About the Tour
Wendy’s Boycott to take national stage from March 16-29, 2017, with whirlwind tour across Midwest, Southeast…
From March 16th to 29th, 2017, members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their allies will embark on the longest protest action in the last 10 years of the Campaign for Fair Food, joining thousands of consumers in mobilizing for the national Wendy’s Boycott. The Return to Human Rights Tour will travel to the heart of Wendy’s territory for a major action in Columbus, Ohio, on March 26th, and will end the following week with a massive vigil in Tampa, Florida — stopping in nearly a dozen cities over the 13-day journey, including Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, and more!
When we launched the national boycott last spring, we gave three reasons for declaring the boycott, and Reason #1 was the following:
Wendy’s has shifted its purchases from Florida to Mexico: Wendy’s has not only refused to join the FFP, but has stopped buying tomatoes from Florida altogether following the implementation of the Fair Food Program there. Rather than support US growers setting new standards for human rights in the agricultural industry, Wendy’s took its tomato purchases to Mexico, where the widespread denial of human rights in the produce industry was the subject of an in-depth expose by the Los Angeles Times just one year ago.
Since that blustery day in Manhattan, the Wendy’s Boycott has spread like wildfire, embraced by students and faith leaders, human rights activists and consumers of conscience across the country. Yet, in spite of the growing wave of pressure from consumers over the past several months — including the more than 75,000 consumers who signed the Change.org petition pledging to boycott Wendy’s and last month’s back-to-back-to-back Behind the Braids tours — the final fast food hold-out has dug in its heels. When faced with the stark contrast between the baldly inhumane working conditions in the fields of Mexico and the unprecedented human rights advances in Florida, the fast-food giant responds coldly: “…right now, we are quite happy with the quality and taste of the tomatoes we are sourcing from Mexico.”
When we launch the Return to Human Rights Tour this coming March, we will be demanding that Wendy’s return to the fields of Florida, where “quality” is defined not simply by the guarantee of tasty fruit, but also by the guarantee of respect and dignity for the women and men who harvest the fruit. And we will bring the full force of the Fair Food Nation to Wendy’s corporate doorstep to do so.
Justice for All…
However, this national tour isn’t just about demanding human rights in Wendy’s supply chain. In today’s world, no social justice movement — no matter how big or how urgent it may be — can afford to focus solely on its own cause.
The world is changing rapidly around us, and sounding the call for a broad and inclusive new human rights movement has become imperative if we are to protect the fragile progress toward ever-greater social justice that we have made across the generations. The agenda for the Return to Human Rights Tour will reflect that new reality. From visiting Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, where nine parishioners were murdered in cold blood while in prayer by a young man deranged by the newly re-ascendant sickness of white supremacy, to meeting with other immigrant, labor, and social justice organizations along the 2,000-mile route of the 14-day tour, CIW members will spend the Return to Human Rights Tour strengthening relationships, reflecting on the challenges ahead, and taking action with an eye toward the broader struggle to preserve fundamental human rights that unites us all.
Get your banners ready!…
In this Fair Food Nation that we have built — with the hard work and great sacrifice of tens of thousands of farmworkers, and hundreds of thousands of consumers, over more than two decades — we are extraordinarily fortunate to be at the heart of one of today’s most vibrant and successful movements. Together, we are building a new world in this country’s fields in which fundamental human rights are truly inalienable.
But we are not finished. Indeed, the Fair Food Nation will not be complete until it includes fields and crops, and growers and buyers, throughout the country. The next step toward that end is getting Wendy’s to return to Florida and to real, verifiable human rights.
And we are not alone. If we are to secure our hold on that great arc about which Dr. King spoke so beautifully fifty years ago and bend it ever more toward justice, we must continue to come together across the many movements for social change in this country in one broad movement for fundamental human rights.