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Recent Actions & CIW News

NOTE: This is a LONG scroll page. For a short cut to the particular action of your interest, click on a link below... then click on the link inside each section for more details on each particular action.

Or... just take your time and scroll down at your leisure... by far the best way to get a sense of what's been going on in the boycott campaign!

Boycott Materials

CIW Testifies against FTAA in Congress

More great actions!

Banner Drops, Oh Banner Drops...

Slavery Report

CIW Christmas Party '02

Fair Food Summit

CIW Signature Card Campaign

Boycotters Take Game 5

Four Days of Scary Action

New Freedom bus tour

Summertime Boycott Actions

Louisville Shareholder Action

Entertainment News... CIW Style

Press Conference to Protest Police/INS Link


Letters to Taco Bell

Postcards to Emil

Taco Bell Boycott In Brief


CIW@SOA protest

TB Supplier in Hot Water

Actions Archive: 4/01-8/01 -- From the Declaration in Orlando to the 2001 Summer of Actions

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You and your friends -- your fellow students, neighbors, co-workers, or members of your church -- are the very heart of this campaign!

If you have come to this site because you want to help make FAIR FOOD a reality, you can use the tools below to bring the Taco Bell boycott to your community.

But, first... Please consider donating to the CIW! We need your support to keep the boycott, the anti-slavery campaign, and everything else we do going strong!

Click on the Pay Pal link below to send a secure donation now!

Now, here are some great tools for organizing at home:

CIW Listserve
join and stay updated on the boycott

Action Alert
a concise explanation of the boycott with contact info for TB

Sample Press Releases
use them as a model for your own actions at home

post 'em everywhere, they really do work

E-mail Petition
send an email to Emil (Emil Brolick, TB's CEO)

Or, send an automated fax to Emil Brolick, Taco Bell CEO, from this link on the United Church of Christ web site - It's easy and a great way to support the boycott without even getting up from your seat!

Thanks for joining us, and don't forget to send us any news, photos, or media reports on actions in your community -- we'll post them as soon as we can and your action can help motivate thousands of visitors to the site across the country!

Coalition of Immokalee Workers


1995 General Strike
Immokalee, Florida

The CIW is today spear-heading the Taco Bell boycott. But before we launched the national boycott in April of 2001, we had been organizing locally for many years in an effort to modernize labor relations in Florida's fields, improve wages and working conditions for our members, and eliminate modern-day slavery.

To learn more about the history of the Coalition, you can go to the CIW site where you'll find all the non-Taco Bell info on the Coalition from 1995 to 2001, including past CIW campaigns, Press Archives, Photo Galleries, and more!

1997 General Strike
Immokalee, Florida

Or, you can simply click on some of the links here below to go directly to the pages from the CIW site that interest you... just remember to hit the back button on your browser to return to the boycott site!:







If you are interested in bringing the Taco Bell Boycott to your school or community, contact the Student/Farmworker Alliance ( or the Coalition of Immokalee Workers ( for more information and materials that you can use for organizing in your area, including:

Here are some of the materials available to bring the Taco Bell boycott to your community:
  • Organizing Packet
  • Media Packet
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Postcards
  • Bumperstickers, Pins, T-shirts and more!

CIW Testifies in US Congress against FTAA! 6/03

"Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment... Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity... Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests..." Article 23, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." Article 3, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On June 12, 2003 the CIW joined Food First, small farmers and other low-wage workers to tell Congress that free trade does not protect our human rights.

Clips from the webcast are posted at The CIW's testimony will be posted soon.

Members of Congress' Progressive Caucus including Dennis Kucunich, D-OH, John Conyers, D-MI, and Lynne Woolsey were in attendance to hear testimony about how:

* Free trade has eliminated 3 million U.S. jobs.
* Seventy-one percent of U.S. industrial employers threaten to close factories and move if workers form a union.
*U.S. family farmers face extinction.
*Displaced family farmers from Mexico and Central America migrate to the United States only to find themselves in sweatshop conditions and in the most extreme cases slavery.

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More great actions from across the country (5/03)!

Miami, FL

IT WAS LABOR DAY IN MIAMI... which could only mean it's time for a Taco Bell protest! In an exciting -- and extremely creative -- Mayday rally in Miami, dozens of people turned out for a rush-hour action at a downtown Taco Bell in support of the boycott. Click here to see a gallery of shots from the protest.



