19 10 / 2013

citizen-earth:

image


via Greenpeace Canada:

Whether its oil drilling north of Russia in the Arctic or tar sands pipelines in Canada we will continue to oppose dirty oil projects around the world. 

RIGHT NOW: in Vancouver, activists are locked to: the front entrance of a Kinder Morgan facility and pipes that load tar sands bitumen onto tankers. A second group of protestors hung a twelve by 18 meter banner on one of the facility’s storage tanks reading: “No Tar Sands Pipelines”. Our message is clear: it is time to say no to tar sands expansion and yes to a green energy future.

You can support their efforts by telling Canadian Prime Minister Harper “NO to tar sands pipelines”: http://act.gp/197Ttrn

19 10 / 2013

(Source: gordita-linda, via navigatethestream)

19 10 / 2013

thepeoplesrecord:

Organizing for food justice: An oasis in the South LA food desertOctober 11, 2013
Under the protective shade of a white tent Ruthie Cordova lays out the organic produce she is selling for the week: basil, chives, heirloom tomatoes, purple beans, collard greens, kale, amaranth, guava, red peppers and fuji apples. All of it is fresh and locally grown. Dubbed Fresh Fridays, the stand would fit in at any of Los Angeles’ tony farmers markets. But Cordova isn’t selling at a farmers market. She is set up in the parking lot of a liquor store on 39th and Western, a notoriously troubled corner in South L.A. 
The produce stand, run by Community Services Unlimited, is South L.A.’s latest response to its dearth of healthy food options. In the sprawling low-income, predominantly black and Latino neighborhood it’s far easier to find a bag of chips than a crisp apple. Roughly 75 percent of the restaurants in the area sell fast food. South L.A. is the very definition of a food desert.
“This is organic, local food serving South L.A., grown on South L.A.’s own farms,” says Joanne Kim, chief operating officer of the organizing group Community Coalition, which helped bring Fresh Fridays to the neighborhood. The stand is also two blocks away from a shopping center that until June housed a Ralphs supermarket. Ralphs had been there for more than two decades and was the only grocery store in the immediate area. The closest market is now more than two and a half miles away.
When Ralphs’ parent company Kroger announced the location would close this summer, the community took the news hard. It was the second South L.A. Ralphs shutdown in the last year, and its closure drew protests from neighbors who for years had complained about the store’s condition but were angry about being abandoned.
The parking lot produce stand, which is in its third month of operation, wasn’t organized as a direct response to Ralphs closing its doors. But the recent grocery store shuffle and the creative, if small-scale response are emblematic of the neighborhood’s long struggle for access to healthy food. South L.A. residents are dependent on fresh food purveyors who aren’t particularly interested in doing business with them. 
“We don’t have any grocery stores close by,” says Maria Plummer, a South L.A. resident who lives a few doors away from the liquor store and stops by the Fresh Fridays stand regularly. The produce stand is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, she says. But it’s no substitute for an actual supermarket.”I like to cook fish, turkey wings, greens, string beans and rice, but there’s no store.”
Plummer shopped regularly at the Ralphs when it was open but was often disappointed by their offerings. “I’d go there to get vegetables and I could not find one fresh vegetable,” she recalls.  
Plummer’s not alone. For years, South L.A. shoppers complained that Ralphs sold old food and rancid meat, says the Community Coalition’s Kim. The kinds of supermarket amenities that people in richer neighborhoods take for granted—fresh meat, organic produce, a hot food counter—were nonexistent or only inconsistently offered, shoppers say. The real burn about being abandoned was that Ralphs shoppers had so few alternatives, says Plummer and several former Ralphs shoppers.
Ralphs spokesperson Kendra Doyel denies the allegations of rotten meat and expired food. “We have the highest standards in food safety,” Doyel says. “We would never want to sell bad product or product that is not fresh.”
Supermarkets are themselves a struggling breed. Across the nation, they now fight for survival against online grocers and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart, which have aggressively expanded their grocery offerings in recent years. The grocery store shuffle happening nationwide has hit poor communities of color particularly hard. The formerly British-owned grocery chain Fresh and Easy, which opened a location in South L.A. to great fanfare, was sold off last month after six unprofitable years of business in the U.S. In the wake of the announcement the company has been shutting down dozens of its 150 stores throughout the U.S.
In 2012 Ralphs shut down 15 of its Southern California locations. Two were in South L.A. “Closing stores is the last thing we want to do,” spokesperson Doyel says. “But both of those stores were losing a little over $1 million every year for quite some time.”
It’s clear that supermarkets are not going to deliver the food revolution to poor communities of color who are shut out of the fresh food market.
But a person’s promixity to a grocery store is the very measure by which the USDA gauges people’s access to healthy food. It’s still an illustrative indicator. In South L.A., each grocery store serves roughly 6,000 people whereas in whiter and wealthier West L.A., there’s a grocery store for every 3,763 people, according to Community Health Councils, Inc. 
There’s a seeming disconnect—with roughly 1 million people living in South L.A., all of whom need to eat, it seems an obvious place for fresh food development. But since the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, the community has had serious difficulty bringing grocery stores and broader economic development to the area. In the rebuilding process which followed the uprising, grocery store chains like Vons, Smart & Final and the Kroger-owned Ralphs and Food 4 Less vowed to open as many as 32 new stores in South L.A. But between 1992 and 2008, the area saw a net gain of just five new grocery stores, according to Community Health Councils, Inc. (PDF). At the heart of people’s food access struggles is poverty, say advocates. 
“Stores don’t come into communities because they think communities are too poor,” says Aiha Nguyen, director of the Grocery and Retail Project at Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. “But if you don’t support good jobs that keep people out of poverty, such as union jobs, … then you’re not really solving the root cause of the problem. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.”
In the short-term though, the community is working on its own creative social enterprise with the produce stand. The produce is grown by youth with Community Services Unlimited’s gardening program. The money from the stand goes to support the organization’s community and youth programs. Still, as welcome a sight as the produce stand is, “right now a lot of these activities are not dramatically changing how accessible food is in the community,” Kim says. They’re just too small-scale at the moment.
And it’s not always an easy sell. On Friday outside Century Liquor and Market, Cordova lured passersby with free samples of figs and guava. She’d let people pinch the herbs to catch their scent and chatted with folks as they reminisced about the guava jams of their childhoods. But last Friday, more people stopped for a sample and a chat, and would walk away without buying anything. One man circled the table and eventually bought a small 50-cent apple and left. But then he came back and bought another for his wife. “She’d kill me if I didn’t bring one for her too,” he explained.
“That’s the point, to be at places where there isn’t a lot of fresh produce available,” says Cordova. “These fruits and vegetables are not just for certain people. We should all have affordable, fresh, organic food.”
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

