Food Justice and Food Sovereignty Organizations call out “Our Food is Not a Commodity” at upcoming US Social Forum in San José

Bellingham, Wash., June 9, 2015 – Food justice and food sovereignty organizations from the West Coast to the Midwest will converge for a People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) later this month at the upcoming US Social Forum in San José, California. The PMA, titled on Food Sovereignty: Our Food is Not a Commodity, will take place on Saturday, June 27th at 2 pm at the Washington United Youth Center in San José.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Edgar Franks, Formación Cívica Coordinator

Community to Community Development

Bellingham, WA

edgarf@foodjustice.org

360-391-4561
 

Food Justice and Food Sovereignty Organizations call out “Our Food is Not a Commodity” at upcoming US Social Forum in San José

Bellingham, Wash., June 9, 2015 – Food justice and food sovereignty organizations from the West Coast to the Midwest will converge for a People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) later this month at the upcoming US Social Forum in San José, California. The PMA, titled on Food Sovereignty: Our Food is Not a Commodity, will take place on Saturday, June 27th at 2 pm at the Washington United Youth Center in San José.

Organizations and activists engaged in food justice, food sovereignty, urban farming, environment, labor rights, migration, and anti-racism, anti-oppression, anti-sexism liberation work are invited to join this PMA as we come together to articulate our guiding principles and commit to practice them with action so that we may strengthen our connections and our movement.

After a dramatic gathering at the US Social Forum in Detroit in 2010, many organizations went back to their communities and have been organizing to improve local food systems in rural areas and urban centers. The Food Sovereignty PMA at this year’s US Social Forum will provide the opportunity for activists to update each other and re-visit the Statement and Commitments agreed upon in Detroit, integrating new voices and committing to further actions to build food sovereignty in the United States.

As part of the discussion about food sovereignty in the US, we will be incorporating action and dialogue about standing in solidarity with farm workers struggling to improve wages and working conditions in San Quintin Baja California, Mexico and Skagit County in Washington State. Local activists and leaders of the Washington State farm worker union Familias Unidas por la Justicia will lead an informational picket at a San José Costco store to educate consumers about the ongoing boycott of Driscoll’s Berries headquartered in nearby Watsonville, CA. The consumer educational picket will begin at 11am.

“As farm workers we are invisible and our voices are rarely heard, yet everyone wants fresh berries and vegetables for their table; the educational picket and Movement Assembly at this Social Forum gives us an equal voice with other stakeholders in the food system” said Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community, the leading anchor organization for the Food Sovereignty PMA.

Organizations and groups working for social justice are invited to sign on as anchor organizations for the Food Sovereignty PMA. We ask they bring their current community struggle to the discussion, be active participants, and commit to actions following the social forum to build the food sovereignty movement. Individuals and organizations are also invited to attend the open PMA and are asked to bring educational or campaign materials, food to share, symbolic tokens of their work, banners and signs, as well as music and art to contribute to the space.

Organizations already anchoring the Food Sovereignty PMA include: Community to Community Development, Centro Campesino, Domestic Fair Trade Association, Food First / Institute for Food and Development Policy, Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales, Other Worlds are Possible, and the US Food Sovereignty Alliance.

Those in the Bay Area seeking more information on the US Social Forum model and the Food Sovereignty PMA can attend a free call-out meeting on Wednesday, June 17th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm hosted by Food First, Other Worlds, and the Community Food and Justice Coalition at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley. The event will be an introduction to the US Social Forum and a strategizing session for the Food Sovereignty People’s Movement Assembly and will include presentations by Shamako Noble, Social Forum National Coordinator and Local Organizing Committee in San Jose and a local activist on the Food Sovereignty PMA, with ample time for questions, conversation, engagement, and ideas.

The San José Social Forum will take place June 24th – 28th with a series of workshops and People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs). Concurrent Social Forums are also taking place in Philadelphia and in satellite gatherings throughout the Southern US, Mexico, and Canada.  Register as an individual or organization online here: https://www.ussocialforum.net/registration

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