Supporting Local Farm Workers, Local Economies, For a Just and Fair Food System: The Farmworker March for Dignity

Bellingham, WA – On Sunday May 4, 2014 Community to Community Development will host the second annual Farmworker March for Dignity in Bellingham, Washington. The theme of the march this year is “Supporting Local Farmworkers, Local Economies, For a Just and Fair Food System”.

This peregrinación (meditative march) will be led by local farm workers who will begin their march in Lynden, Washington in order to make an 18 mile statement of visibility in rural communities where many have been racially profiled and mistreated, have experienced wage theft, and have experienced arbitrary detention.

In marching, farm workers assert their dignity and exercise their collective power in a non-violent and symbolic manner. At 10:00 am the general public is invited to receive the local farmworkers and join a community march to Bellingham in a leg that will be led by Community to Community Development at Abarrotes La Gloria on the Guide Meridian and Laurel.

At 12:00pm at La Gloria Market on Meridian and Prince (Across from the Mall) the torch will be passed to Familias Unidas por la Justicia which will lead the march into central Bellingham.

At 1:00pm, the marchers will rally at the Bellingham Courthouse, the march will continue and be led by immigrant rights activists who will lead the march through Bellingham’s downtown.

The Dignity March will end at Maritime Heritage Park with a community celebration.

KEYNOTE

Maria-Estela

María Estela Barco Huerta

Community to Community has the honor of hosting María Estela Barco Huerta, head co-ordinator of Economic and Social Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI) of Chiapas, Mexico. Huerta will honor the Dignity March Celebration with a keynote address linking the struggle for a local, fair and just food system in Chiapas, Mexico with the struggles in the Pacific Northwest.

The main focus of DESMI is to develop the capacity of indigenous groups to respond to their own development and economic needs, while maintaining their cultural identity. DESMI supported the EZLN early in its formation during the 1980s, and is invested in the liberation of all indigenous people.

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DESMI supported farming in Chiapas. Photo by DESMI.

DESMI’s present projects, under the leadership of María Estela promote the idea that,

…women play a key role in food production and security [and so w]hen women farmers can access the resources and skills they need to sustainably cultivate healthy nutritious crops, their production increases, making it less likely that their families are hungry and malnourished … As significant food producers, seed savers, and resource managers, women are on the front lines promoting agroecological solutions towards food sovereignty.

To this end DESMI provides workshops on sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and ecological management of livestock.

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DESMI women making bread. Photo by Justgiving.org.

Community to Community cordially invites all people invested in building social movements towards a Just and Fair Local Food System and Economy that respects the dignity of Women, Farm Workers, Immigrants, LGBTQ and Indigenous people to join us on May 4, 2014. We make the road by walking, on this day we march forth!

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