Organizing for food justice: An oasis in the South LA food desert
October 11, 2013

Under the protective shade of a white tent Ruthie Cordova lays out the organic produce she is selling for the week: basil, chives, heirloom tomatoes, purple beans, collard greens, kale, amaranth, guava, red peppers and fuji apples. All of it is fresh and locally grown. Dubbed Fresh Fridays, the stand would fit in at any of Los Angeles’ tony farmers markets. But Cordova isn’t selling at a farmers market. She is set up in the parking lot of a liquor store on 39th and Western, a notoriously troubled corner in South L.A. 

The produce stand, run by Community Services Unlimited, is South L.A.’s latest response to its dearth of healthy food options. In the sprawling low-income, predominantly black and Latino neighborhood it’s far easier to find a bag of chips than a crisp apple. Roughly 75 percent of the restaurants in the area sell fast food. South L.A. is the very definition of a food desert.

“This is organic, local food serving South L.A., grown on South L.A.’s own farms,” says Joanne Kim, chief operating officer of the organizing group Community Coalition, which helped bring Fresh Fridays to the neighborhood. The stand is also two blocks away from a shopping center that until June housed a Ralphs supermarket. Ralphs had been there for more than two decades and was the only grocery store in the immediate area. The closest market is now more than two and a half miles away.

When Ralphs’ parent company Kroger announced the location would close this summer, the community took the news hard. It was the second South L.A. Ralphs shutdown in the last year, and its closure drew protests from neighbors who for years had complained about the store’s condition but were angry about being abandoned.

