“Hey...Ben & Jerry’s: On Human Rights, Actions Speak Louder than Words"
“It’s been nearly two years since Ben & Jerry’s promised to source its milk in compliance with our human rights and we’re fed up with their endless delays and excuses. For many of us workers that means two years of working 12 or more hour shifts with no breaks, two years without a raise, two years of parents without a single day off to spend with their kids, and two years without a real voice--while B&J’s milk and profits keeps flowing. Enough is enough--¡ya basta! Join us on this speaking tour culminating in a big May Day “March for Dignity” in Burlington VT, the birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, to demand Ben & Jerry’s follow through on their promise to protect the human rights of farmworkers by joining the MD Program now!" --Migrant Justice Farmworker Coordinating Committee
Join and share the Burlington, VT May Day March for Dignity action here!
...is the wall between the police and Trump’s deportation machine.”
Vermonters who support immigrant rights are making their voices heard. Last week, a dozen towns across the state voted to approve sanctuary resolutions declaring their solidarity with immigrants and refugees. And politicians are paying attention.
Just yesterday, the Vermont House of Representatives voted preliminary approval of Governor Scott’s immigration bill (S.79), legislation already unanimously passed by the Senate. Though backed by a worthy sentiment, the bill is more symbol than substance. It focuses on potential actions that the Trump administration could take but does nothing to stop Vermont police practices of colluding with federal authorities to deport immigrants living and working in the state.
Migrant Justice hit the road last week, traveling from coast to coast, in response to the fair food movement’s growing hunger for farmworkers' rights. From Stanford University to Vermont’s huge annual Northeast Organic Farmer Association conference the Milk with Dignity (MD) Program was lifted up as an innovative and ready to go 21st century worker-led solution to advance farmworker’s human rights in dairy supply chains.
Migrant Justice is hitting the road this week, traveling from coast to coast, connecting with a rapidly growing fair food movement hungry for the expansion of worker-led solutions to secure human rights in the food system. From Stanford University to the huge annual gathering of the Northeast Organic Farmer Association (NOFA) Vermont conference, Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Program will be showcased over the next couple days as an effective response and solution to the growing realization that any sustainable food system must be built on a firm foundation of farmworkers’ human rights
Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos. Migrant Justice leader Enrique Balcazar led a crowd of nearly 1,000 in Burlington on Tuesday night in chanting this refrain. "We are here, and we're not leaving."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports, some Vermont agriculture officials are meeting to discuss how to replace deported dairy workers, including by "training inmates to do the work." To this we say: Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos.
Donald Trump's executive orders last week shook us hard but did not break our resolve. We stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers targeted by Trump's ban, because we won´t be fooled by white nationalism masquerading as national security. We stand with communities on the Southern border fighting the wall, because we know that the only thing a wall will bring is more death on the border, as the journey north for those fleeing poverty and violence becomes more perilous still. And we stand against the criminalization and deportation of our community, because we know that migration is a human right, and you can't trump human rights. Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos.
Migrant Justice's groundbreaking organizing for human rights and food justice made headlines time and time again throughout the year. Both locally and nationally, Vermont immigrant farmworkers shaped the story on worker's rights, deportations, the dairy industry, the election, and sanctuary cities, to name just a few of the issues covered in 2016. Read more for a selection of headlines that tell the story of Migrant Justice in 2016.
This essay from Migrant Justice appeared as an op-ed in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and as an opinions column in the VT Digger
Along with many Vermonters, immigrant farmworkers in the Green Mountain state watched with increasing despair on election night, as precincts reported their votes and the sea of red swept westward across the country. Into the early hours of the morning, in trailers scattered throughout Vermont’s iconic working landscapes, immigrant farmworkers came to grips with the election’s results, a sensation no doubt familiar to many of their blue state neighbors. Yet for the state´s estimated 1,500 immigrant dairy workers, this sense of dread was far weightier.