Environmental and Food Justice :

real food 2WESPAC Foundation supports Environmental and Food Justice with a separate listserv used for promoting upcoming events and discussion. WESPAC opposes fracking and two of our members have produced a documentary that highlights Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives on fracking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdwCKzqVRdQ. We have cultivated an extensive cooperative network of food justice activists around the county who seek to expand access to fresh, local food. We also partner with the Wassaic Community Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): http://wassaiccommunityfarm.com. To get involved or for more information, please contact the office at 914.449.6514 or by email at [email protected]

Interview with Naomi Klein is now online: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/12/naomi-klein-cop-21-paris-climate-change-this-changes-everything/

Taking Climate Change Seriously

Naomi Klein on the crackdown against ​COP21 protesters​ and “why system change not climate change” is more than a slogan.

A big thank you to all who organized and who showed up on the cold, rainy day.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Courtney:

https://picasaweb.google.com/110504553935561902687/ClimateRallyPeekskillToParis11282015?feat=email

Fios video clip of the rally: http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/openGraph/wid/1_s032r6qo

A big thank you to all who attended our community harvest dinner on Monday.  By all accounts, it was a memorable evening as we transition now to the holiday season.  A special thank you to Professor Tracy Basile at Pace University who brought Micmac elder Evan Pritchard with her as well as the students in her Food Revolution class.  We all appreciated Doug’s presentation that expressed a spiritual dimension to our life and work and relationship with the life around us, the plants and the food we eat. harvest dinner final

We announced that the next WESPAC Food Justice Planning Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, December 17th, at 7pm in the WESPAC office.  People may ask – what is food justice?  One definition that we are comfortable with is: Food Justice means communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Our collective food justice work can lead to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.

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PIPELINE BLOCKADE IN N. WESTCHESTER – NINE ARRESTED
By Frank Brodhead, Hastings
November 9, 2015
Shortly after 6 am on Monday morning, opponents of the Algonquin/Spectra pipeline in northern Westchester blocked the construction project’s “wareyard” in Montrose, which is where the workers park and where the construction equipment is stored. The blockaders prevented cars from entering the wareyard.  As a traffic jam blocked the main road passing the wareyard, State Police demanded that the blockaders get out of the driveways, which they politely refused to do.  After a short time, arrests began; and nine blockaders were arrested. All those arrested were charged with “disorderly conduct,” and were quickly released on their own recognizance.  Their court hearing is set for November 20th.  The arrests were made peacefully.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:
Courtney Williams
(609) 468 – 7080
[email protected]

Westchester Takes a Stand: Nine Arrested for Stopping Disastrous AIM Pipeline Construction
Proposed AIM Gas Pipeline Would Run 100 ft from Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Facilities; Trample Rights of Local Community
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nov3-coloredcorn

Monday, November 23
6:30-8:30pm
31 Mamaroneck Ave #403
White Plains, NY 10601

Join us for a memorable potluck featuring:  

  • Evan Pritchard (Micmaq) for a blessing of food and friends
  • Jalal Sabur, visionary food and farming activist, Victory Bus Project
  • Doug DeCandia, farmer for the Food Bank for Westchester
  • And the voices of Pace University’s Food Revolution students

Bring a dish, make new friends, enjoy fresh local food, and give thanks.

Free and open to the public.

Call 914-449-6514 or email [email protected] for more information

Beautiful article in NY Times about Doug’s work:

Westchester Food Bank Looks to Local Gardens to Fill Bags for Hungry

Westchester is among one of the wealthiest counties in the country, but with 200,000 residents at risk of hunger, a food bank is seeking local produce.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/nyregion/westchester-food-bank-looks-to-local-gardens-to-fill-bags-for-hungry.html?mwrsm=Email

Farmworker Justice

 

Membership 1Membership 2

Black and Afro-Indigenous Farmers Share 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize

September 1st, 2015

In this moment when it is vital to assert that Black lives matter, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance honors Black and Afro-Indigenous farmers, fishermen, and stewards of ancestral lands and water with the 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize.