The parking lot produce stand, which is in its third month of operation, wasn’t organized as a direct response to Ralphs closing its doors. But the recent grocery store shuffle and the creative, if small-scale response are emblematic of the neighborhood’s long struggle for access to healthy food. South L.A. residents are dependent on fresh food purveyors who aren’t particularly interested in doing business with them. 

“We don’t have any grocery stores close by,” says Maria Plummer, a South L.A. resident who lives a few doors away from the liquor store and stops by the Fresh Fridays stand regularly. The produce stand is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, she says. But it’s no substitute for an actual supermarket.”I like to cook fish, turkey wings, greens, string beans and rice, but there’s no store.”

Plummer shopped regularly at the Ralphs when it was open but was often disappointed by their offerings. “I’d go there to get vegetables and I could not find one fresh vegetable,” she recalls.  

Plummer’s not alone. For years, South L.A. shoppers complained that Ralphs sold old food and rancid meat, says the Community Coalition’s Kim. The kinds of supermarket amenities that people in richer neighborhoods take for granted—fresh meat, organic produce, a hot food counter—were nonexistent or only inconsistently offered, shoppers say. The real burn about being abandoned was that Ralphs shoppers had so few alternatives, says Plummer and several former Ralphs shoppers.

Ralphs spokesperson Kendra Doyel denies the allegations of rotten meat and expired food. “We have the highest standards in food safety,” Doyel says. “We would never want to sell bad product or product that is not fresh.”

Supermarkets are themselves a struggling breed. Across the nation, they now fight for survival against online grocers and big-box retailers like Target and Walmart, which have aggressively expanded their grocery offerings in recent years. The grocery store shuffle happening nationwide has hit poor communities of color particularly hard. The formerly British-owned grocery chain Fresh and Easy, which opened a location in South L.A. to great fanfare, was sold off last month after six unprofitable years of business in the U.S. In the wake of the announcement the company has been shutting down dozens of its 150 stores throughout the U.S.

In 2012 Ralphs shut down 15 of its Southern California locations. Two were in South L.A. “Closing stores is the last thing we want to do,” spokesperson Doyel says. “But both of those stores were losing a little over $1 million every year for quite some time.”

It’s clear that supermarkets are not going to deliver the food revolution to poor communities of color who are shut out of the fresh food market.

But a person’s promixity to a grocery store is the very measure by which the USDA gauges people’s access to healthy food. It’s still an illustrative indicator. In South L.A., each grocery store serves roughly 6,000 people whereas in whiter and wealthier West L.A., there’s a grocery store for every 3,763 people, according to Community Health Councils, Inc. 

There’s a seeming disconnect—with roughly 1 million people living in South L.A., all of whom need to eat, it seems an obvious place for fresh food development. But since the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, the community has had serious difficulty bringing grocery stores and broader economic development to the area. In the rebuilding process which followed the uprising, grocery store chains like Vons, Smart & Final and the Kroger-owned Ralphs and Food 4 Less vowed to open as many as 32 new stores in South L.A. But between 1992 and 2008, the area saw a net gain of just five new grocery stores, according to Community Health Councils, Inc. (PDF). At the heart of people’s food access struggles is poverty, say advocates. 

“Stores don’t come into communities because they think communities are too poor,” says Aiha Nguyen, director of the Grocery and Retail Project at Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. “But if you don’t support good jobs that keep people out of poverty, such as union jobs, … then you’re not really solving the root cause of the problem. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.”

In the short-term though, the community is working on its own creative social enterprise with the produce stand. The produce is grown by youth with Community Services Unlimited’s gardening program. The money from the stand goes to support the organization’s community and youth programs. Still, as welcome a sight as the produce stand is, “right now a lot of these activities are not dramatically changing how accessible food is in the community,” Kim says. They’re just too small-scale at the moment.

And it’s not always an easy sell. On Friday outside Century Liquor and Market, Cordova lured passersby with free samples of figs and guava. She’d let people pinch the herbs to catch their scent and chatted with folks as they reminisced about the guava jams of their childhoods. But last Friday, more people stopped for a sample and a chat, and would walk away without buying anything. One man circled the table and eventually bought a small 50-cent apple and left. But then he came back and bought another for his wife. “She’d kill me if I didn’t bring one for her too,” he explained.

