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Conference and Concert for Fair Food
Day Two in Miami

If it's a CIW event, all action must be followed by an equal and complementary reflection. And so it was on Day Two in Miami, where Friday's day-long march was followed by a day of discussion with the Conference and Concert for Fair Food (ok so it wasn't all serious reflection, there was some music and dancing involved... one can't live on analysis alone).

Helping to lead some of that reflection was none other than Naomi Klein (above, left), a long-time ally of the CIW and the best-selling author of No Logo and, most recently, The Shock Doctrine. After many ill-fated efforts to get Ms. Klein to a CIW action, fate smiled on us and brought her to Miami where she gave the keynote speech kicking off the evening's concert at Bayside Park.

The first half of the day, however, was dedicated to a conference bringing together grassroots organizations from across the country that had sent representatives to join the march, including these members of the United Workers Association in Baltimore, MD, who shared the exciting story of their recent victory at Camden Yards. After a three-year long struggle, the UWA secured a living wage and work with dignity for the hundreds of day laborers whose work keeping the Baltimore Orioles' home clean has made it one of the showcase stadiums in professional baseball.

In plenary discussions and dozens of roundtable talks, conference attendees discussed organizing strategies and lessons learned in their efforts to defend and expand human rights in their communities.

The day began with an opening plenary attended by several hundred people representing organizations from all across the country, many still recovering from the previous day's 9-mile march (and all surely relieved to see that chairs were in fact provided...)

CIW members led the opening plenary with a discussion of the forces aligned against further progress for farmworkers and the challenges facing the Campaign for Fair Food in the months ahead.

Then it was on to a full program of roundtables on topics ranging from affordable housing to modern-day slavery;...
... from fair trade and sustainable food to community-based media;...

... from faith in action, to youth and student organizing and brand busting.

Discussions continued outside on the beautiful day at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood...

... but by early afternoon, the conference wrapped up and it was time for the concert... the second annual Concert for Fair Food (the first was a pretty raucous event). Naomi Klein helped lead it off with a thoughtful speech that examined the irony when Burger King -- a company that sells food -- defends itself against the farmworkers' campaign by saying "we're not in the farming business," comparing it to Nike's early (unsuccessful) defense against the anti-sweatshop movement that it doesn't make shoes, just sells them. She went on to discuss the fear that corporations like Burger King feel when workers actually talk to consumers and they lose control over the image of their product.

And finally... music.

The music came from new friends like Miami's own Kuyayky..

... and the Power U Center for Social Change band.

While longtime CIW allies Rebel Diaz...

... and Olmeca brought the night to a close with beats and rhymes that will provide the soundtrack for the Campaign for Fair Food in the months and years to come as we continue to fight and reach new heights in the struggle for human rights in Florida's fields.