farmworkers from Immokalee and SFA friends were making noise
on the road during the 2006
McDonald's Truth Tour, students around the
country were busily organizing educational events and direct
actions-- over 240 events in total -- for the National Student
Labor Week of Action (March 27th - April 4th).
by the Student
Labor Action Project, the Week of Action has grown into
a powerful expression of the broad scope of the student movement
for economic justice, spotlighting campaigns for sweat-free
university apparel, living wages and collective bargaining rights
for campus workers, the Coke boycott, and, of course, the CIW's
struggle for fair food.
Truth Tour stops and actions taking place around
the country, the SFA network contributed over 30 events
to this year's Week of Action! The following pictures are some
of the solidarity action highlights.
Our cross-country solidarity tour begins in the nation's capitol where nearly
100 people gathered on an overcast day for a tour of some of Washington DC's
less-than-savory corporate residents. After McDonald's sinister efforts to
undermine the crucial precedents the CIW established through the Taco Bell
boycott, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Golden Arches figured prominently
in the afternoon's Corporate Walk of Shame. This roving band of activist pedestrians
was even able to use some of the very same chants that were being developed
throughout the course of the Truth Tour hundreds of miles away.
Next stop: Berkeley, CA where Seminarians for Worker Justice --
a group of students at the nearby Graduate Theological Union,
a seminary with a long tradition of involvement in social
movements for peace and justice -- dropped off a letter to
the manager at a local McDonald's demanding that McDonald's
work with the CIW for real labor reform in its tomato supply
Over the past several months, hundreds of concerned individuals
and organizations have dropped off similar letters to the management
at their local McDonald's. This simple action is one effective
way of conveying the large base of support that exists for the
CIW's campaign. Click
here to download a copy of the letter for use at your local
From the Bay Area to the frozen tundra of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (or so it seems
to those of us in sunny Florida), the manager letter drop-off made for a
popular action this year. Mt. Pleasant is home
to Central Michigan University whose students have a proud history of CIW
solidarity dating back to the very first Taco Bell Truth Tour in 2002. SInce
that time, CMU students have been at the frontlines of the movement for farmworker
justice, participating in several national tours and playing an active role
in the development and growth of the SFA network.
One more Week of Action letter drop... this time by our old friends
Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, California, another
crew of young people whose involvement with SFA dates back
to the Taco Bell days (Santa Ana neighbors Taco Bell's
headquarters in Irvine). In fact, Son del Centro -- a group
based out of El Centro who play son jarocho, a tradition
of musical resistance dating back to colonial-era Vera Cruz,
Mexico -- has become somewhat of a staple at CIW mass actions
in recent years.
As if to drive home that point, some of the very same members of this
band of activists (no pun intended), who dropped off a letter with jaranas in
tow, were preparing to make their way to Chicago to hook up with the Truth
Tour for the big march and showdown at "Rock 'n Roll" McDonald's.
But perhaps the award for the most creative -- and certainly most mobile --
action goes to those CIW-lovin' kids in Austin, Texas who organized a
Critical Mass bike ride that hit up not only several McDonald's...
... but also the seemingly innocent and unsuspecting Chipotle right across the
drag from the University of Texas.
With numbers well into the 40s, this pack of cyclists-for-justice
attracted not only the attention of McDonald's managers (one
of whom reportedly signed the letter!!) but later the Austin
In then end, however, it was clever messaging and an undeniably Texan
photo op that carried
the day in this beautiful river city... certainly a heartfelt
response to McD's labor abuses and PR spin which are, quite
undeniably, a bunch of bull.
And though the photos for the Week of Action
end there, the solidarity actions certainly kept rolling with
other events taking place in Boston, Miami, Tallahassee, Lake
Worth, Bakersfield, CA and even at the world's largest McDonald's
in Orlando, Florida. All in all, it was an enormously successful
week, not only for farmworkers from Immokalee and their allies
but for young people fighting for social justice and workers'
rights throughout the U.S.
Click here to find out
how YOU can take action in the ever-growing
fight for fair food!