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by Paul Hays
Sunday, Aug. 27, 2000 at 1:06 AM
The Farm Labor Organizing Committee has demonstrated successs after success in Ohio. However, even there the struggles were ignored by many unions and so called progressives. Now that the FLOC has taught of the importance of the Southern United States many allies are needed and cautioned about extreme desperation among Migrant Labor channels and expolitation amonggrowers who fly Confederate flags. Read on if you eat pickles.
Deep in the solar sky; at night in the universe os stars you can make a wish or long for deep changes. So many cultures and traditions have a cosmology a star map that makes people and animals out of star connections. Go to any observatory and people will tell you about The Big Dipper, The Hunter, The Twins, The North Star.
The Phoenicians had this, North Africans do, The Greeks were a third and Innuit too. Celtic sky architects were an important source and of course Persians who gazed early in the a.m.
Deep in the Deep South, in Atlanta a crossroads ameeting was held on August 25, 2000. South of Turner Field, a new stadium near Henry Aaron Boulevard work a collection of peoples predominately African-American.
In a bricked building on the George Washington Carver High School Campus work these people for welfare rights, selling produce, ordering food boxes, and distributing just a little donated goods.
This is the Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger a sort of Deep South Kensington Welfare Rights Union.
Last night the Farm Labor Organizing Committee held a benefit and rally there with keynote speakers: Reverend C.T. Vivian, Chairman of the Center for Democratic Renewal.
12 Organizations were in attendance:
Atlanta Labor Council, Concerned Black Clergy, Teamster Local 728 [Hoffa just fired 5 reformers] and Project South Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, American Friends Service Committee, Georgia AFL-CIO, Georgia NOW , Labor Solidarity Network, Congress of the Streets (Democratic Socialist-Green) and Unitarian-Universalist Metro Atlanta North, Also the Grady Coalition for Affordable Health Care was in attendance.
C.T. Vivian spoke about many issues in a rousing yet controlled style.He is the winner of many awards and was a key strategist with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He remarked that many people fought for Human Rights in the 1960's and that an important battle must not be won easily because it can be lost easily if victory comes with little price. He also gave other key strategies and remarked that Atlanta know is the home of over 100 Krogers Stores a Cincinnati Company.
Soon after Mr. Vivian:Baldemar Velasquez spoke as the second key-note speaker and leader of FLOC. He described sadly how his union and their efforts were ignored by the AFL-CIO, Presbytarians and others in the Campbell Boycott years (1980's). Now the FLOC has great strength in Ohio and the news that they are re-negotiating contracts with Vlassic and Heinz is true. This has ocurred since 1986.
However Noth Carolina is a different tiger altogether. Not only do the Appalachian mountains seperate the two states but ethnic history, union laws, and farm-worker strength do as well.
Mr Velasquez mentioned the fact that sweet potatoes, tobacco and cucumbers are major crops in North Carolina and that their are minor crops as well such as watermelon and strawberry in some counties.
He told story after story of suffering and death caused by outright disregard for employees and in some cases open hatred. hate may not be a famlity value but in some corners of the Mt Airy region hate flies on a flag in the front yard and says the Civil War was lost but that the servitude of Mexicanos will not be.
FLOC leaflets were on all tables to illustrate this point: "In 1998 the Department of Agriculture added 3 pesticide field inspectors for a total of 7. None are bilingual. It will take them 43 years to inspect farms certified to use farms. 44% of migrant camps tested in 1992 had contaminated water supplies. One washtub for 30 workers satifies laundry requirements. Portable toilets and handwashing facilities are rare." FLOC LEAFLET ENTITLED 'You Can Make A Difference.'
Religious and Non-Violence played a part in the nigh-time relaxation so did light meals of home-made spaghetti, salads, home-made munch cookies and Kentucky Fried Chicken Boxes. A large water cooler (portable) was awelcome sight.
A secondary boycott possibility was declared a probability. If we can remove Mt. Olive Pickles from Krofger then we can pressure Publix, Harris Teeter and Winn Dixie to not buy en large amounts or at all. Leafletting has ocurred at 8 Sam's Clubs on all sides ofthe Metropolitan region. Pickles Aisle 3.
Article shortened due to time and space savings: Paul Hays Soyboy_@hotmail.com
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