The day before the 50th anniversary March on Washington, scores of young activists and unionists converged on a “legislative factory” just outside of Washington DC in Arlington, VA.
In an escalating nationwide protest, thousands of fast-food workers in 60 cities from coast to coast walked off their jobs on August 29th, a day after the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
Strikers are seeking raises to $15 an hour, paid sick leave and the right to unionize America’s second-biggest employer, the restaurant industry, which is predicting its 2013 profits will “reach a record high of $660.5 billion.”
“We are now at a critical stage, where each minute that passes is extremely taxing mentally and physically. Many of us participating since day one are suffering what may be irreversible damage, and are facing a very real possibility of death.”
--Pelican Bay hunger striker and Short Corridor representative Aurturo Castellano 55 Days on Hunger Strike
The news came as a shocker and reverberated across the country last week when a Federal judge ruled that New York’s notorious stop-and-frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of the people of color targeted by police, dubbing it a “policy of indirect racial profiling.”
While there will be no immediate changes to the tactics on the ground, as Mayor Bloomberg angrily declared, there will be a pilot program in five NYC precincts to record the street encounters between police and those who are stopped and frisked.
BYP100 has created a toolkit of aggregated resources inspired by the murder of Trayvon Martin. It includes readings on race, gender and justice as well as action steps. Download the kit here.
Communities are not just fighting hunger, but also fighting for sources of healthy food in their neighborhoods. Growing food in our communities that is healthy, affordable, and GMO-free is a critical part of any food justice movement. Here are some groups that are taking food production to another level by feeding their communities, reviving tradition, and generating wealth.
South West Organizing Project (SWOP) “Project Feed the Hood”
Moral Mondays and “Fusion Politics” Organizing
As the nation commemorated the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington last month, Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal issued statements claiming that America’s problem is “people being too proud of their ethnic identities and emphasizing their separateness.”
When 250,000 marchers converged on Washington in August 1963, the issues were jobs and freedom. Now, as the crowds came together to mark the 50th anniversary of that seminal event in the civil rights movement, those issues have been joined by others, including one, immigration reform, that wasn't nearly on the political radar then like it is today.
"They were fighting for equality, and that's exactly what we're fighting for," said Mikhel Crichlow, 28, a native of Trinidad and Tobago now living in Brooklyn. Crichlow said he was going to Washington for the commemoration.