The two prize winners are the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in the U.S., and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH). The prizes will be presented in Des Moines on October 14, 2015.

The award honors both groups as a vital part of food chain workers, who together are creating food sovereignty, meaning a world with healthy, ecologically produced food, and democratic control over food systems.

A grantee partner of Grassroots International, OFRANEH formed in 1979 to protect the economic, social, and cultural rights of 46 Garifuna communities along the Atlantic coast of Honduras. At once Afro-descendent and indigenous, the Garifuna people are connected to both the land and the sea, and sustain themselves through farming and fishing. Land grabs for agrofuels (African palm plantations), tourist resort development, and narco-trafficking seriously threaten their way of life, as do rising sea levels and the increased frequency and severity of storms due to climate change.

The Garifuna, who have already survived slavery and colonialism, are now defending and strengthening their land security and their sustainable, small-scale farming and fishing. OFRANEH brings together communities to meet these challenges head-on through direct-action community organizing, national and international legal action, promotion of Garifuna culture, and movement-building. In its work, OFRANEH especially prioritizes the leadership development of women and youth.

“OFRANEH is a fierce and powerful grassroots movement at the forefront of efforts to win human rights, food sovereignty and climate justice in Honduras and worldwide. We are honored to partner with them from the US side, and applaud their courage, tenacity and intelligence in organizing for a sustainable future,” says Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of Grassroots International

Joining OFRANEH as a recipient of the 2015 is the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. The Federation is a member of the National Family Farm Coalition (and the Via Campesina) and strengthens a vital piece of food sovereignty: helping keep lands in the hands of family farmers, in this case primarily African-American ones. The Federation was born in 1967 out of the Civil Rights movement. Its members are farmers in 16 Southern states, approximately 90 percent of them African American, but also Native American, Latino and White.

The Federation’s work is today more important than ever, given that African-American-owned farms in the US have fallen from 14 percent to a mere 1 percent in less than 100 years. To help keep farms Black- and family-owned instead of corporate-owned, the Federation promotes land-based cooperatives; provides training in sustainable agriculture and forestry, management, and marketing; and advocates to the courts and to state and national legislatures.

Ben Burkett, co-founder of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and Mississippi farmer, said, “Our view is local production for local consumption. It’s just supporting mankind as family farmers. Everything we’re about is food sovereignty, the right of every individual on earth to wholesome food, clean water, clean air, clean land, and the self-determination of a local community to grow and do what they want. We just recognize the natural flow of life. It’s what we’ve always done.”

OFRANEH coordinator Miriam Miranda shares his analysis, saying, “Our liberation starts because we can plant what we eat. This is food sovereignty. We need to produce to bring autonomy and the sovereignty of our peoples. If we continue to consume [only], it doesn’t matter how much we shout and protest. We need to become producers. It’s about touching the pocketbook, the surest way to overcome our enemies. It’s also about recovering and reaffirming our connections to the soil, to our communities, to our land.”

The Food Sovereignty Prize will be awarded on the evening of October 14, 2015 in Des Moines, IA, at the Historical Building. The Food Sovereignty Prize challenges the view that simply producing more crops through industrial agriculture and aquaculture will end hunger or reduce suffering. The world currently produces more than enough food, but imbalanced access to wealth means inadequate access to food. Real solutions protect the rights to land, seeds and water of family farmers and indigenous communities worldwide and promote sustainable agriculture through agroecology.

The USFSA represents a network of food producers and labor, environmental, faith-based, social justice and anti-hunger advocacy organizations. Additional supporters of the 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize include Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Grassroots International, and the Small Planet Fund. Grassroots International is a founding member of the USFSA.

For event updates and background on food sovereignty and the prize winners, visit www.foodsovereigntyprize.org. Also, visit the Food Sovereignty Prize on Facebook (facebook.com/FoodSovereigntyPrize) and join the conversation on Twitter(#foodsovprize).