“That’s the point, to be at places where there isn’t a lot of fresh produce available,” says Cordova. “These fruits and vegetables are not just for certain people. We should all have affordable, fresh, organic food.”

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord, via navigatethestream)

18 10 / 2013

gradientlair:

This is my 65th Read This Week feature! If you’re new to Gradient Lair, each week I post essays, articles and/or journal articles and papers of interest to me that I think will be of interest to you, based on your interest in my blog. Check these out:

SNL Ignores Black Women, Black Women Ignore SNL by Evette Dionne (@EvetteDionne) on PolicyMic is a good read. SNL’s track record of ignoring women of colour and degrading Black women for decades is clear and undeniable. And simply because they’re having Janelle Monae perform soon and Kerry Washington as a guest host (ironic, within a week of each other, after heavy criticism for ignoring Black women) doesn’t erase the multiple decades of ignoring Black women or having Black men like Keenan Thompson portray Black women. This posts shouts out Black women like Franchesca Ramsey and Issa Rae who are building careers in comedy via social media.

The Bullies Don’t Draw a Distinction by Laverne Cox (@LaverneCox) in The New York Times is really good. As a transgender activist, she asks should the trans rights movement be a part of the gay rights movement and answers both yes and no. Good read; I love and respect her insights so much. Intersectional thinking served!

“But What About The Sex?”: Asexuality, Relationships, and The Metaphorical Cake by QueenieofAces on The Asexual Agenda is a really really good read that takes a stand for asexuality. One thing that occurs, that both heterosexual and queer people engage in is judging asexual relationships as less valuable if there is no sex. The metaphor used to explain why this is faulty thinking is great. Plus, it’s just written so well and is entertaining and informative. 

Polygamy in Africa Has Little To Do With Sex by Minna Salami (@MsAfropolitan) on Ms. Afropolitan is a good real that dispels the ridiculous biological essentialism that claims men “have” to have many women and gets to the heart of the socialization and cultural factors of status involved in polygamous marriages. She also discusses autonomy among sister wives, something that Western mainstream feminism tends to write off as “oppression.” While the claim about predisposition to romantic love that’s mentioned in this essay eschews many asexuals’ experiences, the overall gist of the essay is good.

National Coming Out Day: A Senior’s Story on Ebony is a good read about a gay Black man (Ty Martin, 65) and Harlem activist who is not young and not usually the focus of LGBTQ discussion. I like the perspective here because our culture is youth-focused and youth-obsessed and seniors in the LGBTQ community also have to have a voice.

An Open Letter To My Fellow White Feminists by Lauren Rankin (@laurenarankin) is sooo good. Um, lemme say this. Y’all know my interactions with White women aren’t usually pleasant. You’ve seen my writing on the abuse I have to deal with. But Lauren writes checks with her mouth that her actions can cash, from my experience. And calls herself out. And wants revolution not “rebranding” of mainstream feminism. Great read that I hope White feminists won’t ignore, though a lot of them will, as I good and well know. Lauren is awesome. 

On Offending White People by stabra on Tumblr is great. This essay is about the entitlement to space that accompanies White privilege. The writer includes examples of rudeness and hostility that Asians encounter from Whites who don’t want them to speak their language or occupy public space etc. without adhering to behaviors they approve of. And how this writer pushes back on this. Whew…I know this experience too well too. Whites always look at me as the “respectable” Black person who should shame the Black people whose existence offends Whites in public. I’m like…get outta my face. Anyway, a good read.

Stay tuned for next week’s suggestions!

18 10 / 2013

redlightpolitics:

Paris students protest against deportations via FRANCE 24
From the article:

Students blocked the entrance to numerous schools in Paris and several other French cities on Thursday to protest the deportation of foreign pupils, following the controversial expulsion of a 15-year-old Roma girl earlier this month.
Leonarda Dibrani was detained by police during a school trip on October 9 and deported to Kosovo along with her parents and five siblings – a case that has triggered widespread outrage and landed France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls in hot water. Critics have lashed out at the “inhumane” way Dibrani was treated.
Days later another student, 19-year-old Khatchik Kachatryan, was also deported, but this time to Armenia. He was enrolled at Camille-Jenatzy, a professional high school in northern Paris.
Taking to the streets to express their anger over the deportations on Thursday, students obstructed the entrances to several schools in Paris, protesting in front of the gates.
According to the local education authority, 14 schools in Paris were “disrupted” by the protests. The high school student union UNL, however, said that demonstrations had in fact been held at more than 30 schools in the capital and its suburbs.

