000 musket balls for the fledgling American army.
4. Eight of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in Britain.
While the majority of the members of the Second Continental Congress were native-born Americans, eight of the men voting for independence from Britain were born there. Gwinnett Button and Robert Morris were born in England, Francis Lewis was born in Wales, James Wilson and John Witherspoon were born in Scotland, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton were born in Ireland and James Smith hailed from Northern Ireland.
5. One signer later recanted.
Richard Stockton, a lawyer from Princeton, New Jersey, became the only signer of the Declaration of Independence to recant his support of the revolution. On November 30, 1776, the hapless delegate was captured by the British and thrown in jail. After months of harsh treatment and meager rations, Stockton repudiated his signature on the Declaration of Independence and swore his allegiance to King George III. A broken man when he regained his freedom, he took a new oath of loyalty to the state of New Jersey in December 1777.
6. There was a 44-year age difference between the youngest and oldest signers.
The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin, 70 years old when he scrawled his name on the parchment. The youngest was Edward Rutledge, a lawyer from South Carolina who was only 26 at the time. Rutledge narrowly beat out fellow South Carolinian Thomas Lynch Jr., just four months his senior, for the title.
7. Two additional copies have been found in the last 25 years.
In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original Dunlap Broadside hidden in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. One of the few surviving copies from the official first printing of the Declaration, it was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000. A 26th known Dunlap broadside emerged at the British National Archives in 2009, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War. One of three Dunlap broadsides at the National Archives, the copy remains there to this day.
8. The Declaration of Independence spent World War II in Fort Knox.
On December 23, 1941, just over two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the signed Declaration, together with the Constitution, was removed from public display and prepared for evacuation out of Washington, D.C. Under the supervision of armed guards, the founding document was packed in a specially designed container, latched with padlocks, sealed with lead and placed in a larger box. All told, 150 pounds of protective gear surrounded the parchment. On December 26 and 27, accompanied by Secret Service agents, it traveled by train to Louisville, Kentucky, where a cavalry troop of the 13th Armored Division escorted it to Fort Knox. The Declaration was returned to Washington, D.C., in 1944.
9. There is something written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
In the movie “National Treasure,” Nicholas Cage’s character claims that the back of the Declaration contains a treasure map with encrypted instructions from the founding fathers, written in invisible ink. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is, however, a simpler message, written upside-down across the bottom of the signed document: “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776.” No one knows who exactly wrote this or when, but during the Revolutionary War years the parchment was frequently rolled up for transport. It’s thought that the text was added as a label.