Tag Archives: Florida

Modern Slavery … a repost



Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.

Stand Your Ground law – who is it really for?

just another rant …

and in memory of things we must never ever forget 5/2012

Today, as we move into 2016 the death count of not only Black Men, Women but Young teens are experiencing Police Brutality still being judged by the colour  of their skin  not as human beings who may need to be spoken to NOT rounded up. Unfortunately, there is a group of officers who believe America wants “SoftPolicing” NO we want treatment that is equal to the offense just as we expect of all things re: the enforcement of the law! anyway, i needed to repost my thoughts

We all use that cliché …”life goes on” … right. I was able to do my thing though the killing of Trayvon absolutely affected me but not until the days worn on and the main stream media had more and more parents wanting to tell their TM stories do we see that something just is not right. Americans began to hear how this “Stand your Ground” law works, applied or abused in the same state and that was a sad awakening. Shortly after the death of TM, two stories that still bother me were exposed; the first one is about a white man who was able to use SYG after looking outside his window watching two black males attempting to steal from or his truck. The story that I heard is that he left his house shot them both, claimed SYG and while he was questioned he was not convicted and yes he was on his own property.  The other story, is about a young black male who made a bad decision to go to a rave party, raided by the police. Yes, he was hiding on somebody’s property, until the chaos and police cleared out but then an older white man decided his domicile was under attack, calls the police who tell him not to go outside does and he shoots killing a 16yr old scared kid who had no gun and wasn’t trying to break in to this man’s house who successfully claims SYG. The big stink about these stories, is that these two white men from Florida claimed and were granted the use of that unknown law while an African American Floridian Mom of two is sentenced to 20yrs in prison for firing off a warning shot to scare her abusive husband. Reports are that Marissa had no arrest record and claimed self-defense. There was evidence of domestic violence by her husband and though the case was batted around for over a year due to the SYG law, Marissa was offered a deal to plead down to 3yrs. Ms. Alexander stated she was innocent, no one was hurt and the warning shot probably saved her life, Marissa’s use of SYG was denied. I cannot say I have read or listened to every story that is close or matches the Trayvon Martin case but my two stories here have a common denominator and that is most if not all who are denied the use of the “Stand Your Ground” law are all African Americans. This brings me to the Trayvon Martin care. We heard the reports that Zimmerman was not only a self-appointed block watch captain, he was a police wannabe who had priors, and it sounds like folks felt he was sort of a hothead. In my opinion, a piece of this tragic event is missing. We all know that he had been told, in my opinion … to stand down. I know too many people who feel as I do – that there are too many inconsistencies in what exactly happened on the night of and after Trayvon Martin died.  I want to know who left the scene why the investigator who wanted GZ arrested got override and the way Mr. Bonaparte behaved was not only offensive it confirmed the “nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there” attitude. We have what seems to be a group of Floridian Police behaving badly, leading to questions about the loud noise of silence and the look of a conspiracy in the making… some call the Deep South.

The idea that a law pushed by a couple of interest groups makes me wonder how many cases since, or before Trayvon Martin was killed, got dumped by this FPD or the state. I will admit; I keep saying there is something missing, the timeline is wrong and as that feeling creeped up like it does with parents of color feel; one can only hope the authorities will overcome that seemingly overwhelming lack of cohesive evidence to one of slow contemplation of right and wrong. The idea that “ stand your ground” is being claimed by Zimmerman in this case is not only offensive it does not seem to fit the description, even the folks who created “Stand your Ground” feel this law cannot be applied to the Trayvon Martin case.

I know what everyone else knows about the Trayvon Martin case. I accept that there is information that no civilian has access to; hope that prosecutors will exercise a good faith effort to make sure the person responsible; the person who was reckless, gets charged and jailed. I feel, according to the tapes and it is only my opinion but it sounded like Zimmerman stalked and killed TM because he looked shady and we all know that is not enough for a reasonably sane person to use as an excuse to kill. It was raining thus TM had a hoodie on and while gz is stalking Trayvon is telling his girlfriend someone was following him. The fact is the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow because they were on their way, yet he disobeys. I ask anyone reading this, why didn’t Zimmerman acknowledge himself while playing police officer or could it be maybe those %$&#@ always get away and wasn’t having any of it that night then claimed “Stand Your Ground”. We now know that the NRA and ALEC are associated with the “Stand your ground” law. I think this unknown law needs to be revisited reformed or dumped because it works — just not for African Americans. I have to say that since the death of Trayvon Martin it is eerie to hear so many examples of how the law works against people of color, specifically Black folks; Trayvon’s Mom stood up and rightly stated this was about right and wrong though Zimmerman’s own comments on that tape say much much more.