Click the link for more photos and background on this story.

redlightpolitics:

Paris students protest against deportations via FRANCE 24

From the article:

Students blocked the entrance to numerous schools in Paris and several other French cities on Thursday to protest the deportation of foreign pupils, following the controversial expulsion of a 15-year-old Roma girl earlier this month.

Leonarda Dibrani was detained by police during a school trip on October 9 and deported to Kosovo along with her parents and five siblings – a case that has triggered widespread outrage and landed France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls in hot water. Critics have lashed out at the “inhumane” way Dibrani was treated.

Days later another student, 19-year-old Khatchik Kachatryan, was also deported, but this time to Armenia. He was enrolled at Camille-Jenatzy, a professional high school in northern Paris.

Taking to the streets to express their anger over the deportations on Thursday, students obstructed the entrances to several schools in Paris, protesting in front of the gates.

According to the local education authority, 14 schools in Paris were “disrupted” by the protests. The high school student union UNL, however, said that demonstrations had in fact been held at more than 30 schools in the capital and its suburbs.

Click the link for more photos and background on this story.

18 10 / 2013

rincondelblack:



&;¿Peña Nieto, cuántas marchas más necesitas para que voltees a ver a tu pueblo?&;
Pedro Echeverría V.

1. El secretario de Agricultura del gobierno de Peña Nieto, señor Martínez y Martínez, retrasa la firma del Pacto con las organizaciones de trabajadores del campo porque nada puede resolverles. Aunque México a principios del siglo XX tenía alrededor de un 80 por ciento población rural, desde 1960 la población del campo y la ciudad se emparejó y el año 2000 es esencialmente un país urbano. Su producción se registra fundamentalmente en la ciudad; el campo apenas cuenta con unos cinco mil productores. Así se han cumplido los designios del capitalismo: el sometimiento del campo a la ciudad en todos los niveles, la casi desaparición del campesino propietario clásico para convertirse en asalariado o proletario del campo. ¿De dónde vendrá la producción agraria que necesita para vivir cualquier sociedad capitalista? 1. Del desarrollo tecnológico capitalista del campo y 2. De la importación de productos agrícolas de otros países.

2. Gritan más de 30 organizaciones campesinas en sus marchas y plantones que exigen un Pacto Rural: &;¿Peña Nieto, cuántas marchas más necesitas para que voltees a ver a tu pueblo?&;. Éstas organizaron una marcha que partió del Ángel de la Independencia y se dirigió a la Secretaría de Gobernación, para sostener una reunión con autoridades federales y entablar una mesa de negociación sobre la situación que está viviendo el campo mexicano. Martínez, de Agricultura, señaló que el Pacto Rural está en negociaciones y &;todo a su tiempo&;, puesto que primero deberían ser aprobadas otras reformas estructurales necesarias para el país. Dicen los campesinos que Peña si los ha recibido, escuchado y prometido, pero no ha cumplido. Que dado que el campo está abandonado, impulsan el Pacto rural para que se de prioridad a la producción campesina

3. David Contreras de Redsoc, señaló que desde la firma del Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) con Estados Unidos y Canadá las ventas han disminuido puesto que los alimentos son importados o comprados a las grandes empresas agroalimentarias como Maseca, Bimbo, entre otras. La propuesta de Reforma que impulsa el Gobierno Federal se plantea la eliminación del Régimen Simplificado para los productores campesinos, ya sean grandes, medianos o pequeños. Esto significa que tendrán que pagar 32 por ciento de Impuesto Sobre la Renta (ISR) en vez del 21 por ciento que pagan actualmente. Esto indica que subirán los precios de los alimentos y no se subiría la producción. En muchos casos los campesinos tendrían que vender o alquilar sus tierras. Por ello el Pacto Rural que está basado en 38 puntos y en 5 ejes fundamentales: sustentabilidad, equidad de género, tecnologización, mayores créditos y seguridad económica.