Murfreesboro, TN

"Worker exposes reality of labor exploitation"
Middle Tennessee State University Online News.
"As part of their ongoing action against Taco Bell, Solidarity hosted a presentation on slavery and inhumanity in corporate farming yesterday, featuring a migrant farm worker from Immokalee, Fla..." Click here to read more of this great article


Tucson, AZ

Report from Tucson Boycott committee:

"More than 40 protesters joined together for the Tucson action for Farmworker Awareness Week on April 4, 2003.  Members of Derechos Humanos, various MEChA chapters, Jobs with Justice, Tucson Veterans for Peace, Women in Black, and various student, union, and activist participants showed up for free tacos and horchata..." Read more about the action in this article from the University of Arizona's "Daily Wildcat" by clicking here!

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Grand Valley State University Banner Drops! 4/03

Banners are dropping all over Grand Valley State University (Michigan)!

A lesson before dining?

Students at Grand Valley State University in Michigan organized four separate banner drops last week, just warming up for the labor solidarity actions this week (3/31-4/4) that are taking place on campuses across the country.

The GVSU students say they'll be tabling and organizing a Taco Bell action this week...

... as well as meeting with administration officials to discuss just how GVSU can justify doing business with Taco Bell while Taco Bell insists on turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in its suppliers' operations. With energy and commitment like what we see in these photos, there's little doubt about the answer to the question posed in this banner!

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"A modern underground railroad..."

"A modern day underground railroad ..." That's how the Sunday, Dec. 1, edition of the St. Petersburg Times characterized CIW anti-slavery efforts in a great, front-page story by Candace Rondeaux. You can find that story (and some beautiful photos, like the one outside CIW headquarters on the rig) by clicking here.

Also in Sunday's edition, opinion columnist Bill Maxwell penned a powerful challenge to Florida's Governor Bush and consumers in general to use their influence to finally end peonage in Florida's fields. He writes: "If the governor and other state officials did their job, many citrus and tomato moguls would be jailed and fined for perpetuating a system that lets subcontrators abuse workers." See the rest of the Bill Maxwell column here.

And click here to read our own CIW rant on the sixth case of slavery in South Florida in the past five years. An excerpt: "Only by making those who profit most from farmworkers' exploited labor pay the true cost of harvesting this country's crops will we be able, once and for all, to close the book on America's 'Harvest of Shame'...."

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CIW Christmas Party 2002!

CIW CHRISTMAS PARTY LIGHTS UP IMMOKALEE!: Over 1,500 people attended the CIW's pre-Christmas party, enjoying music, games, and some serious business, as CIW members continued to sign cards to be delivered to Taco Bell's headquarters by the workers who will be fasting in Irvine this coming February. Already over 2,000 cards have been signed!

Click here for more photos and a report from a great party!

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Fair food summit a success!

"Fair Food Summit" a success!... Students and young people from across the country - and even two from Canada - joined CIW members for a Thanksgiving weekend of "Harvesting Justice in Immokalee". The agenda included: working in the fields, meeting on campaign strategy, learning about CIW history, and, of course, squeezing in a lively local Taco Bell protest!

The summit was a great experience for workers and student allies, who have been taking the boycott to Taco Bell in their communities, especially through the recent victories in the "Boot the Bell" campaign, removing Taco Bells from college campuses (see below for details on the latest victories). Click here for more photos from the summit.

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CIW Launches signature card campaign

CIW launches signature campaign in Immokalee! At a meeting before taking a new signature card campaign to the streets (left), CIW members see that nothing is impossible when we all work together.

Later, members went into the labor camps, churches, and streets of Immokalee to collect signatures on a card telling Taco Bell CEO Emil Brolick that, "Our poverty is the basis of your company's wealth, and we are saying 'Enough is enough'!" The card calls on Taco Bell to bring about three-part talks between growers, the CIW, and Taco Bell, as well as to help bring about an immediate raise by paying more for Florida tomatoes. Already, over 1,400 cards have been signed!

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Boycotters take Game Five of World Series

Boycotters take Game 5 of the World Series! Protesters 1, Taco Bell 0 -- If you watch baseball, you probably saw the Taco Bell target floating in the cove where homerun balls splash down outside the San Fancisco Giants' stadium. Seems our favorite fast-food giant was trying to snag some free national TV airtime off the World Series (as if they didn't have $220 million to spend on airtime already...). Well, you probably ALSO saw a little surprise visit by San Francisco boycotters during the Fox broadcast of Game Five, getting our own message out to 11 million viewers about how Taco Bell makes its money (the banner in the left upper corner reads: "Taco Bell Exploits Farmworkers -")! If you didn't get to see it live, check out this link to the SF indymedia site for a report and eye-witness video as the San Fancisco boycott committee takes on Taco Bell's little floaty free-advertising ploy.

