A Global Food Initiative Starts at Home --
Berkeley students to rally at the Regents Meeting
San Francisco, CA - This Wednesday at 9am, UC Berkeley students, alumni, and community members plan to rally at the Regents Meeting in San Francisco. Students will bring in fresh vegetables from the Gill Tract farm to congratulate UC President Napolitano on her new “Global Food Initiative” and remind her to walk her talk- by halting the development of the Gill Tract farm.
The proposed commercial development on the Gill Tract farm has faced community resistance for over 17 years, including a high-profile encampment by Occupy the Farm in 2012. This protest won back 10 acres of the land for education, research and community use. However, the UC still plans to develop the remaining 10 acres of the Gill Tract, and the proposal includes a controversial big box grocery store known for union busting and green washing, while sourcing from unsustainable and unjust conventional farms.
Students for Engaged and Active Learning (SEAL) recently put together a petition that already has over 1,500 signatures, re-launching the fight against the proposed development. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/a-food-initiative-on
At this Regents Meeting, students and community supporters will be highlighting the UC’s hypocrisy, and calling on them to “Walk Your Talk!”
Vanessa Raditz, Master of Public Health Candidate: “The UC says that it wants to tackle food insecurity across the globe, while their actions are negatively impacting their own local community. The current proposed development will bring more traffic and air pollution, hurt locally owned businesses, and destroy the chance for this space to be a cutting edge educational and research project.”
Effie Rawlings, UC Berkeley Alum, B.A. in Social Welfare: “Paving over local farmland for a big box store is a sad example of everything wrong with our food system. The Gill Tract is a unique opportunity for the UC to show the world how to do food right.”
Students are saying that if the UC wants to have a “Global Food Initiative”, they need to start with a local food initiative, by looking at their very own actions at home.