Coalition of Immokalee Workers 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour

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Victory Celebration & Rally for Farmworker Justice

"Our World, Our Rights" Conference on Global Justice

Day 9: Press Conference @ Yum Brands

Day 7: Louisville, KY

Day 6: Arrival in Louisville

Day 5: Ohio & Chicago

Day 4: Ohio & Indiana

Day 3: Cincinnati & Memphis/St. Louis

Day 2: Atlanta/Nashville & Montgomery/Memphis

Day 1: Departure from Immokalee & Tallahassee



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"Our World, Our Rights" Conference on Global Justice
Louisville, KY

Photos © Jacques-Jean Tiziou /


With the momentum of Tuesday's precedent-setting victory behind them, farmworkers and their allies moved into the two-day National Convergence for Farmworker Justice with an incredible gathering at the University of Louisville. Jaribu Hill of the Mississippi Workers Center -- our Truth Tour rally MC for the past 3 years -- kicked off the opening plenary with a special congratulations to all the members of the CIW (behind her, on stage) for their recent success.

The "Our World, Our Rights" Conference on Global Justice provided a space for farmworkers, students, people of faith, and grassroots activists from around the country to celebrate and analyze the accomplishments of the movement for fair food and to build a stronger movement for social justice in general. Above, members of Low Income Families Fighting Togehter (Miami) get in on the excitement. The CIW sends it's love and thanks to the women of LIFFT -- our partners in the 2003 Root Cause march -- who joined us for the entire two weeks of the 2005 Truth Tour!

Of course, young people were also representin' at the conference, as they have at every other major CIW gathering in the past four years. Without hyperbole, young people have been the driving force behind the worker-led movement for fair food in the U.S.

The conference also provided opportunities to connect with international allies. A leader of Brazil's Landless Workers Movement (MST, right) addressed a break-out session on "New Worker Organizing Models" along with members of grassroots workers organizations from throughout the country. It was a tremendous honor to have a member of the MST join us for the weekend. (For those who don't know, the MST is -- by some accounts -- the largest social movement in the world.) She was accompanied by a friend from Ag Missions, an organization that has stood by the CIW from the very beginning.

Another one of the fifteen breakout sessions was led by small farmers who are sharing similar struggle to what many CIW members faced in their countries before immigrating to the U.S.

It's not often that conferences have such a diverse array of participants spanning such a broad range of backgrounds and life experiences. This factor made the "Our World, Our Rights" gathering a truly special event.

The conference keynote address was given by Anne Braden, a pillar of the Louisville community and legendary anti-racist activist who was been active in the movement for social justice for over 50 years!

Although Anne's voice was quiet, she held forth and kept the audience spellbound with her analysis of contemporary events and the significance of the CIW's victory and ongoing campaign for workers' rights.

In fact, so many people stuck around to hear the living legend that it was literally standing room only... and in some cases, people even had to line up on the stairs!

For many student activists, it was their first time to even hear of Anne Braden. Nevertheless, she made a big splash and left the audience begging for more.

The evening concluded with a concert at University of Louisville celebrating the day's gathering. Son del Centro -- our wonderful friends from Santa Ana, CA -- warmed things up with some soulful son jarocho songs.

Their set was a huge hit, and many concert-goers couldn't wait until the next day's rally to hear more!

Soon, the softer music gave way to the harder sounds of A Man Down, from Long Island, NY, who brought the energy up a level with their punk rock.

As promised, the evening wasn't just about music. Above, Ryan, of the musical collective Riot Folk, performs an intense piece of spoken word...

...that brought the crowd to their feet.

Throughout the evening, the workers and their allies were motivated by the rhthym of the music to let go with some dancing...

...And the experience left them excited and committed to the struggle ahead.

After the concert and early into the morning, allies put the finishing touches on the next day's banners and artwork. All in all, it was a great day not only for celebrating but for strategizing the next steps in this movement to transform fast food into fair food.