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Four days of scary action!


Reports have made their way in from Gainesville (FL), Portland, Tampa, Chicago, Norman (OK), Madison (WI), Austin, College Park (MD), Ft. Myers (FL), and more. Keep sending in photos and reports, and we'll post 'em!

Click here for more photos from the Halloween night action in Ft. Myers (LEFT)

Click here to see the "Daily Texan" story on the action in Austin

Click here for a great DC Indymedia story on the University of Maryland action

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New Freedom bus tour hits St. Pete!

Tuesday, Nov. 26, the CIW joined the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, the Tampa Bay Action Group, and many other organizations fom across the country on the "New Freedom Bus Tour" for their St. Petersburg stop, where we combined a classic Taco Bell protest with a march through downtown St. Pete.

The bus tour and the march are a call for respect of our basic social and economic rights as defined in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, including the right to a living wage, the right to decent housing, and the right to organize on the job. You can learn more about the tour (including daily updates on their travels) and about the UN Declaration on Human Rights at the KWRU web site by clicking here.

Click here for more photos from the St. Petersburg action.

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Taco Bell protests keep popping up all over...! Protests likethis one here (below) from the first week of August in Portland, Oregon, have continued non-stop over the summer. From Florida to California, allies across the country have kept the heat on Taco Bell all summer long! Click here for a quick review of some of the summer's highlights.

Feel like YOU would like to contribute an action to Taco Bell's long, hot summer of protests, but don't know how to get started? Contact us at and we'll help you out. Or if you've already held an action that we don't know about, send us a report and photos and we'll post them as soon as we can!

P.S... You don't necessarily have to protest to make your voice heard. This summer, 842 campers at Justice and Peace camps across the country sent postcards to Taco Bell in support of the strike -- and took more cards home to share with their family and friends! That is some powerful support. As one 14-year old camper wrote in a personal note to Taco Bell CEO Emil Brolick: "I, personally, won't return to Taco Bell until something has been done to benefit the Immokalee Workers. Oh big deal, right? One teenage girl from Ohio stops eating at Taco Bell, what does that mean to you?  It should mean a lot, because this 'one teenage girl' has many teenage friends, and a numerable amount of them refuse to eat at Taco Bell." My goodness... no matter how cold your little CEO heart, that's got to hurt. In the battle between corporations and the rest of us, that's one camper we're happy to have on our side!

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Face off betweeen CIW and YUM! Brands at annual shareholders' meeting: Click here for photos and report on the battle for fair food between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Tricon Global.

CIW Message to Shareholders:
"Farm Worker Poverty = Fast Food Profits. You Can Change This Equation. Fair Food Now!"

Press coverage of the Kentucky action was good. Click here to read a great article in the Louisville Courier-Journal, and here for coverage on the AP wire.

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"Entertainment News" - CIW style...! CIW members have been making the celebrity circuit this summer in the never-ending effort to spread the word of the Taco Bell boycott and the struggle for fair labor conditions in Florida's fields. CIW members met with actor Danny Glover in Miami (left) at a labor rights forum that brought union and community groups together from across South Florida, while the CIW delegation's table (right) at the OzzFest stop in West Palm Beach drew a steady crowd of concert-goers looking for some social justice with their heavy metal. The CIW was invited to table the concert by OzzFest headliner System of a Down, an LA-based band that, like Rage Against the Machine, isn't afraid to mix politics and music.

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CIW, a dozen Florida-based organizations hold press conference in Miami to announce opposition to Ashcroft initiative to link police, INS...

On Wednesday, 4/24/02, the CIW traveled to Miami to join nearly a dozen other organizations -- including Florida ACLU, SEIU, the Miami Workers Center, and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center -- to denounce the Attorney General's proposal to convert state and local police into immigration agents. The press conference hammered home the clear message that the state of Florida is uniting -- immigrants and citizens alike -- in opposition to this potentially disastrous policy change.

To see the Miami Herald article from the press conference, click here.
To see the Nuevo Herald article, (Spanish), click here.

* Click on this link to see photos from the press conference and read the statement signed by the CIW and more than 100 other organizations across the country opposing the initiative (with up-to-date list of signatories).

* Click below to see a 4/5/02 article from the San Antonio Express entitled: "Law enforcers wary of INS job; Local agencies reluctant to enforce immigration laws".

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CIW's Lady Liberty heads north to Washington, DC to be part of the permanent collection at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History!...

