July 5, 2011
4th of July Farmworker Freedom Fest!...
UCC leads more than 450 Fair Food activists
in huge march on Tampa Publix
Ten years ago at its General Synod, in 2001, the United Church of Christ approved a resolution to endorse the Taco Bell boycott, making the UCC one of the Campaign for Fair Food's earliest, and staunchest, allies in the faith community.
Yesterday, ten years later, at its General Synod in Tampa, the UCC put its faith into action in support of the Campaign for Fair Food once again, this time leading a truly inspirational march on a Tampa Publix store of over 450 people, including several van loads of CIW members who drove up from Immokalee to join in the action. We have a great gallery of pictures from the protest -- like this one below, highlighting one of the many imaginative signs whipped up for the march -- along with a brief report, which you can find by clicking here:
The UCC has also posted a video on its website, which you can watch by clicking here. While there, you can learn more about all the news from the UCC's 28th General Synod (with the theme "Imagine What's Possible," as in imagine what's possible when the supermarket industry does its part for Fair Food, for example!)
One final note on yesterday's action... The 4th of July reminds us of the great promise on which this country was founded, a promise captured in these words:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."
This notion of universal human rights, while the cornerstone of our democracy, has also been the great unfulfilled promise that has driven protest -- and progress -- in our country since its declaration 235 years ago. Dr. Martin Luther King, during the 1963 March on Washington, made note of that special covenant and its role in the Civil Rights Movement in his timeless "I Have Dream" speech:
"... In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..."
Yesterday's march on Publix was one more link in that long chain of patriotic protest, a chain that connects our unwavering friends and allies at the United Church of Christ with their predessors and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, the Suffragette Movement, the Abolitionist Movement, and more down through the years.
The UCC delegates gathered in Tampa from across the country for the General Synod made it clear that they were determined to return to their communities and engage their local congregations in the struggle for Fair Food, and in the Supermarket Campaign in particular. The commitment, and excitement, evident in yesterday's action left little doubt that they will make good on their promise. We look forward to building on the spirit -- and energy -- of yesterday's march to continue expanding the promise of universal human rights to all men and women who contribute to the wealth and strength of this country, including those whose labor in our fields has been so cruelly undervalued since the very days of our Independence.