March on Trader Joe’s Oakland, CA November 6, 2011

In what one participant called a “super high energy…


“… and spirited march that people loved,” more than 200 people hit the streets of Oakland for a Fair Food march on California-based supermarket giant Trader Joe’s.


The march began in downtown Oakland…

… and wound its way on a two-mile path through the city…

… and along the shores…

… of Oakland’s landmark Lake Meritt to a Trader Joe’s store in the city.

With the signs and art that have become…

… the calling card of the Campaign for Fair Food,…

… and with a new touch — fresh organic fruit, nuts, dates, and figs …

… provided by our friends at Berkeley’s-own Chez Panisse — the march planted the Fair Food flag firmly in the ever-inspirational Bay Area.

March numbers swelled with representatives of allied groups from the growing Food Justice movement…

… taking part, front and center, in the protest…

… together with families and friends, who brought their own community spirit…

… and lent the march a jubilant air that was clearly contagious.

Like all good actions, the marchers swamped the store upon arrival and turned the space — usually reserved for the consumption of food without questioning the conditions behind its production — into a space for reflection on Fair Food.

With the swelling crowd out front, customers couldn’t help but think about the responsibility of the retail food giants like Trader Joe’s to support farmworkers in efforts to make real, verifiable respect for fundamental human rights a requirement — just like quality, appearance, and price — in the produce they buy and sell…


… though that concept is apparently still too new to be part of Trader Joe’s own vision of what it means to be an “ethical grocer”, if this frustrating meeting with the local manager at the close of the march was any indication.

 

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