Fight for fair food
January 13, 2011
Meghan Cohorst of SFA and Cruz Salucio of CIW visited the Boston are, speaking at dozens of events for over a week. The Friedman School’s Slow Food Tufts and the Fletcher School’s Human Rights Project, Migration Club, and PRAXIS journal worked jointly to coordinate and sponsor an event on the Medford/Somerville campus.
The Crowe Room was quickly filled with over 20 undergraduate and graduate Tufts students, who listened eagerly to the discussion lead by Meghan and Cruz. Their discourse made for a fascinating scene, as Meghan largely spent her effort translating for the audience as Cruz, a former teacher and farmer who emigrated from Guatemala, spoke comfortably in Spanish. They began by describing who they were and why they are campaigning around the country. The CIW and SFA are working jointly to speak up for farmworkers in Immokalee and elsewhere in Florida as well as around the United States. These farmworkers are abused by their employers, most often by not being fairly compensated for their labor, but also physically and psychologically. Some workers are held in a form of slavery wherein they receive below minimum wage pay and are hit with exorbitant “fees” for basic employer services. They are not allowed to leave their work for any reason including family emergencies, health risks, or financial issues, and are coerced to stay through violence. In these situations, their status as undocumented workers leaves them with no legal recourse and little hope of escaping the oppressive cycle of debt slavery.
After the film, Cruz and Meghan took questions from the event attendees, who conversed with the presenters in both English and Spanish. Meghan and Cruz discussed their upcoming campaign to take on other players in the food system supply chain: grocery store chains. They will also continue to pull back the veil that hides the abuse and debt slavery of farmworkers in the United States. Join the struggle!
Thank you to Meghan Cohorst and Cruz Salucio, as well as Beth Tuckey, Elise Garvey, Elizabeth Burgess, Rebecca Nemec, Signe Porteshawver, Isabel Leon, Sarah Strong, Ronit Ridberg, Slow Food Tufts, PRAXIS, the Migration Club, the Human Rights Project, the Fletcher School, the Friedman School, the Harvest Co-op, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the Student Farmworker Alliance for making this fantastic event possible.