4. Recuerdo cuando los líderes de la CCI: Danzós, Garzón, Orona, Chirinos, se dividieron en 1963 para ganar favores del candidato Díaz Ordaz; no he olvidado las maniobras de los altos funcionarios agrarios: Gil Preciado, Villanueva, Bonfil, Cervera, para mantener el dominio del PRI sobre los campesinos. La preocupación nunca fue la producción de riquezas en el campo, sino el control político de los líderes. Danzós escapó con mucha dignidad y se mantuvo fiel a sus posiciones de izquierda; Chirinos fue usado en 1976, al parecer, para invadir terrenos de Excélsior. Desafortunadamente la profunda miseria y el desempleo de los trabajadores del campo ha sido la base para la manipulación política de partidos y líderes. Sin embargo las batallas campesinas de los últimos años han sido más diáfanas y los líderes han cuidado mucho su comportamiento.

5. ¡Qué extraño! En tanto nosotros desde la izquierda denunciamos el llamado Pacto por México o contra México porque con ello el gobierno somete a los partidos y a las Cámaras de legisladores, por otro lado las organizaciones campesinas exigen que el gobierno firme un pacto con ellos para comprometerse a ayudar o mirar al campo. En tanto los partidos PAN-PRD para no derrumbarse después de las pasadas elecciones han pactado ayudas del gobierno del PRI, las organizaciones campesinas piden un pacto para que el gobierno los ayude. ¿Seguirá siendo el gobierno el salvador todo poderoso? ¿Puede olvidarse acaso aquel &;Pacto de Ocampo&;, y muchos otros que se han firmado, en los que las organizaciones campesinas (incluyendo a los organismos &;de izquierda&;) se han sometido a los gobiernos priístas que han repartido &;como Dios&; abundantes subsidios y cargos?

6. Hablando de pactos y resultados, decía el inolvidable sociólogo Francisco Gómez Jara en 1970: La consumación de la Independencia (1821) puede considerarse como un pacto entre las clases explotadoras: clero, señores semifeudales, empresarios mineros y de los obrajes y comerciantes, con el propósito manifiesto de conservar sus privilegios en contra de una metrópoli, colonizada también y, por lo tanto, carente de poder como para erigir obediencia a sus colonias. La abolición de la servidumbre indígena no pasa de ser una declaración teórica porque la revolución de independencia no toca el latifundio y la servidumbre, cara esencial del feudalismo. Esto quiere decir que pronto cumpliremos dos siglos de pactos con que el gobierno aglutina, engloba, somete, a cualquier movimiento de oposición.

7. No se cuántas décadas más, no se si pasará un siglo para que desaparezca el &;papá gobierno, el papá Estado o el papá dador de cargos y subsidios&; que lo determinan todo. Además de organizaciones campesinas sólo faltan las organizaciones obreras, populares, de colonos, que firmen otros pactos para recibir ayudas del gobierno. ¿Otra vez el PRI ha recuperado su clientela y sus formas antiguas de hacer política? Con la vergonzosa subordinación del PRD al pacto de la derecha del PRI y el PAN, puede reconfirmase que no hay muchas dificultades &;quizá ya es muy difícil- que se organicen movimientos independientes de masas. En estos 10 meses del gobierno de Peña han surgido luchas y protestas independientes, pero las tendencias a firmar el pacto parecen dominar. (17/X/13)

http://pedroecheverriav.wordpress.com

pedroe@cablered.net.mx

18 10 / 2013

becauseiamawoman:

image

Ingredients, a documentary on the Local Food Movement, gives an inspirational look at what goes into our food and the importance of ingredients. What is a review of this film doing on a sexual health and feminism blog? Its simple: The food products we consume have an enormous impact on our health and well-being. The foods we find in big-name grocery chains are often full of chemicals, toxins, and unhealthy preservatives that we put into our bodies when we consume. Much of these harmful ingredients go unchecked and without enough research by the government, leaving our health vulnerable. Increasingly, health problems associated with hormones and the reproductive systems are being linked to environmental toxins. So what can be done? This is where Ingredients comes in.

