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IRTF Events Calendar

February 28, 2021: Friends of the Friends of the ATC: Building Food Sovereignty in Nicaragua
3pm Eastern Time - 12pm PST / 2pm Nicaragua / 8pm GMT
Zoom: Register here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__ApvF2Q2TcmyO7HZyGU9VQ

Thank you to Friends of the ATC for hosting this event.  Register here. 

Come join Friends of the ATC webinar on food sovereignty on February 28th to talk about farm workers, agroecology, and government porgrams in Nicaragua!

Nicaraguans are hard at work on a multi-faceted approach to ensure people's freedom from hunger and adequate nutrition. The speakers in this webinar will discuss Nicaragua's efforts toward food sovereignty, including farmer associations like the ATC, agroecology projects, and government programs such as Zero Hunger and school meals.

Speakers:
Erika Takeo is a North American based in Managua, Nicaragua. She is the coordinator of the Friends of the ATC, the solidarity network with the Rural Workers Association, and also a part of the international staff team in the Continental Operating Secretariat of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations, CLOC, the expression of La Via Campesina in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Rita Jill Clark-Gollub has lived in the United States most of her life, but has family roots in Nicaragua. While always generally in support of the Sandinista Revolution, since 2018 she has been studying the situation in the country more closely in an effort to sort through the misinformation published in U.S. corporate media. The past two years she attended two study delegations to Nicaragua, learning lots and making new connections with social movements on the ground.

The webinar will have a duration of 75 minutes and will be recorded. Please register for the webinar to receive a follow-up email with the event recording and additional materials.

This is the February edition of a monthly webinar series on Nicaragua, hosted by a coalition of organizations including:
Alliance for Global Justice
Casa Baltimore/Limay
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign
Chicago ALBA Solidarity
Friends of Sandinista Nicaragua
Friends of Latin America
Task Force on the Americas
Friends of the ATC

Additional organizational sponsors welcome. Contact info.friendsatc@gmail.com if you’d like to sign on and help spread the word.

Flyers:
March 1, 2021 to March 22, 2021: Labor Solidarity Series
6pm EST
Zoom

Join us Mondays in March  for the IRTF-hosted Labor Solidarity Series!

Register free here!

The InterReligious Task Force is hosting an economic justice themed webinar series titled Labor Solidarity Series that will have four separate webinars divided by industry: service workers, farm workers, industrial workers, and also a special webinar partnered with ATC and CLOC with international farm workers from Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. The goal of this webinar series is to amplify worker stories, push organizational efforts, and to rematriate with our communities, locally and internationally, to build trusting relationships in economic justice. At this webinar, you will be able to hear about worker struggles and stories due to COVID, the current economic struggle, and the impacts being laid off. Also, organizational efforts from our Cleveland and international communities will be shared for community involvement in order to support local and international workers in these hard hit industries, and to provide worker and economic resources. We hope that this public conversation will motivate community members and amplify workers at home and abroad. 

The webinar will be hosted on Zoom where there will be Spanish and English interpretation. We encourage community involvement in this conversation and will have time for specific questions for workers and their organization efforts during each webinar. The webinars will be approximately 60 minutes long. 

The webinars will be hosted on the following dates and times, with their respective organizational participants and descriptions below: 

 

Monday, March 1st 6pm EST: Service Worker Webinar

Participants:

Northeast Ohio Worker Center, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1, Ohio Organizing Collaborative

Description: 

The Service Worker Webinar will highlight the work of restaurant, janitorial, and unemployed workers during this time of economic and health crises. Service workers have been one of the most impacted by losing hours and tips due to limited staff and curfews to try and maintain the spread of COVID. Service workers are working in environments where COVID spread is high through the lack of mask wearing. We also will be featuring a guest from Ohio Organizing Collaborative that will discuss some of the Biden Administration’s plan for unemployment and stimulus benefits. Here, we will learn about benefits that workers may be eligible to receive and when to apply. Also, we will have the opportunity to hear from local labor groups that need support and involvement from our communities. 

 

Monday, March 8th 6pm EST:  Farm Worker Webinar

Participants: 

Migrant Justice Vermont, CIW (Coalition of Immokalee Workers), ATC (Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo)

Description: 

The Farm Worker Webinar will highlight the lives of US and international farm workers and the impacts of COVID and economic struggles in their lives.Comparing Nicaragua and the US, we will look at different government responses intended to benefit the needs of farm workers. Farm workers will share their stories and highlight their local organizational efforts in labor justice -- something that calls for community involvement as well.

