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Donor Challenge

 

Over the next 10 days (April 17 - April 26), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar every donation made to the Southern Partners Fund, Inc! This is an incredibly generous offering made by the Kellogg Foundation.  But most of all, it is much needed!  It is because of your support that the Southern Partners Fund is able to continue working to overcome social, economic, and political barriers placed against poor, Southern communities.

It's Here at Last!


The veredict of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on the six major pesticides companies!

 

For over four years, the Farmworker Association of Florida has worked with Pesticide Action Network North America and Pesticide Action Network international in developing a case to go before an international peoples’ court – the Permanent Peoples Tribunal – that tried the six largest pesticide manufacturing companies on human rights violations of the right to health and to safe communities due to exposure to harmful pesticides. 

 

Via Campesina calls


Via Campesina calls for movements and organizations
to engage in resistance on April 17


Natasha Pitts-Adital
Wednesday April 4, 2012


17_DE_ABRIL_CLOCTo say no to land concentration and the fit of these from the hands of those who care and work, Via Campesina is making an important call with a view to Apr. 17, International Day of Peasant Struggle. Fishermen movements, social organizations, student groups, environmental and social justice fighting for are being invited to strengthen popular resistance against land concentration and corporate control of natural and agricultural goods.

Marches, video projections, land occupations, debates, art exhibitions and demonstrations are some of the activities suggested by Via Campesina to call attention to this global problem. Via Campesina calls all activities are reported (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it) and also the organizers of the initiatives send photos, videos and information about it.

Your Strawberries are safer today


Your Strawberries (and the People Who Grow Them) Are Safer Today

March 23, 2012

 

Strawberries methyl iodide

Good riddance to one of the most toxic chemicals in conventional agriculture’s arsenal. Battered by environmentalists and farmworkers and entangled in a lawsuit, Arysta LifeScience, the Japanese company that sells the fumigant methyl iodide, has decided to pull the pesticide from the market in the United States. “The decision was made as part of an internal review of the fumigant based on its economic viability in the U.S.,” the company said in a press release.

Methyl iodide, or iodomethane, is injected into the soil prior to planting, where it sets about killing all living organisms -- every insect, worm, bacteria, fungus, and virus. “It’s like chemotherapy,” one horticulturalist told me. The chemical is particularly popular among strawberry and tomato growers (see “Kicking the Chemical Habit”).

 

Victory for Farmworkers and the Environment!

Toxic Pesticide is Pulled from the Market!


Everyone’s hard work has paid off!  Methyl iodide – the toxic pesticide that was approved for use on tomatoes and strawberries in Florida – has been pulled from the market by the manufacturing company, Arysta LifeScience!  This is truly a victory for all the hard work that the Farmworker Association of Florida and its allies, Pesticide Action Network, the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, National Farm Worker Ministry and others have done over the past few years. (See the article here)

Congratulations to all our supporters who have signed petitions,

YAYA at the Community Garden

On Saturday, February 11, 2012, YAYA volunteered working in the community garden of Fellsmere, about an hour and a half south of Orlando. The weather when we left carpooling from Orlando was brisk, but sure enough, when we arrived in Fellsmere it was sunny, warm and welcoming. The perfect day to get ones hands dirty.

Farmworkers Join Civil Rights March in Orlando

Black History Month Civil Rights March Highlights Current Issues

 

Former Lake Apopka farmworkers Geraldine Matthew and Betty Dubose joined the Florida Civil Rights Association and Occupy Orlando, as well as other groups, in a civil rights march and rally around Lake Eola in Orlando, Florida on Saturday afternoon, February 25. 

The Knee-A-Thon for justice!

The Knee-A-Thon for justice for immigrants was a success on Saturday, February 11th.  You can view the photos of the event here.  Further events are planned for the future.  Join us in solidarity with this important action for immigrants' rights.

 


On Their Knees for Justice!

Immigrants and Supporters Crawl on Their Knees to Draw Attention to the Crisis Affecting Immigrant Families

On Saturday, February 11, at 7:30am, concerned  families from the central Florida area will join the Knee A Thon to bring attention to the urgent need for immigration reform and to stop the tragic separation of families that results in children of undocumented immigrants being left without their parents.  The gathering will begin at the intersection of Hwy 60 and US 27 and end at 10:30 a.m. approximately 2 miles north from there on US 27.

For more information, contact Santos de la Rosa at 863.414.2217 or Tirso Moreno of the Farmworker Association of Florida at 407-810-3330.