According to the description on Ingredient’s website, the heart of the film is casting a critical lens at what we eat, and giving us a glimpse at what could be:

Attention being paid to the local food movement comes at a time when the failings of our current industrialized food system are becoming all too clear. For the first time in history, our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter lifespan than our own. The quality, taste and nutritional value of the food we eat has dropped sharply over the last fifty years. Shipped from ever-greater distances, we have literally lost sight of where our food comes from and in the process we’ve lost a vital connection to our local community and to our health.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, local food refers to food grown and sold locally. In buying these foods and going to restaurants who to do the same we do a couple of very important things. First, we cut out the harmful ingredients we find in stores, especially when our local food is organic. Instead, we get all of the natural nutrients found in fruits in vegetables that we lose as our products are mixed and frozen and packaged for shipping. We also eliminate the cost of shipping (both monetary and environmentally). Last but not least, fresh ingredients taste better!

In addressing the benefits of local food this film succeeds. It not only is informational, but inspiring. After watching, I personally decided that I would give a lot more though to urban gardening and apartment composting. However, I do recognize that as the child of hobby farmers, I may have be a little biased and predisposed to this lifestyle.

A major criticism of local and organic food is cost and availability for the poor. This was addressed in the film, but not nearly as much as it should have been. These resources often are simply not available for those with low/no income and this disproportionality impacts communities of color. When its hard to find food because you live in a food desert, this is not even an option. Although I believe that some of these issues can be negated with greater implantation and emphasis on community and urban gardening, as well as with federal aid to farmers to drive down costs and get these ingredients to those who really need them, we aren’t there yet.

These programs also do not just pop on their own. I would have loved to see more emphasis on how to get these types of programs up and running in your own community in the film and on their website. There was a program of this nature for inner city youth to make it out to farms and experience what farming is about featured. The children got to dig up food, touch it, and taste it. I wish we saw more programs like these around the country. They are a step in the right direction, but more is needed to make local options a real viable option. 

Despite these important shortcomings, the film is otherwise great. The imagery is incredible, and the message is strong. I left the film feeling inspired and engaged to do something greater.

You can learn more about local food and urban gardening below:

(via navigatethestream)

18 10 / 2013

theimeu:

Gaza City, October 15, 2013 — On the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid ul Adha, children flocked to Gaza markets, where the stalls featured holiday treats. Still, other children were at work, selling what they could to holiday shoppers. More than half of Gaza’s population is under the age of 18, and many of them rely on informal work to support themselves and their families. Though their festive mood underscored Gazans’ resilience, today’s celebrations were marred by the ongoing closure of the 25-mile strip of land, in which some 1.7 million Palestinians rely on aid, underground smuggling, and old-fashioned grit to make ends meet. 

PHOTOS: Jehad Saftawi / IMEU

(via navigatethestream)

18 10 / 2013

effectiveresistance:

memorialparkvignettes:

All taken from an unembeddable Facebook video. The coffee-thrower is my hero!

The Mi’kmaq of Elsipogtog are resisting fracking on their unceded territory. Here is an article/video about the blockade. The RCMP attacked the camp today, some of which you can see in these GIFs.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/most-rcmp-withdraw-after-shale-gas-clash-in-rexton-1.2100703

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/17/us-newbrunswick-protests-idUSBRE99G1DF20131017

http://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2013/10/17/update-mikmaq-resist-6-rcmp-cars-torched-fracking-equipment-confiscated/

This may become a serious stand-off. Some say the new Oka. There are caravans and resource deliveries being set up around Canada. Here are some links for some starting in Vancouver. (Apologies for the facebook link) 

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/dchP4

https://www.facebook.com/events/590198034374879/permalink/590348301026519/

I suggest all who are able to make an appearance. One surely filled with rage. One reason Oka failed so miserably was due to the lack of resources. The state starved them out. We must not let this happen.

(via anarchistpeopleofcolor)

17 7 / 2013

"Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals. We look away from government for relief, because we know that force (legalized) invades the personal liberty of man, seizes upon the natural elements and intervenes between man and natural laws; from this exercise of force through governments flows nearly all the misery, poverty, crime and confusion existing in society."

Lucy Parsons (via class-struggle-anarchism)