May 29th, National Day of Action
Here are pictures of the protest against SB 1070, taken by Adam Tompkins. SB 1070 is a a law that requires police to detain and determine the immigration status of individuals if "reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.". Essentially, it is a bill legalizing racial profiling in Arizona.
Florida tomato pickers have one less thing to worry about, now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is taking steps to “end all uses of the insecticide endosulfan in the United States.” The announcement, posted today on the EPA website, has farmworker and pesticide alternatives advocates, and Arctic indigenous communities around the country celebrating the decision. Long a target of nationwide campaigns calling for a ban on it, endosulfan had been falling in disfavor with the agency as increasing evidence of the health risks to farmworkers and the impacts to birds and mammals could no longer be ignored. For Florida’s farmworkers and fragile ecosystems, the end of this highly toxic insecticide is very good new, indeed.
Leaning on her cane, Linda Lee matter-of-factly listed her medical conditions: diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, emphysema and arthritis. She had her hip replaced and her gall bladder removed. Her kidneys failed, so she had a transplant. She also had two corneal implants. Asked what caused her woes, the 57-year-old resident of Apopka, Fla., doesn’t hesitate: For nearly a decade as a farm laborer on the shores of Lake Apopka in the 1970s and 1980s, she was routinely exposed to agricultural chemicals as she worked in the fields.
On Monday, May 16th, Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, the daughter of a former farmworker family, and first in her family to achieve a higher education degree, toured the farmworker community of Immokalee to discuss the working conditions of farmworkers in Florida. The visit marks the first appearance of an Obama cabinet member in Southwest Florida. The tour promoted the new “We Can Help” Initiative, which encourages workers of any immigration status to report abuse in the workplace... Read More
Recent news article exposes the extent of child labor in the fields. Check out the link below and read this important article by the Associated Press:
Trail of Dreams Walkers Reach Washington D.C.
Supporters of Immigration Reform are Arrested in Front of the White House
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez Arrested Outside of the White House
On May 1, the Trail of Dreams Walkers finally reached Washington, D.C.. Hundreds of people gathered to march with the walkers in support of comprehensive immigration reform and the passage of the DREAM Act. The 7 mile march began in Alexandria, at the headquarters of Tenants and Workers United and ended at Lafayette Park, facing the White House.
At the park, community leaders from several states spoke in favor of comprehensive reform and just treatment of undocumented immigrants. The rally also addressed the opressive new law being passed in Arizona, which forces Arizona police to employ racial profiling and immigrants to carry around immigration papers.
Following the animated rally, a sit in protest was staged in front of the white house. Several people sat in front of the white house, demanding to speak with President Obama. Over thirty sit in protesters were arrested by D.C. police. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois congressman with close ties to president Obama, was one of the protesters arrested.
At the conclusion of the protests, the walkers left their worn out shoes in front of the white house as symbols and grim reminders of the people who disappear and leave families behind everyday due to incarceration and deportation.
More at http://trail2010.org/about/
Sign the Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos
Chlorpyrifos is a nerve poison that hurts farm workers and their children.
On March 27th, the Farmworker Association of Florida teamed up with the University of Central Florida Women’s Studies Program to sponsor the first “Woman to Woman” conference.
The conference – hosted in St. Francis of Assisi’s Church, in Apopka – addressed the serious issues that are often neglected from a woman’s point of view. Topics included women’s health, domestic violence, coping with financial stress, immigration issues for women, stress and depression, parenting skills, and the beauty and identity of the woman. Read more...
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