If you are in NYC, Please go the celebration !

Help Save Yasuni Park … Protect the rainforest ~~ News

Amazon Watch Supports the Call to Save Yasuní, the Last Wonder of the Amazon!

Save Yasuní, the Last Wonder of the Amazon!

Sign the petition to #SaveYasuniNow – the most biodiverse part of the Amazon. Join the fight. Protect the rainforest.

Supporting Indigenous Peoples. Protecting the Amazon.


Amazon Watch 2/17/2014

Gas Company To Drill in Manu National Park Buffer Zone, Imperiling Indigenous People

February 4, 2014 | David Hill | Source: Mongabay.com

Map of gas operations in the KNN Territorial Reserve and Manu Buffer Area. Map credit: David Hill


Map of gas operations in the KNN Territorial Reserve and Manu Buffer Area. Map credit: David Hill

The Peruvian government has approved plans for gas company Pluspetrol to move deeper into a supposedly protected reserve for indigenous peoples and the buffer zone of the Manu National Park in the Amazon rainforest.

The approval follows the government rescinding a highly critical report on the potential impacts of the operations by the Culture Ministry (MINCU), the resignation of the Culture Minister and other Ministry personnel, and repeated criticism from Peruvian and international civil society.

A subsequent report by MINCU requested that Pluspetrol abandon plans to conduct seismic tests in one small part of the reserve because of the “possible presence of [indigenous] people in isolation,” but didn’t object to tests across a much wider area. In addition to the seismic tests, the planned operations include building a 10.5km flow-line and drilling 18 exploratory wells at six locations—all of them in the reserve which lies immediately to the west of the Manu National Park and acts as part of its buffer zone.

The government approved the plans on January 27th when the Energy Ministry issued a resolution on the operation’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), written by Pluspetrol together with consultancy Environmental Resources Management.

The decision was swiftly condemned by AIDESEP. The national indigenous organization accused the government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has played a key role in gas operations in that region to date, of violating their commitments.

Continue Reading »


Canada Orders Enforcement Action to Proceed Against Chevron in Ecuador Pollution Case

Toronto, Canada – Indigenous and farmer communities in Ecuador scored a major victory over Chevron today when an Ontario appeals court ruled they have the right to pursue enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron’s assets in Canada.

The court also ordered Chevron’s two Canadian subsidiaries to pay $100,000 in costs to the Ecuadorians.

“After all these years, the Ecuadorian plaintiffs deserve to have the recognition and enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment heard in an appropriate jurisdiction,” said the decision issued by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal of Ontario.  “At this juncture, Ontario is that jurisdiction.”

The decision, a copy of which is here, was lauded by the leaders of the Ecuadorian communities and their lawyers.

“This order will allow us the opportunity to hold Chevron accountable for fleeing the scene of its environmental crimes in Ecuador after a valid judgment was entered against it,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the villagers.

Humberto Piaguaje, a Secoya indigenous leader who is the director of the Assembly of Affected Communities, said: “This decision is momentous.  It proves Chevron cannot hide behind legal technicalities to avoid justice.”

Continue Reading »

Petition: Stop voter suppressio​n in Florida

Rick Scott’s administration has just made their next move in the attempt to suppress voting rights in Florida.

The Secretary of State issued a directive — without much (if any) input from regional election supervisors — that limits the locations at which Floridians can drop off absentee ballots to elections offices only, instead of remote drop off sites that are more convenient for voters.

Put simply: Rick Scott’s administration once again has just made it harder for folks in Florida to vote.

The next big election in Florida is coming up on January 14th — a special election primary to fill the vacant seat in Florida’s 13th congressional district. We have a great candidate in Alex Sink and it’s another prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Every Floridian in that district should be able to make their voice heard without worrying about these new restrictions. These limitations are unnecessary and can have a dramatic impact in suppressing the vote. For instance, in 2012, 42% of all ballots were dropped off at these remote sites closer to where voters live.

We cannot let slick Rick try to rig another election. Join me in calling on Rick Scott and Florida Republicans to retract these new voting restrictions immediately.

The right to vote in this country is non-negotiable. Any changes we make to our election structure should make it easier for people to vote, not harder.
Thank you for standing with me against these new restrictions.