Saturday, March 09, 2019

Fair Food Nation comes together to celebrate International Women’s Day in style with massive march demanding Ohio State University “Boot the Braids”! Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Coalition of Immokalee Workers<>
Protesters leave hundreds of red carnations at the doorstep of the Ohio State University administration building on Friday afternoon following a march to the OSU campus through Columbus, Ohio. The flowers – given first to the OSU students who held a sit-in on March 7th, and then to the rest of the participants in the action – symbolize the strength and resolve farmworker women maintain even while routinely confronting sexual harassment and assault outside the protections of the CIW’s Fair Food Program, the leading human rights program in US agriculture today. Students at OSU are demanding that their administration cut the university’s contract with Wendy’s until the hamburger giant agrees to join the Fair Food Program.
On Friday, hundreds of protesters – including workers from Immokalee and their families, Ohio State University students, and Fair Food allies from across the northeast and midwest – braved snow flurries and bitter cold to gather in Columbus, Ohio, where they marched to support the efforts of OSU students to “Boot the Braids” from the flagship university’s campus. Friday’s march and protest followed Thursday’s sit-in at OSU President Michael Drake’s office by 25 students, staff, and community members, during which President Drake refused to meet – or even speak – with students calling for OSU to cut the university’s contract with Wendy’s until the Ohio-based fast-food chain joins the Fair Food Program. The campaign at OSU gained momentum in the wake of last month’s news that Wendy’s would not be returning to the University of Michigan campus following successful student and community protests there. 

Today’s report includes photos and video from a day jam-packed with events (a day so full of action, in fact, that we don’t even have space in today’s post to touch on two remarkable articles published yesterday on the Campaign for Fair Food and the Fair Food Program, one that took up nearly the entire front page of the New York Times Business section, the other a powerful op/ed by Time’s Up leader and Fair Food ally Alyssa Milano. We will return to those articles next week!).

International Women’s Day provides a prism for conversation on women’s rights as human rights…

Friday’s activities at OSU began bright and early with a morning reflection – held in the sanctuary (below) of the Summit United Methodist Church, our longtime ally and gracious host for so many CIW visits to Columbus – on the Fair Food Program and the rights of women farmworkers in our food system.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
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