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World Food Summit in Sacramento

  • Subject: [cg] World Food Summit in Sacramento
  • From: "Bill Maynard" bMaynard@WoodRodgers.com
  • Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 10:29:00 -0700
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcMm2IR85/b7DpK9EdewswADR2vUag==
  • Thread-topic: World Food Summit in Sacramento

Wanted the ACGA list serve group to know about this item...but it's not intended to take over the list serve's topic of discussion 

The Sacramento Area Community Garden Coalition is planning a forum on community gardening some time during this event also...(Sunday june 22)


To All Who Care About Food & Justice:

The following are some reasons why California Food and Justice groups should come to Sacramento June 21-June 25 (scroll to the bottom for contact information and ways to get involved).

The U.S. government, hand in hand with big business, has a plan to feed the world. It looks a lot like what we have in California today -- genetically engineered food, factory farms, growing food for long-distance trade rather than for local consumption, food insecurity, and mass marketing of brand name processed foods that cause illness and death. 

Last year, the UN World Food Summit ended amidst the protests of many people from the developing world and from industrialized nations saying they weren't buying the US line that genetically modified foods were needed to end world hunger. The U.S. then graciously offered to host a follow up meeting in Sacramento June 23-25 and has invited agricultural ministers from 180 countries. The summit is sponsored by the US Department of Agriculture, the US Agency for International Development, and the State Department. It will be accompanied by a trade show providing a showplace for U.S. agribusiness to sell a system of production that is responsible for widespread ecological, economic, and human health problems.

Military invasion and occupation abroad is just one part of the U.S. government and big business' attempts to gain control over the world's people and resources. Meanwhile, global economic treaties and wars waged at home devastate poor communities and communities of color worldwide. Come to Sacramento to show that the food system in California is broken and send a message that access to safe, nutritious food is a basic human right! 

As a community member, activist, organizer, researcher, or advocate, you know that:
********More than sixteen percent of Californiansa staggering 6.4 million peoplelive in households that experience hunger or food insecurity, according to a Brandeis University report. That's significantly worse than in the nation as a whole, despite the fact that California produces much of the nation's food. In low-income communities, more than forty percent of all children suffer from hunger and food insecurity, and the problem is concentrated in communities of color: roughly thirty percent of African-American and Latino children live in households that cannot provide adequate food for an active, healthy life.
********U.S. subsidies and other policies that favor corporate agribusiness have resulted in the loss of viable family farms in California and nationwide.
********Immigration and labor policies which favor employers over workers have resulted in the widespread exploitation of farm workers who are mostly immigrants.
********An estimated 2.5 million people work on plantations and farms in the US and are exposed, even when the laws are followed to the letter, to toxic pesticides that can cause cancer, birth defects, and neurological and reproductive harm. In California alone, 700,000 women and men labor as farmworkers, and 400-600 cases of pesticide poisoning are reported to the CA Department of Pesticide Regulation each year, although this number is surely higher since many farmworkers do not report pesticide poisonings for fear of losing their jobs or because they can't afford health care. The death rate for agricultural workers is more than 5 times higher than the average for all other occupations.
********While supermarkets have abandoned many low-income urban communities, people have been left with an abundance of fast food establishments and corner stores that mostly sell tobacco, liquor, beverages, and highly processed foods. With little access to fresh foods, communities of color suffer disproportionately from illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

But the rest of the world won't hear this story from the USDA or US AID. You need to be there to tell it! Stand up for community food systems in the U.S.! Stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from around the world in their demands for food sovereignty!

Coming to Sacramento will provide an opportunity to:
1)      Educate ourselves, our colleagues, and our constituents about how our local struggles are tied to global struggles for community-based food systems.
2)      Get the message out about how U.S. farm and food policy has taken away our local food sovereignty in California. And what you're doing to take our food system back! There will be a workshop on food justice in California at the teach-in on Saturday, June 21. And  if there's interest, we'll have a media training on Sunday to practice speaking to the media.
3)      Demonstrate that California Food and Justice Coalition member groups are working hard on these issues every day in order to plug activists in to what's happening locally.

Here are ways you can participate:
1)      Bring a carload of folks up for all or part of the convergence. 
		********Come Saturday for the teach-in 
		********Stay through the Monday rally which is intended to be a safe (non-arrestable) event 
		********Or stay through Tuesday or Wednesday and participate in other actions, some of which will be direct action opportunities to commit non-violent civil disobedience. 
2)      Call us to arrange for a speaker to come to a community meeting to explain what's going on or let us know if you need other resources, such as buses.
3)      Let us know if there are corporate or governmental entities that would make sense to target for non-violent civil disobedience. There will be people coming willing and able to get arrested for a just cause who want to support local campaigns.
4)      Circulate postcards and flyers and encourage folks to come to Sacramento. You can email Simon at simon@organicconsumers.org to get a stack to give out.

For background and logistical information:
http://www.sacmobilization. <http://www.sacmobilization.org/> org
 <http://www.sacmobilization.org/> http <http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/ge/sactoministerial/> ://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/ge/sactoministerial/

 <http://www.foodfirst.org/progs/global/ge/sactoministerial/> For more information, please call one of us and we'll help connect you with the resources and/or people you need!
Michelle Mascarenhas 415-929-8867 or mlm@sonic.net
Tracey Brieger 415-981-3939 x6 or tracey@igc.org

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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