December 4: The Farmers March

OCCUPY THE FOOD SYSTEM

Click here to find the event on Facebook


Farmers, Gardeners, Food Workers, Food Justice Activist, and Occupiers coming together to resist corporate control of our food system and speak on ideas of local resilience and urban-rural solidarity.

Speakers will include: Andrew Faust, Jalal Akbar Sabur, Karen Washington, Severine von Tscharner, Jim Gerritsen, and Mike Callicrate

2pm: Gathering at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden (E. 8th St between Avenues B and C)

4pm: Farmers’ March celebrating abundance towards Zuccotti Park

5pm: We will end at Zuccotti Park with a circle of solidarity and seed exchange. Please bring seeds to swap!

Press Release:

Farmers Join Occupy Wall Street, Calling for Food Justice

Sunday, December 4th at 2pm

As Wall Street’s corrupt influence on the economy has grown, the corporate ownership of our food system has hurt the health and livelihood’s of some of our most vulnerable communities. This Sunday, December 4th food justice activists and occupiers will be travelling from as far as Colorado, Iowa, Maine and Upstate New York to join together for the Occupy Wall Street FARMERS’ MARCH. Through a day of dialogue, musical performances, and a march, farmers and their urban allies working for food justice in their communities will form alliances to fight and expose corporate control of the food supply.

Events throughout the day will call and inspire participants to fight against the corporate manipulation of the agriculture system. An industry that is responsible for using chemical toxins tied to soaring obesity rates, heart disease and diabetes and limiting access to affordable, wholesome food to the country’s poorest citizens.

The event will kick off at 2pm at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden with a musical performance followed by remarks from food justice activists and occupiers. They will share their stories and listen to their peers as they highlight the role of urban-rural solidarity in building a sustainable food system as well as challenges of family-scale farmers in a culture of corporate dominance.
March Begins at 4pm from La Plaza Cultural Community Garden

At 4pm, musicians will be among those leading the Farmers’ March in a colorful parade from La Plaza to Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza, the site of a Solidarity Circle at 5pm. Stories of struggle, triumph and ruminations about the role OWS might assume in the food justice movement will help form the circle. The circle will close with a Seed Exchange.

Participants are encouraged to express their dissent creatively, donning fruits hats, wearing burlap sacks, carrying brightly colored signs and moving in time to the beat of the drums. Please join us, farmers, ranchers, farm workers, urban gardeners, foodies and supporters of all kinds in the Occupy Wall Street FARMERS’ MARCH.

Speakers will include:
George Naylor – Iowa farmer and president of the National Family Farm Coalition.
Jim Gerritsen – Maine based farmer who was named one of 20 world visionaries by Utne Reader in 2011 and is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Monsanto.
Karen Washington – Founder of City Farms Market and board member at NYC based organization Just Food.
Severine von Tscharner – Food advocate and producer of the film “Green Horns”, profiling young farmer entrepreneurs.
Jalal Sabur – Founding member of the Freedom Food Alliance and advocate working on the alliance of black urban communities with black rural farmers.
Mike Callicrate – Colorado cattle rancher, entrepreneur and rural advocate .
Andrew Faust – World renowned permaculture expert and educator.

More about the Speakers:

Jalal Sabur a Community Organizer for the Westchester Political Action Coalition (a Westchester county environmental foundation) and a founding member of the Freedom Food Alliance (a project of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s Food Justice Committee), Jalal is dedicated to bridging the gap between Black urban communities and Black rural farmers.

Karen Washington a community activist, striving to make the Bronx a better place to live. As a community gardener, Karen has worked with neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens, as an advocate, she has stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation, as a City Farms Trainer, she has helped people all over the city grow more food and build healthier neighborhoods, and as a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she launched a City Farms Market, bringing garden grown and farm fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Her motto is: you can’t say you’ve made it, if the people around you are still struggling, I am because we are. (Bio taken from JustFood)

Jim Gerritsen is an organic farmer from Bridgewater Maine who has run Wood Prairie Farm with his wife Megan for thirty-one years. Gerristen has been a leader in the organic movement, helping protect seed and organic integrity and has been member of the Certification Committee of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) for 20 years. As the president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Gerritsen became the lead plaintiff against seed and chemical giant Monsanto in an effort to protect farmers from frivolous lawsuits and genetic trespass by the company’s genetically engineered seeds. Gerristen was recently name as one of the 25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World in 2011 by Utne Magaznine.

Mike Callicrate is an independent Kansas cattle producer, feedyard owner, business entrepreneur and political activist. As an outspoken leader in addressing the rural, social and cultural impacts of current economic trends on food and agriculture, Callicrate has helped found several farm advocacy groups including the Organization for Competitive Markets, R-CALF and the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association. He also was a lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the world’s largest meatpacker, IBP, now part of Tyson Foods, alleging unfair and discriminatory marketing practices. As a result of his efforts taking on the big beef packers, Callicrate founded Ranch Foods Direct to provide consumers with healthy, sustainable beef directly from America’s independent family farmers.

Severine von Tscharner Fleming is a farmer, activist and filmmaker based in the Hudson Valley, NY. Over the past two years she has produced and directed a documentary film about the young farmers who are reclaiming, restoring, retrofitting and respecting this country of ours. That film, titled “The Greenhorns” grew into a small nonprofit organization that currently produces events, media and new media for and about the young farming community. Severine attended Pomona College and University of California at Berkeley where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/AgroEcology. She co-founded the Pomona Organic Farm and founded UC Berkeley’s Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology and is co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Andrew Faust is one of the premier Permaculture educators and designers with some two decades of experience he moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider life changing.www.homebiome.com


(Organized by the Food Subcommittee of the Sustainability OWS)


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