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LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization : Labor : Protest Activity

2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour- Chicago

The CIW has been touring the country annually for the past three years demanding an end to human rights abuses in the fields and bringing light to the sweatshop conditions farmworkers work under in Immokalee, FL. Come welcome the CIW to the Chicago stop on their Taco Bell Truth Tour with food, poetry, music and dancing!
cooked-tacobell_crushed_by_ciw.jpg
Come welcome the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to Chicago! (www.ciw-online.org)

Friday, March 4
8:00pm-Midnight FIESTA at Holy Trinity (1850 S. Throop)
Meet the CIW!
Live music and food!

Featuring:

Natalie Ngyuyen is a Universalist Unitarian activist, musician and artist native to Chicago. She plays cello for the band Apartment Burlesque Orchestra.

Nikki Patin ia a Chicago singer, song-writer, activist and educator who has been featured recently on HBO's Def Poetry Jam.

Tras de Nada is a Latino anarcho-punk band from Pilsen. Tras de Nada has fiercely political songs sung in Spanish and has been rockin' the south side of Chicago for over ten years.

Tarima Son is a Jarocho ensemble from Chicago. Jarocho music originated with the rural people of the Jarocho region of Mexico and has a West African influence that can be traced to the arrival of people of African descent into Central America.

Jorge Rivera is a talented musician and singer, as well as the director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Lin Boyle has been performing and giving workshops celebrating women's history and cultural contributions for over 30 years. Her repertoire includes original, traditional, folk, multilingual-cultural global, jazz, classical, and popular. She has a large collection of corridos, rancheras and labor/farm worker songs sung in Spanish.

Saturday, March 5
10:30am-12:30pm PICKET at the Congress Hotel (520 S. Michigan Ave).
2:00pm MARCH & RALLY Gather at Palmer Square (2156 N. Humbolt Blvd.)
March up Milwaukee to Taco Bell (3143 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
March back to Palmer Square.
5:00pm DINNER & INTERFAITH SERVICE at San Lucas Church, 2914 W. North Ave.
7:00pm Send-Off to YUM Brands!

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Gigi at gigi (at) mexicosolidarity.org

Background on the CIW, Taco Bell, and YUM brands:

For the past three years, farmworkers from Immokalee and their allies have crossed the country, carrying the truth about the sweatshop conditions behind the tomatoes in Taco Bell's products to communities from Tallahassee to San Francisco. Each year, the CIW's Truth Tours have culminated in major actions -- including a 10-day hunger strike in 2003 and a 3-day march in 2004 -- outside of Taco Bell's global headquarters in Irvine, California.

In the process, the Taco Bell Truth Tour has become a nationally-recognized annual event. Participants have included Dolores Huerta (co-founder of the UFW, legendary champion of civil rights), Lila Downs (singer and Academy Award winner for the "Frida" soundtrack), Eric Schlosser (author of "Fast Food Nation"), Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine, today lead guitarist for Audioslave), Boots Riley (2003 Rolling Stone Magazine's Hip Hop Artist of the Year), and dozens of leaders from national religious bodies including the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Disciples of Christ, the United Methodist Church.

But this year, we are bringing the truth about farmworker poverty to the home of fast-food profits, Yum Brands Inc., the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Long John Silvers, and A&W Restaurants, with revenues of over $24 billion in 2003. Yum Brands is the largest restaurant company in the world, larger than McDonald's, and as such wields tremendous influence in the corporate food industry.

Through the unparalleled impact of the Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op (UFPC), the corporation that pools the buying power of Yum Brand's five major chains and leverages that power to obtain the lowest prices possible for its client chains, Taco Bell and Yum Brands exert a strong downward pressure on their suppliers' prices. In agriculture, this translates directly into a downward pressure on the wages and working conditions for farmworkers.

As major buyers of Florida tomatoes, Taco Bell and Yum Brands have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to influence the way workers are treated in their suppliers' operations. Yet after more than three years of a strong and growing national boycott, Yum Brands still refuses to take concrete, measurable steps to address the brutal labor conditions in its tomato supply chain -- conditions that include sub-poverty annual wages, no right to overtime, no right to organize, a per bucket piece rate that hasn't changed significantly since 1978, no sick leave, no health insurance, and no benefits whatsoever.

Support for the boycott is expanding at a rapid pace across the country, particularly on college campuses, where the Student/Farmworker Alliance's "Boot the Bell" campaign has become one of the fastest growing movements for social justice today. Most recently, UCLA and the University of Notre Dame have moved to end their relationships with Taco Bell in response to student support for the boycott. They join 18 other schools in an unprecedented wave of student-led activism, demanding that Taco Bell clean up human rights abuses in its supply chain if it is to do business on their campuses.
 
 

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