WAGE THEFT - WORKERS CHEATED OF THEIR PAY – A BIG PROBLEM IN FLORIDA


New Report finds Wage Theft is Widespread in Florida

 

Wage Theft.  It is what happens when someone is not paid for the work that they do.  In some cases, it means that workers are cheated of their overtime hours, or they are not paid the minimum wage.  It can mean that a worker is paid late or has their time cards or pay stubs altered.  Sometimes, it is the result of workers being forced to work during meal times or breaks or being forced to work off the clock.   Sadly, all too often and increasingly, it can mean that a person who has put in an honest day, week or even months of work does not get paid at all.   Since the recession began in 2008, and in the ever-increasing anti-immigrant atmosphere in the country, the wage theft problem has only gotten worse. (Read the report here ) (See on the news)

"Be the Dream" Rally at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida

Students and Supporters Come Together in Solidarity

Leaders, activists, and student groups from across the state of Florida and around the country are working together in an effort to bring equality and access to a higher education to everyone.

For decades, people have been searching for their own specific version of the American Dream.  Some yearn for a big house and a fancy car. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in Apopka

“Let us remember those who have died for justice, for they have given us life.” Cesar Chavez
 
In the 44 years since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we as a country have come a long way; however, the fight and struggle for justice and equality are far from over.  While Dr. King was most outwardly an advocate for the African-American community during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, his voice and his message resonate throughout the country as a whole.  All people who have been oppressed or discriminated against or victimized can take Dr. King’s words as a voice of inspiration.  We are all in the struggle for equality together and we must all work together to ensure that everyone is free.


 

Illegal workers pay taxes, won't benefit

Taken from:

By John Lantigua

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

While many Americans believe that illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, the Social Security Administration sees billions of dollars flow into its coffers every year that have been deducted from paychecks issued to undocumented workers using false names and phony Social Security numbers - money those workers will almost certainly never see again.

SSA officials keep a record of total wages that do not match up with real names and numbers in their system. The record is called the earnings suspense file.

In 2009, the last year for which figures are available, employers reported wages of $72.8 billion for 7.7 million workers who could not be matched to legal Social Security numbers.

POSADA CELEBRATION ON INTERNATIONAL MIGRANTS DAY

The Apopka office of the Farmworker Association of Florida held their annual Posada ceremony and celebration on the evening of Sunday, December 18th to coincide with the International Day for Migrants to bring the community together in an evening of festivities and in solidarity with migrants in this country and around the world.  A true community event, with leaders, volunteers and members from the community all contributing their time, talents and energy to make the event a success, everyone enjoyed a delicious traditional Mexican dinner, a nativity scene by local youth, splendid guitar playing by David, traditional dances by the children led by their dance instructor, sharing of toys, a piñata for the kids, and much more.  Held outside the Apopka office, the music, laughter and song wafted on the mild Florida winter night air, calling others to come and join in.

Farmworker representative says Senate report provides validation for Lake Apopka workers

Taken from: http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=25809972

 

A Farmworker Association of Florida representative says she hopes a Senate interim report on the plight of Lake Apopka farmworkers will lead the state to help those who believe they have suffered from working around pesticides. 

About 2,500 farmworkers lost their jobs in 1998 after the state bought almost 14,000 acres of vegetable farms around Lake Apopka to restore water quality and shoreline habitat. A 2006 study by anthropologist Ron Habin for the Farmworker Association of Florida found that 83 percent of farmworkers said they were in either "fair" or "poor" health and 79 percent thought their exposure to pesticides had affected their health.

Justice never too late for Lake Apopka farmworkers


Sixty-one year old Geraldean Matthew, a former Lake Apopka farmworker , spends most of her days in ill health. Suffering from congestive heart failure, Lupus, and kidney failure, she believes that exposure to highly toxic pesticides that were sprayed several decades ago is responsible for her various illnesses, as well as those of her children.

The predominantly African American community of former Lake Apopka farmworkers in Central Florida, U.S.A., was exposed for decades to the organochlorine pesticides aldrin, endrin, dieldrin, chlordane, DDT, and toxaphene. Used for vegetable cultivation beginning in World War II, these pesticides were eventually all banned, because of their toxicity which resulted in their serious impacts on wildlife and the environment. Because of their persistence in the environment, their legacy continues decades after their use was curtailed. However, survivor farmworkers who were exposed to these same chemicals have yet to achieve justice for violations of their right to life, health, and livelihood.

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