We can’t stop progress ~ Organizing for Action


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Arrested for fighting slavery? 35.8 million people are trapped in modern slavery around the world


WALK FREE.ORG Modern slavery couldn’t be closer to home for Biram Dah Abeid. The twelfth of thirteen children born to an enslaved mother, Biram was released from a life of servitude while still in the womb.1 His release was the dying act of his mother’s master in Mauritania, a country where the children of slaves become the property of their owners.

Biram grew up a member of the Haratina, the class of people known to be the descendants of slaves, many of whom remain trapped in situations of slavery and exploitation by Mauritania’s slave-owning elites. Biram and others have made it their life’s mission to end this abuse in Mauritania.2

However they face regular harassment and harsh treatment in this fight for freedom. As you read this Biram and his fellow activists are sitting in a prison cell for their work to end slavery in Mauritania — and we need your help to secure justice

Call on the Mauritanian government to free Biram Dah Abeid and his fellow anti-slavery activists.

The 2014 Global Slavery Index revealed that   — and Mauritania is one of the worst offenders, with the highest prevalence of modern slavery in the world.3That’s why the work of anti-slavery activists such as Biram is so important; but instead of addressing the root causes of slavery, the Mauritanian government is working to intimidate those that speak out

Sources close to the activists have made serious allegations that some of the group have been tortured, including being stripped, beaten and trampled by police since their arrest last year.

The activists were arrested during a peaceful anti-slavery protest and were convicted in January for inciting hatred under Mauritania’s terrorism laws.

A huge wave of international pressure now could force the Mauritanian government to prioritize ending slavery and stop the harassment of anti-slavery activists.

Send a message to Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, calling on him to release these activists and get serious about tackling modern slavery.

It has now been weeks since Biram and his fellow activists’ imprisonment: let’s not wait any longer to get them out of prison and back to fighting against slavery.

In hope,

Victoria, Mika, Jayde, Joanna and the Walk Free team

1 http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/08/freedom-fighter
2 http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/08/freedom-fighter
3 http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/

on this day … 5/2 1970 – Student anti-war protesters at Ohio’s Kent State University burn down the campus ROTC building. The National Guard took control of the campus.


1670 – The Hudson Bay Company was founded by England’s King Charles II.

1776 – France and Spain agreed to donate arms to American rebels fighting the British.

1797 – A mutiny in the British navy spread from Spithead to the rest of the fleet.

1798 – The black General Toussaint L’ouverture forced British troops to agree to evacuate the port of Santo Domingo.

1808 – The citizens of Madrid rose up against Napoleon.

1813 – Napoleon defeated a Russian and Prussian army at Grossgorschen.

1853 – Franconi’s Hippodrome opened at Broadway and 23rd Street in New York City.

1863 – Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded by his own men in the battle of Chancellorsville, VA. He died 8 days later.

1865 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson offered $100,000 reward for the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

1885 – The Congo Free State was established by King Leopold II of Belgium.

1885 – The magazine “Good Housekeeping” was first published.

1887 – Hannibal W. Goodwin applied for a patent on celluloid photographic film. This is the film from which movies are shown.

1890 – The Oklahoma Territory was organized.

1902 – “A Trip to the Moon,” the first science fiction film was released. It was created by magician George Melies.

1922 – WBAP-AM began broadcasting in north Texas.

1926 – In India, Hindu women gained the right to seek elected office.

1926 – U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to put down a revolt and to protect U.S. interests. They did not depart until 1933.

1932 – Jack Benny’s first radio show debuted on NBC Radio.

1933 – Hitler banned trade unions in Germany.

1939 – Lou Gehrig set a new major league baseball record when he played in his 2,130th game. The streak began on June 1, 1925.

1941 – Hostilities broke out between British forces in Iraq and that country’s pro-German faction.

1941 – The Federal Communications Commission agreed to let regular scheduling of TV broadcasts by commercial TV stations begin on July 1, 1941. This was the start of network television.

1945 – Russians took Berlin after 12 days of fierce house-to-house fighting. The Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

1946 – Prisoners revolted at California‘s Alcatraz prison.

1954 – Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals set a new major league record when he hit 5 home runs against the New York Giants.

1960 – Caryl Chessman was executed. He was a convicted sex offender and had become a best selling author while on death row.

1965 – The “Early Bird” satellite was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.

1969 – The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) made its maiden voyage.

1970 – Student anti-war protesters at Ohio‘s Kent State University burn down the campus ROTC building. The National Guard took control of the campus.

1974 – Former U.S. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

1974 – The filming of “Jaws” began in Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

1982 – The British submarine HMS Conqueror sank Argentina’s only cruiser, the General Belgrano during the Falkland Islands War. More than 350 people died.

1993 – At Washington’s National Gallery of Art, an exhibit of 80 paintings from the collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes opened.

1993 – Authorities said that they had recovered the remains of David Koresh from the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, TX.

1994 – Nelson Mandela claimed victory after South Africa’s first democratic elections.

1999 – In Panama, Mireya Moscoso de Grubar, of the Armulfista Party, was elected president.

2002 – It was reported that Phyllis Diller had retired from touring.

Modern Slavery … a repost


 

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Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.