Photos from the Pride Parade – kicking off the Month of Action

On September 10th, a contingent of immigrant farmworkers marched in the annual Vermont Pride Parade. As is tradition, the Migrant Justice contingent marched with rainbow-painted butterflies; this year, we added home-made marching drums emblazoned with messages of solidarity.

In previous years, Hannaford Supermarket was a main sponsor of the event. Last year, the Pride Center of Vermont informed Hannaford that the company would only be allowed to sponsor if it agreed to sit down with farmworkers to discuss Milk with Dignity. Hannaford refused and pulled its $18,000 sponsorship of the Pride Parade.

Hannaford’s cowardly refusal to sponsor the event continued this year. Roberta, a trans woman and Migrant Justice member, spoke to Hannaford’s abandonment of LGBTQ farmworkers as she addressed the crowd from the festival stage:

Discrimination is a daily reality for LGBTQ farmworkers. Workers face discrimination on many farms where Hannaford buys its milk, in their salary, their housing, and in how they are treated. They tell you that you aren’t capable of doing the same work that others do. Hannaford has an opportunity to join Milk with Dignity, so that all workers can feel safe and can work without fear.

The benefits of Milk with Dignity have never been more clear. A recent article in online newsmagazine Modern Farmer tracks the development of Milk with Dignity and the transformations that it has brought to the dairy industry. Despite Hannaford’s protestations, the article shows that “[r]esearch supports the effectiveness of Milk with Dignity’s approach.”

The Pride Parade kicked off the Milk with Dignity Month of Action, which will continue throughout September with a series of weekly pickets at 5:30pm in front of the Hannaford at 935 Shelburne Rd. in South Burlington, VT.

Get the details on the Milk with Dignity Month of Action, and join us on the picket line – September 13th!