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Posts filed under Southern Girls Convention

Si se puede!

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers campaign against Taco Bell picked up a big moral boost as Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta’s United Farm Workers passed a resolution endorsing the boycott of Taco Bell [IMC]. The solidarity from UFW is inspiring, given UFW’s historical role as a spearhead of organizing for the human dignity of migrant farmworkers and their near-legendary inspiration for low-wage laborers and Chicanos across the nation.

CIW launched its boycott of Taco Bell in April, 2001, in response to repeated stonewalling from Taco Bell management. CIW had asked Taco Bell to take responsibility for the abysmal working conditions of Florida tomato pickers (the average farmworking family lives on about $7,000/year; farmworkers have no labor rights under US law; the piece rate paid for tomatos picked has not increased since the 1970s). Taco Bell claims that it is not responsible for the contracts made by its suppliers — an excuse just as phony as Nike’s excuses that it is not responsible for its outsourced sweatshops in Indonesia or Mexico. If Taco Bell would pay just one penny extra per pound of tomatoes, it could double the income of tomato pickers. But they will not take any responsibility or make any moves to bring their suppliers to the bargaining table with the CIW. So the CIW has launched a dynamic and creative campaign to speak truth to Taco Bell and hold them accountable.

The campaign is surging forward as the Taco Bell Truth Tour begins. We had a Taco Bell protest here in Auburn during the Southern Girls Convention, and, who knows, we may work on some more later.

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Southern Girls Convention builds pro-woman community in the Deep South

Whew! After half a year of hard work, Southern Girls Convention 2001 finally happened this past weekend in Auburn, Alabama. As you may have noticed from my extended absence, it was absolutely exhausting, long, hard work, but it was totally worth it. Over FIVE HUNDRED totally rad feminist women and boys came from all over the country (and Canada too!) for over 60 information-filled workshops, tables with all kinds of information, four music shows (including an outstanding hardcore show at Olde Auburn Ale House), and an amazing chance for community, networking, and meeting lots of rad kids from the South. Although as organizers we were constantly running around exhausted and dealing with crises, everyone told us that they had an amazing time and the positive feedback was more than enough to keep us going on vicarious great experiences.

Auburn hasn’t seen so much diversity or political consciousness in a long time. Queer punk girls were lounging outside of Foy Union, everyone from PIRG to SURGE to Planned Parenthood were hosting tables, and a group of Radical Cheerleaders coordinated a spontaneous march and took over the downtown Taco Bell in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ campaign for tomato pickers.

I can’t write here how challenging, exhausting, uniting, empowering, and wonderful the experience of organizing SGC2001 and carrying it through have been. But it’s been all that and more. I don’t want to organize any more conventions for a long time, but I am super-psyched about going to next year’s SGC and experiencing it from a participant’s-eye-view. I hope, I pray that SGC will be an on-going, transformative presence in the South for a long time to come.

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