Click here for a page of resources to use in your community's petition campaign!
|In March of last year, CIW members signed a scroll in support of the Campaign for Fair Food that ultimately stretched nearly 8 stories!
Breaking Out of the Web!
Much more than an e-campaign, this petition is a living, tangible organizing movement that we encourage our allies to bring to life in their own communities.
It is both a means for Fair Food activists to share their commitment to human rights for farmworkers with others as they gather signatures in their communities – building the movement as they do – and a powerful message to Burger King and the rest of the food industry that the human rights crisis in the fields must end, and it must end today!
From Miami to Mexico City, from Los Angeles to London, Fair Food activists will collect signatures in their campuses, places of worship, union halls and community gatherings. Then, in late April, representatives will gather at Burger King headquarters in Miami to hand-deliver the petitions in a creative mass procession, just as the people of England flooded the House of Commons with their petitions against the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the late 1700's.
If you are spearheading a petition campaign in your community, once you have finished gathering signatures, you can do one of two things with your completed petition:
1) Join us in Miami! If it is possible for your community to send a representative to Miami, then your representative can hand-deliver the petition along with Fair Food activists from across the country at Burger King headquarters. Stay tuned to the website in the weeks ahead for the exact time and date for the action in Miami.
2) If your community is unable to send a representative to Miami for the delivery of the petitions, you should mail your completed petition to the CIW at the following address:
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
P.O. Box 603
Immokalee, Florida 34143
We will ensure that your community's petition is delivered along with all the others to Burger King headquarters.
Of course, if for whatever reason it's simply not possible to organize a "hard copy" petition campaign in your community, you can still be part of the movement by signing the e-petition. Click here to add your name now.
Ideas for Bringing the Movement to your Community
Above all… Be creative!
Make a scroll out of canvas and unfurl it in Miami like an old school abolitionist. Or do a video petition, where someone leads off by reading the text and the “signers” say their names into the camera – your video could be posted on this site, and you can then hand in a copy at Burger King headquarters. Make a colorful banner representing your church or campus and have people sign the banner. The First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, Florida, is already working on a huge tomato poster that their members will sign and preparing a couple of hundred smaller tomato cut-outs that the individual members will take home to gather more signatures from their friends and family! There are dozens of ways to make the petition a powerful visual statement and a fun organizing experience for your community, but even if all you’ve got is a pile of papers and a ball point pen, then have at it and make your voice heard!
|In 2006, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney traveled to Immokalee and signed an oversized letter in support of the Campaign. Your community could make an oversized copy of the petition and sign that, too!
Present the petition at the next meeting of your campus or community organization, union local, congregation, or wherever you gather with friends, family, co-workers or members of your community.
Many of us are active members of organizations dedicated to social justice, presenting the perfect opportunity to talk about the campaign and collect signatures. And every organization you belong to represents a gathering of many more potential activists for Fair Food who can, in turn, take the petition and spread its message to the each of their particular circles!
Set up a table and fill your scroll!
Pick a busy spot on your campus or town, set up a table with a couple of friends, and hand out campaign materials along with the petition. Concerts, town hall meetings, and other places where people gather offer ready-made venues for a tabling event (you may need to get permission at many such events, of course). Email us for pins, bumper stickers, and more!
Host a film screening, campaign discussion, or “house party for Fair Food”.
This is a great way to bring people together and spread consciousness about the CIW's campaign while gathering signatures. Contact us for your own free DVD of CIW videos and background for discussing the campaign. Or rent the feature length film “Amazing Grace” about the British abolitionist movement and organize a community screening for a little historical flavor!
Plan an action at a local Burger King restaurant.
This can both raise consciousness among consumers about BK's failure to work with the CIW to address human rights abuses in its tomato supply chain and be a good way to collect signatures. Make your own art and pass out flyers to consumers entering or leaving these restaurants, and have the petition ready for people to sign.
Students and youth and allies of faith have a vital role to play in this petition campaign.
In addition to the above listed strategies, use your school surroundings creatively: banners, leaflets, chalking, table tents, letters in your campus newspaper, and other tactics can be used to raise visibility of the petition on your campus.
Approach student organizations and academic departments with the petition, and ask instructors/professors if you can give a quick 3-5 minute presentation in their classes, with the petition in tow. When possible, try canvassing door-to-door in dorms to get signatures, and you can also organize a forum with speakers and video to gather people together and collect signatures. Contact the Student/Farmworker Alliance for more ideas and resources.
For more student resources, click here.
People of Faith: Set up a table after worship services or at fellowship time with background materials and petitions for people to sign. Include a Bulletin insert or do a minute for mission to invite members of your congregation to sign the petition. Visit with the youth group and religious education classes to invite them to participate in the petition campaign or set up a special program for the congregation.
For Christians, Lent provides an excellent opportunity to create a program at your church to reflect upon the farmworkers' struggle and invite people to participate in the petition campaign.
For more faith-based resources, click here.