"'It's wonderful and it's evocative. It's a democratic movement for a political voice and it's great because it reminds us of some of the core values we think of as Americans and the freedom to participate,' said Barbara Clark Smith, museum curator of social history." - Naples Daily News, 3/28/02 - Click on the link below for the whole story: "Smithsonian to collect farmworkers' version of Statue of Liberty

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Three Days of Action -- A Roaring Success!

"Fire-eaters, and stilt-walkers, and giant Liberty puppets.. Oh my!"

This was the scene (above) at 2:00 am Sunday (12/2), outside of the Taco Bell on University Ave. in Gainesville, FL, where farmworkers from the CIW joined Univ. of FL students and local residents at an incredibly spirited, carnival-like protest wrapping up Gainesville's Three Days of Action.

Click here
to see photos and reports from cities around the country from the Three Days of Action, including the CIW members' own "24 Hours of Taco Bell Protests". All in all, over 40 communities and campuses across the country -- including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tampa, Knoxville, Austin, Boulder (CO), Northampton (MA), Milwaukee, Tallahassee, Norman (OK), and more -- joined farmworkers from the CIW in protests to hold Taco Bell accountable for the sweatshop conditions in the fields where their tomatoes are grown and picked

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The Taco Bell "Mini-Tour", a joint venture of the CIW and the Student/Farmworker Alliance, was a huge success, as CIW and SFA members crossed the country in just under three weeks, meeting with boycott committee leaders and the general public in cities along the route of the postponed Taco Bell Truth Tour.

The "mini-tourists", shown here visiting the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN (the place of the fatal shooting of Dr. Martin Luther King and today the site of the National Civil Rights Museum) kept a photo diary of their experience, which you should not miss! Click here to see their day-by-day dispatches.

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Here, more than 1,000 protesters call on Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter to explain why he is asking state and federal officials for the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.

The CIW strongly protested the Sheriff's initiative,explaining that combining police and immigration enforcement would discourage immigrant crime victims from seeking police assistance and thereby effectively eliminate police protection in the immigrant community. CIW members also argued that such a change in police authority would result in a certain increase in racial profiling. Click here for the full story.

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If you liked the photos from the CIW New Years party, wait 'til you see these pictures from the CIW's annual "Year of the Worker" block party:

Fernando Arau, sporting an attractive Boycott t-shirt and CIW cap,
entertains the crowd (Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002)

And click here for photos from the CIW New Years party in Immokalee (12/30/01)!

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Taco Bell has been getting some pretty interesting letters of late. More and more, people of good faith are weighing in and letting Taco Bell know that they think it is time for the fast food giant to recognize the importance of the farmworkers' contribution to their business success.

We have a few of the latest letters here on the site, including letters from Cardinal Roger Mahoney of the Los Angeles, Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange County, and one from the the CIW itself, delivered by the Irvine Boycott Committee on September 24th, the day that the Truth Tour would have culminated with a large scale protest outside of Taco Bell headquarters.

Stay tuned to the letters section, because there are many more to come -- including one very important letter from some concerned investors that will usher in a new front in the boycott campaign.

Click here to see recent letters.

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Postcard Front

Postcard Back

There's a new way to let Taco Bell know what you think about the sweatshop conditions in the tomato fields of Florida -- a postcard that you can send yourself or email us and order a whole bunch to help spread the word about the boycott.

Click here to see the postcard, read the text, and see how you can get cards sent to you for use in your community.


The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is calling on Taco Bell to use its considerable leverage as a major buyer of Florida tomatoes to help bring about real changes in the wages and working conditions of the farmworkers who pick those tomatoes... (read more...)




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LA banner drop (Glendale) August 2001

Endorsements, both national and local, are starting to pour in. Click here for a list of the endorsements to date... (read more)

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CIW joins thousands at School of the Americas Protest - Check out the photos from this year's SOA protest, where CIW members added their voice to the call for a US foreign policy based on respect of human rights. Click here to go to the photo page.

As CIW member Max Perez said to the crowd following the annual procession to the Ft. Benning gates, "Our members are immigrant workers from Mexico, Guatemala, and Haiti, countries where millions of people have been forced to escape political oppression at the hands of graduates of the SOA, only to find economic oppression in this country. We must fight oppression wherever it is, from the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to the fields of Immokalee, Florida."

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Taco Bell supplier 6L's is the subject of a court order requiring the company to respect its workers' right to receive visitors while living in company-owned housing. Click here to see the emergency temporary injunction granted on May 16, 2002 by a Florida judge.

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There is just too much to even begin to describe in such a small place, so here is an idea of

the actions you'll see by clicking here (including the official declaration of the boycott in Orlando, the May 1st protests around Florida, and the original "Long, Hot Summer" of 2001.


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