SEPTEMBER 1ST, 1989. DEAR DIARY: I BELIEVE I’M A GOOD PERSON. YA KNOW, I THINK THERE’S GOOD IN EVERYONE, BUT HERE WE ARE FIRST DAY OF SENIOR YEAR. I LOOK AROUND AT ALL THESE KIDS I’VE KNOWN ALL MY LIFE AND I ASK MYSELF: WHAT HAPPENED?
Almost 31% of the world’s fish populations are overfished, and another 58% are fished at the maximum sustainable level. Wild fish simply can’t reproduce as fast as 7 billion people can eat them.
So what does it look like to give fish a break and let them recover? Protection can take many forms. In national waters, governments can set limits about how, when, where, and how much fishing occurs, with restrictions on certain boats and equipment. Harmful practices, such as bottom trawling, can be banned altogether, and we can establish marine reserves closed to all fishing to help ecosystems restore themselves. There’s also a role for consumer awareness and boycotts to reduce wasteful practices, like shark finning, and push fishing industries towards more sustainable practices. Past interventions have successfully helped depleted fish populations recover.
We need to end overfishing. Ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures all depend on it.
“There’s blood on those grapes” United Farm Workers, 1965–1970 Delano grape boycott and strike
The Delano grape strike was a labor strike by the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee and the United Farm Workers against grape growers in California. The strike began on September 8, 1965, and lasted more than five years. Due largely to a consumer boycott of non-union grapes, the strike ended with a significant victory for the United Farm Workers as well as its first contract with the growers.
Sons & Daughters of Liberty (1764): organized in Boston in response to the Stamp Act (1765), which they successfully stopped through mobs/shows of force and printed information. Knights of Labor (1869-1885): admitted anyone who worked for a living; wanted an 8-hour work day and opposed child labor; its membership significantly decreased after the Haymarket Square Riot. American Federation of Labor AFL (1886): led by Samuel Gompers, this union grew as KoL declined; admitted only skilled workers; merged with the CIO in 1955. United Mine Workers of America (1890): its goals were collective bargaining power, freedom from the company store, and better working conditions. Industrial Workers of the World IWW (1905): strove to unite all laborers, including unskilled workers and African Americans; its goal was to create “One Big Union;” embraced the rhetoric of class conflict and endorsed violent tactics; the organization collapsed during WWI. Congress of Industrial Organizations CIO (1932): founded by John Lewis and members of the AFL, this union was somewhat radical and included black workers. American Railway Union (1933): founded by Eugene V. Debs, this union was prosecuted for obstructing mail delivery and organizing to restrict trade, which was illegal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, for the Pullman Strikes of 1894, and Cleveland sent troops to stop the strike. Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC (1957): civil rights group of both black and white Christians, including MLK, who organized nonviolent, orderly protests. Students for a Democratic Society SDS (1960): founded by Tom Hayden and Al Haber, this group pursued “participatory democracy,” the rights and participation of individuals instead of institutions; founded the New Left; protested the Vietnam War. National Organization for Women NOW (1966): with one of the founders as Betty Friedan, this feminist group pursued equal rights for women in the work place, state support for child care, and legalization of abortion; partially responsible for Title IX. United Farm Workers UFW (1962): led by Cesar Chavez, this union that consisted primarily of Catholic, migrant, Hispanic, farm laborers; successful in improving wages & treatment through nonviolent strikes and organizing consumer boycotts of grapes. Community Service Organization (1940s-1960s): California group that worked to educate and organize poor migrant workers, but did not believe that a union was possible.
Veganism is so much more than a consumer activity and boycott. It is a moral philosophy, an ethical ideology, a completely different perception of non human animals as sentient, autonomous beings and a lifestyle that extends far beyond what we are willing to put our money towards.
Sainsbury’s can’t tell the difference between antisemitism and anti-apartheid: an open letter
On Saturday 16 July, the manager of a Sainsbury’s store in Holborn apparently removed kosher products, many of which were not made in Israel, from their shelves. Whether they did this because of a supposed support for Palestinians, or because of an unfounded fear of violence from protesters, is unclear.
What is clear is this: Palestinian civil society did not ask for a boycott of kosher food. Only antisemites would want or support that. The call has always been explicitly and openly about boycotting Israeli-made goods, along with other tactics, until Israel complies with international law (which it currently ignores).
These tactics worked against apartheid South Africa, and they’re starting to work against apartheid Israel too.
The way forward is simple. Sainsbury’s cannot morally profit from or work with companies like Mehadrin and EDOM that steal Palestinian land and support the siege on Gaza.
Sainsbury’s knows all of this. The flyers given out at numerous Sainsbury’s stores across the country are unequivocal. The website specifically targeting Sainsbury’s trade with complicit Israeli companies is unambiguous.
We have sent files to Sainsbury’s management making it clear how their policies are harming Palestinian people, and have taken these to the last two Sainsbury’s AGMs. Individuals have asked for meetings to work on how this harm can stop, but the offers have been repeatedly ignored.
Sainsbury’s: if you can’t tell the difference between a boycott aimed at ending the occupation of Palestinian lands, and stopping Jewish people being able to buy kosher food in the UK, then you really need our help.
Signed by, amongst others:
London Palestine Action
Annie O'Gara Sainsbury’s Campaign
Michael Deas, coordinator in Europe, Palestinian BDS National Committee
The export-driven income of growers in the [Israel occupied Jordan Valley]’s 21 settlements dropped by more than 14 percent, or $29 million, last year, largely because Western European supermarket chains, particularly those in Britain and Scandinavia, are increasingly shunning the area’s peppers, dates, grapes and fresh herbs, settlers say.
“The damage is enormous,” said David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, which represents about 7,000 settlers. “In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.
Consumer boycotts… of targeted food lines, of specific stores. Sure, these substances are in all kinds of things. But, if you want action, actual and threatened boycotts at consumer level is the way to go. Bashing Monsanto will not make a shred of difference. Threatening to stop buying Cambell’s Soup, or Hamburger Helper… that’s how to start things rolling.