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As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll’s were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could. Driscoll's packed everything up and left before three o'clock even though more than an hour remained of the four hour promotional event.
On April 3, members of Watsonville Brown Berets (WBB) traveled to Salinas to attend the annual Cesar Chavez March and Rally presented by United Farm Workers (UFW). WBB were joined by members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent farmworker union in Burlington, Washington fighting for a union contract, and initiators of the boycott against Driscoll's. Although advocating for farmworkers' rights seems like it would be warmly welcomed by UFW, that was not the experience for WBB and FUJ members.
The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiraled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares. The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.
Community activists working independently on separate ballot measures have come together under the umbrella of the Oakland Justice Coalition. Together, the three measures they propose would radically transform police accountability, renters' protections, and the minimum wage in Oakland. On March 24, Oakland Justice Coalition members made a formal announcement of their intentions in front of Oakland City Hall. The canvassing kickoff will be held on April 2.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) has embarked on an historic 28-day tour of the West Coast to organize a major offensive on the world’s largest berry distributor, Driscoll’s Berries. The local independent farmworker union, based in Burlington, WA, is touring the coast at a crucial moment in their campaign for a union contract at Driscoll's supplier Sakuma Brothers Farms. Driscoll’s and Sakuma are feeling pressure from a growing amount of boycott activity. On Thursday, March 31, there was a major action at Driscoll’s headquarters in Watsonville.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation released the results of annual pesticide use reporting – the only reporting like it in the country – offering a glimpse into what potentially hazardous pesticides are being used in the state. Despite fewer plantings and crop loss due to the drought across the state, hazardous pesticide use increased in some counties. From 2013 to 2014, in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, such pesticide use increased 10.0% and 9.4%, respectively.
On February 26, demonstrators gathered at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz to protest Driscoll's, the largest berry distributor in the world with a history unjust labor practices and repression of union organizing. Founded in the Pajaro Valley in 1904, Driscoll's is a privately held company with headquarters in Watsonville. Production of Driscoll’s berries extends into 22 countries.
On January 2, a couple dozen people kicked off 2016 with a protest in Watsonville, where Driscoll's, the world's largest distributor of fresh berries, is both headquartered and first began producing strawberries in 1904. The demonstrators are amplifying a campaign initiated by farmworkers in Washington State and Baja California to boycott Driscoll's strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
In a show of solidarity, labor unions and Black Lives Matter activists staged a protest on November 10 which targeted Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. Some two hundred protesters gathered outside D.A. O'Malley's offices demanding that she “Drop the charges against the Black Friday 14!” They declared that the struggles for economic justice and racial justice were two sides of the same struggle. Inside the courthouse, a delegation of labor leaders occupied O'Malley's office. No arrests were made.
The Day Worker Center of Santa Cruz County is asking for the community's help to raise funds for a Tool Lending Library. The Center already possesses the tools, but currently lacks a reliable shed in which to store them, and as an organization that works to provide workers with job opportunities, a place to store tools is invaluable.
On November 12 students at UC Santa Cruz joined students at college campuses across the country for a "Million Student March," a day of local actions organized nationally around three principle demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Million Student March actions were organized at over 100 schools.
Wed Sep 23 2015 (Updated 09/25/15)
Protest at Hyatt Santa Clara for Worker Justice
September 22nd was the Pope's first day of a historic visit to the United States. Placards calling upon the religious leader to "stand with us for workers' rights" were amongst those carried by protesters at the Hyatt Santa Clara, which is adjacent to Tech Mart. Hyatt's aggressive use of subcontractors allows it to pay poverty wages to workers.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
May Day March for Beach Flats Garden and Boycott Driscoll's Bradley Allen Tuesday May 3rd 12:45 PM
Save the Beach Flats Garden AutumnSun (1 comment) Monday May 2nd 11:43 AM
ILWU Local 10 Initiated May Day Rally In San Francisco Labor Video Project Sunday May 1st 11:30 PM
MAY DAY March for Food Justice In support of the Beach Flats Garden Friday Apr 29th 7:15 PM
May Day Bike Strike! Bay Area IWW Couriers Union Friday Apr 29th 5:30 AM
Bike Couriers Call for Critical Mass Rolling Picket of Delivery Companies Jonathan Nack (5 comments) Friday Apr 29th 12:59 AM
May Day | Primero de Mayo | International Workers Day Coalición Primero de Mayo Thursday Apr 28th 9:54 AM
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day Bradley Allen (1 comment) Monday Apr 25th 7:46 PM
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UFW pays millions to itself & cronies, and ZERO for its dues-paying members via Pick Justice (3 comments) Sunday Apr 24th 4:45 PM
Nice Pick Justice turnout at court in Fresno via Pick Justice Thursday Apr 21st 5:51 PM
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