Archive for December, 2010
I have had the privilege of serving on the board of directors since its inception last year and have seen it grow from seed idea to full-fledged force for food justice and urban agriculture over the past year and half. While my role has often been along the lines of communications, board decisions, and supporting in whatever ways I can, I have often been involved with the on-the-ground work that characterizes the daily work of Planting Justice (PJ). I can tell you personally that you will rarely find a more dedicated, passionate, smart, and skilled couple of people than my friends and co-founders Gavin Raders and Haleh Zandi. They and the rest of the PJ crew have their eyes simultaneously on food access and social justice and on both ecological and financial sustainability.
I have enjoyed the garden work-parties transferring plant starts on the rooftop garden in Temescal and at Explore College Prep Middle School where Planting Justice planted and cultivated a food forest and facilitated a school garden program with the help of the students; I visited San Quentin prison H-unit, where men are learning gardening skills in a collaboration between PJ and the Insight Garden Program. PJ has just recently hired its first participant from that program, a San Quentin parolee, who without the opportunity of the program to have gained these skills and knowledge and care, may have more likely become another statistic in California’s deplorable recidivism rate. I helped build raised beds at an affordable housing senior center just up the road. I have gone door-to-door in Oakland to connect neighbors with PJ’s work. I learned how to install a greywater system with the low-cost laundry-to-landscape workshop that PJ’s Gavin Raders and Andrew Chahrour teach. On the Global Work Party day 10/10/10, I was one of over 50 who joined a food justice bike tour of West and North Oakland that PJ organized along with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and Peoples Grocery. We ended the day helping transform a plain Bermuda grass-choked yard into a beautiful edible garden. Continue reading »
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of their leaders. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and environmental destruction and are obedient while the jails fill with petty thieves, while the real thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.” - Howard Zinn
We Support WikiLeaks
Join Daniel Ellsberg, Chris Hedges, Barbara Ehrenreich, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden, and others in supporting Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and freedom of the press– add your name to the petition on the Wikileaks is Democracy page.
We, the undersigned, stand in defense of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and their actions to safeguard and advance democracy, transparency and government accountability, as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Wikileaks performs an invaluable service to the broad U.S. and global public with a commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law. Government representatives have issued serious and unjustified threats against Mr. Assange and his non-profit media organization which serve only to maintain a cloak of secrecy around high crimes and violations of international law, including torture, tampering with democratically elected governments, illegal bombings and wars, surveillance, mass slaughter of innocent civilians and more. Continue reading »
More of this please!
I had the privilege of joining one of several caravans consisting of indigenous people, farmers, and social movements that traveled from all around Mexico to Cancun, where they hosted an Alternative Global Forum for Life and Environmental and Social Justice from December 5-8.
En route the caravans highlighted local environmental and social justice issues, such as community displacement because of industrial mega-projects, water pollution and water resource control, invasion of agro-industrial giants like Monsanto, contamination from mining and industrial agriculture, toxic waste sites, and a struggle against a planned super highway.
The caravans were organized by the National Assembly of People Affected by the Environment (Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales) and the international peasant movement La Via Campesina as well as by diverse social movements from the United States, Canada and Mexico including Movimiento Liberacion Nacional (MLN), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, and Global Justice Ecology Project.
Here is a Flickr Photo group with many of the highlights of the trip from Guadalajara: