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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature

BREAD RIOTS Along Global Supply Chains: From Cairo to Longview

Date:
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Time:
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Teach-In
Organizer/Author:
Bob Patenaude
Location Details:
Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
6501 Telegraph Ave
Oakland Ca 94609

The world’s most bountiful wheat harvest ever was in 2008 yet bread riots broke out
in 33 countries — adding that year another 250 million to those without enough to
eat everyday and pushing the world’s “food insecure” to over 1 billion. Food as a
percentage of total household consumption costs has reached 73% in Nigeria, 63% in
Morocco, and 61% in the Ukraine. Bread riots in Egypt were preceded by the April 6,
2008 general strike of textile workers who demanded higher wages to cope with wheat
prices that had risen 130% (rice also went up 74%).
Egypt is the world’s leading wheat importer; the U.S. is the world’s top wheat
exporter. The Goldman Sachs Commodity Index of 18 foodstuffs was created in 1991 to
allow speculators to invest in financialized futures on ingredients like hard red
spring wheat, the world’s most popular high-protein ingredient in bread. After the
2008 food bubble collapsed, 200 million bushels of wheat were sold for animal feed
while hundreds of millions went hungry. As Asian countries become more affluent,
they eat less rice and more meat and bread. EGT Corporation in Longview, Washington
has built a portside just-in-time delivery system to allow speculators to move
wheat, corn and other grains for food and animal feed down global supply chains to
growing markets in Asia. Japan is the world’s #1 corn importer; the U.S. is #1
exporter. EGT is doing what Wal-Mart does, but in reverse. Multinational food giants
like EGT monopolize commodities from the farms of North America to food consumers
across the planet. This multimedia presentation of recent struggles will be followed
by an open discussion of ways we can contribute to the decommodification of not only
food, but our lives and society as well.
Co-presented by the INSANE DIALECTICAL POSSE & the Institute for the Critical Study
of Society
Suggested readings:
"The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it" by
Frederick Kaufman (available here:
http://frederickkaufman.typepad.com/files/the-food-bubble-pdf.pdf)
"It's the baladi, stupid" by Wendell Seavenson (available here:
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/wendell-steavenson-egypt-cairo/)






Added to the calendar on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 12:35PM
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