 

Monday, March 15th 6pm EST: Industrial Worker Webinar 

Participants: 

Retired Local GM Autoworker Chuckie Denison, Asotrecol Colombia, Sinaltrainal Colombia 

Description: 

This webinar will highlight the lives of US and Colombian industrial workers. We will hear from General Motors workers (NE Ohio and Colombia) who have been laid off and have faced economic struggles and still fight for labor rights. Also, we will get to hear from a food  and beverage union organizer who has seen the impacts of COVID and worker repression in Colombia. Here, we will learn how to support local and Colombian industrial worker efforts.

 

Monday, March 22nd 6pm EST:  International Farm Worker Webinar: ATC 

Participants: ATC, CLOC, La Via Campesina 

Description: 

At this event with international farm workers, we will get to hear from Latin American farm workers from ATC, CLOC, and La Via Campesina who will share their experiences from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The workers will tell how their own initiatives and government responses to COVID have varied, and how we can get involved to support their efforts.

 

March 10, 2021: Food Action Forum - Make Our Food System Fair!
7-8pm
Zoom meeting via internet

Read more about this initiative at Equal Exchange : https://equalexchange.coop/getinvolved

Upcoming meetings on Wednesdays in 2021, 7pm Eastern Time

Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 14

Registration: These monthly meetings are a space meant for members of the forum who come together on a regular basis. To be invited to the monthly meetings, we ask that you fill out Equal Exchange's citizen-consumer application  to indicate your interest in this work, Equal Exchange as a worker-owned cooperative, and working for justice in the food system. We want to have this space be a members' space and not a space that is just a one-off for folks to come and go. This virtual member meeting space is one  where we organize around various activities and dig deeper into the context of our farmer partners, market conditions and Equal Exchange. It is meant to be an opportunity for folks who have decided to join the Equal Exchange citizen-consumer (aka Food Action Forum) network. 

Application: 
Equal Exchange's citizen-consumer application 
Once you fill out the application, Equal Exchange will send a direct link to join the monthly member meetings.

Questions? Contact  eeactionforum@equalexchange.coop . 

 

*What are ATOs? Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) are at risk

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 as an alternative trade organization (ATO) with the mission of connecting US consumers and small marginalized farmers from the global south from countries like Nicaragua, Peru, or India.  The vitality (and survivability) of ATOs is at risk because of increasing isolation from even their most natural allies  like food co-ops. Here are some other reasons: 

1- Fair-Washing: Fair Trade is being stripped of its original meaning

The Fair Trade idea may have won successes in the last 10 years, but those successes have been limited. And in the process of gaining recognition and support, control has been wrested from small farmers and turned into a marketing attribute at the service of northern companies; it has been commodified and stripped of all real meaning. While some northern ATOs are still here and hundreds of farmer groups in the Global South hang on, "Fair Trade” as envisioned 30 years ago, is no longer recognizable.

 

2- Corporate Control: Our food system is being controlled by large corporations

In the wider food system, corporations control everything from seeds to supply and prices, while relentlessly chipping away at the regulations that inform and protect consumers. They fight feverishly to prevent us from knowing if GMOs are present in our food. They continue to promote production methods that hasten the warming of the planet—a present-day threat to millions of small farmers and others around the world. And, corporations count on consumers remaining unorganized to maintain the status quo.   

 

What We Can Do Together

We need active consumer involvement to make a difference

We now know that we cannot possibly succeed in our goal to transform the food system without the active, deep and committed participation of citizen-consumers like you. An authentic Fair Trade system requires democratic organizing of producers in the South, worker democracy for businesses in the North, and active consumer involvement in the North. 

What Are We Building?

We are taking a powerful, new step in building a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the South to consumers in the North. We believe that in order to be successful in realizing the original Fair Trade vision, we need to deepen involvement and participation in our model. In doing this, we go back to the best that Alternative Trade has always been about: innovation, global solidarity, social imagining and learning, and economic justice. This will be a long, slow process and a great challenge. We need your buying support, your investing support, and your political support. 

Please join us in building this dream. We invite you to help us shape the Equal Exchange Action Forum. 

 About Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative:

This invitation to join the Food Action Forum (aka citizen-consumer network) comes from Equal Exchange, an Alternative Trade Organization (ATO) and the first fair trade coffee company in the US, which is working to build a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the Global South to consumers in the Global North. IRTF in Cleveland first introduced NE Ohioans to Equal Exchange coffee in the mid-1990s. Several faith congregations began selling Equal Exchange as an act of solidarity and justice. Heinen’s became the first grocer chain to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores in the US. IRTF and Equal Exchange have been close partners and friends ever since.

Here are some ways to get involved:

-Educate yourself. See resources on the food system, fair trade coffee, coffee producing in selected Latin American countries, sustainable farming, cooperatives, solidarity economy

-Join the Behind the Barcodes campaign

-Urge Congress to pass the Food Anti-Trust Review Act

-Become a member of the Food Action Forum

-Connect with like-minded folks at monthly Fair Trade Meet-Ups. See more at http://ohiofairtrade.com/

 

March 20, 2021 to March 21, 2021: La Lucha Sigue: The Struggle Continues. A film festival in honor of World Water Day, presented by SOA Watch

 March 20-21, 2021: A film festival in celebration of World Water Day, presented by SOA Watch.

 SOA Watch is honored to host a mini-film festival on March 20 & 21, 2021 in partnership with Mutual Aid Media, COPINH, and OFRANEH. The film festival will include the world premiere of the documentary La Lucha Sigue (The Struggle Continues) about the struggles of the Lenca and Garifuna peoples in Honduras as well as amazing discussion panels following each film.

Register free at https://soaw.org/march2021filmfestival/

This film festival is a celebration of World Water Day and the communities that put their lives on the line to defend it. Each film will be followed by a community specific panel with fierce Indigenous and Black women leaders. A large group discussion with all the women warriors together will close out the festival.

 Join us to hear directly from the visionary frontline leaders that are building a global movement to protect the earth, put health over wealth, and show people that another world is possible. Greed and destruction is not our destiny. Indigenous and Black people know how to survive–they have been surviving genocidal systems that have ravaged their communities for centuries. The film festival and the panels will reflect on what’s working, what’s not and what we need to do to protect each other and the planet.

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 20, 2021

3pm ET

LA LUCHA SIGUE (THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES) makes its world premiere on the heels of COPINH’s commemoration activities for the 5th anniversary of the assassination of world-renowned Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres. Additionally, March 20 will mark 8 months and 2 days since the forced disappearance of 4 Garífuna men of Triunfo de la Cruz (Honduras) from their homes. (COPINH=Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras)

 

6pm ET

INVASION is a short film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation who, to protect their river, are standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous peoples.

 

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 21, 2021

2pm ET

L’EAU EST LA VIE (WATER IS LIFE): FROM STANDING ROCK TO THE SWAMP is the story of fierce Indigenous women who are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies. Followed by a session of organizers in the U.S. South telling their dreams of freedom.

 

4:30pm ET

group discussion with all the communities.

 

ABOUT THE FILMS

LA LUCHA SIGUE (The Struggle Continues)

from Honduras

In Honduras, the most dangerous place in the world to be a land defender, the Lenca and Garífuna people are not backing down. They are fighting to uphold their rights and Indigenous and Black cultures in the face of state backed megaprojects and narco-traffickers who seek to assassinate them, destroy their lands, and erase their existence. Watch the trailer.

Community Panel: Bertha Zúniga Cáceres (COPINH) and Miriam Miranda (OFRANEH)

 

INVASION

In this era of “reconciliation”, Indigenous land is still being taken at gunpoint. INVASION is a new film about the Unist’ot’en Camp, Gidimt’en checkpoint and the larger Wet’suwet’en Nation standing up to the Canadian government and corporations who continue colonial violence against Indigenous people. Watch the trailer.

Community Panel: Freda Huson (Unist’ot’en) and Jen Wickham (Gidimt’en)

  

L’EAU EST LA VIE (WATER IS LIFE): FROM STANDING ROCK TO THE SWAMP

is the story of fierce Indigenous women who are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it. Watch the trailer.

Community Panel: Cherri Foytlin (LELV), Anne White Hat (LELV), Sharon Lavigne (Rise Saint James), Eve Butler (Saint James)

  

WOMEN IN RESISTANCE

an international panel

4:30pm ET on March 21, 2021

These women warriors will come together to share their strengths, knowledge, and traditions. Miriam Miranda, Bertha Zúniga, Freda Huson, Cherri Foytlin, Sharon Lavigne, Jen Wickham, Anne White Hat, Eve Butler. Poetry reading by Anne Spice.  

Come meet the women who collectively: have recuperated their land from narco-traffickers, are spearheading a campaign to bring some of the most powerful figures in Honduras to justice in a country that runs wild with impunity, are organizing a nation-wide process to re-found Honduras with a new people’s constitution, have been protecting their yintah (territory) from some of the biggest oil and gas companies for a decade, inspired solidarity actions across so-called “Canada” that #ShutDownCanada’s economy for 2 months, delayed construction of an Energy Transfer Partners pipeline by 2 years, shined a national and international spotlight on cancer alley, and are taking on Formosa Plastics to stop them from constructing one of the largest US plastic plants.

In the face of this ongoing colonial violence and racial capitalism these communities are organizing a traditional university, recuperating territories to house climate refugees, leading COVID-19 community responses, revitalizing their languages, upholding their spiritual and cultural practices, growing food forests and using land based healing programs to address the harms of colonization.

www.SOAW.org

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2021: Food Action Forum - Make Our Food System Fair!
7-8pm ET
Zoom meeting via internet

Read more about this initiative at Equal Exchange : https://equalexchange.coop/getinvolved

Upcoming meetings on Wednesdays in 2021, 7pm Eastern Time

Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 14

Registration: These monthly meetings are a space meant for members of the forum who come together on a regular basis. To be invited to the monthly meetings, we ask that you fill out Equal Exchange's citizen-consumer application  to indicate your interest in this work, Equal Exchange as a worker-owned cooperative, and working for justice in the food system. We want to have this space be a members' space and not a space that is just a one-off for folks to come and go. This virtual member meeting space is one  where we organize around various activities and dig deeper into the context of our farmer partners, market conditions and Equal Exchange. It is meant to be an opportunity for folks who have decided to join the Equal Exchange citizen-consumer (aka Food Action Forum) network. 

Application: 
Equal Exchange's citizen-consumer application 
Once you fill out the application, Equal Exchange will send a direct link to join the monthly member meetings.

Questions? Contact  eeactionforum@equalexchange.coop . 

 

*What are ATOs? Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) are at risk

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 as an alternative trade organization (ATO) with the mission of connecting US consumers and small marginalized farmers from the global south from countries like Nicaragua, Peru, or India.  The vitality (and survivability) of ATOs is at risk because of increasing isolation from even their most natural allies  like food co-ops. Here are some other reasons: 

1- Fair-Washing: Fair Trade is being stripped of its original meaning

The Fair Trade idea may have won successes in the last 10 years, but those successes have been limited. And in the process of gaining recognition and support, control has been wrested from small farmers and turned into a marketing attribute at the service of northern companies; it has been commodified and stripped of all real meaning. While some northern ATOs are still here and hundreds of farmer groups in the Global South hang on, "Fair Trade” as envisioned 30 years ago, is no longer recognizable.

 

2- Corporate Control: Our food system is being controlled by large corporations

In the wider food system, corporations control everything from seeds to supply and prices, while relentlessly chipping away at the regulations that inform and protect consumers. They fight feverishly to prevent us from knowing if GMOs are present in our food. They continue to promote production methods that hasten the warming of the planet—a present-day threat to millions of small farmers and others around the world. And, corporations count on consumers remaining unorganized to maintain the status quo.   

 

What We Can Do Together

We need active consumer involvement to make a difference

We now know that we cannot possibly succeed in our goal to transform the food system without the active, deep and committed participation of citizen-consumers like you. An authentic Fair Trade system requires democratic organizing of producers in the South, worker democracy for businesses in the North, and active consumer involvement in the North. 

What Are We Building?

We are taking a powerful, new step in building a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the South to consumers in the North. We believe that in order to be successful in realizing the original Fair Trade vision, we need to deepen involvement and participation in our model. In doing this, we go back to the best that Alternative Trade has always been about: innovation, global solidarity, social imagining and learning, and economic justice. This will be a long, slow process and a great challenge. We need your buying support, your investing support, and your political support. 

Please join us in building this dream. We invite you to help us shape the Equal Exchange Action Forum. 

 About Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative:

This invitation to join the Food Action Forum (aka citizen-consumer network) comes from Equal Exchange, an Alternative Trade Organization (ATO) and the first fair trade coffee company in the US, which is working to build a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the Global South to consumers in the Global North. IRTF in Cleveland first introduced NE Ohioans to Equal Exchange coffee in the mid-1990s. Several faith congregations began selling Equal Exchange as an act of solidarity and justice. Heinen’s became the first grocer chain to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores in the US. IRTF and Equal Exchange have been close partners and friends ever since.

Here are some ways to get involved:

-Educate yourself. See resources on the food system, fair trade coffee, coffee producing in selected Latin American countries, sustainable farming, cooperatives, solidarity economy

-Join the Behind the Barcodes campaign

-Urge Congress to pass the Food Anti-Trust Review Act

-Become a member of the Food Action Forum

-Connect with like-minded folks at monthly Fair Trade Meet-Ups. See more at http://ohiofairtrade.com/