Archive for the tag “Occupy Wall Street”

Spring is Here! Are You Ready to Occupy Big Food?

Occupy Big Food was on Heritage Radio Network last week with Chef Erica Wides click here to listen to Lets Get Real.

Here’s what host Chef Erica Wides wrote about the show:

In tonight’s episode — Big Foodiness Gets Occupied — I get real about how to snatch food back from the jaws of corporate foodiness with Occupy Big Food co-founder Kristin Wartman; why the McDonalds and Applebee’s crowd or the garden burger and protein bar crowd should care about how their chicken fingers or their Tofu Chik’n Fingers are produced; Wartman’s theory that the Sarah Palin chocolate chip cookie defenders identify with their corporate food kidnappers a la the Stockholm Syndrome; and whether the Occupy Big Food message can realistically get out to the mainstream in time to save food for the future or if real food is going to be permanently replaced by foodiness like Facebook has replaced friends and reality shows have replaced talent.

And this afternoon Occupy Big Food talked with Richard Hill of the Organic Farm Report live on WPKN, which you can listen to here.

Remember this? It’s a picture from our rally at the end of last year in Liberty Park. We are working on new ideas and actions now and will have updates soon. Thanks for tuning in and get ready to Occupy Big Food. Real change is brewing, can’t you feel it?

Farmers vs Monsanto Rally at Foley Square: Re-Cap

We were so proud to stand with Food Democracy Now and Occupy Wall Street Food Justice to support the farmers in their first preliminary hearing against Monsanto this past Tuesday down at Foley Square in Manhattan. The setting was beautiful, the weather strangely warm and the fervor of support was buzzing! We estimate that around 200 people were there to greet the farmers when they came out of the courthouse after their hearing. We collaborated to create an amazing timeline of the atrocities that Monsanto has committed over the years, from 1901-2011 and had comrades hold them in a visual sign of solidarity. This was a great opportunity for people to see what Monsanto has been up to the last century, from helping to create and push Agent Orange to patenting life.

What’s next for the farmers? Well, the hearing went relatively well, but we are told that Monsanto’s lawyers really played up their corporate victimhood and made themselves seem as if they were being attacked. The judge has until March 31st to make a decision on whether or not this case will go forward. We can only hope that the obvious and just decision will be made: It is time for the organic farmers to be able to farm without the fear of Monsanto’s heavy-hand hovering over them.

On a final note, we want to remind everyone that the best way to avoid GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods is to eat organic, and if that is not possible, the next best thing is to focus on eating less processed, packaged foods and more whole foods.

We will of course keep you posted on what is happening next with the Monsanto case. And stay tuned as we begin to plan the National Day of Food Action that will take place on February 27th, 2012 across the country. We have some great things in the works.

In Solidarity,
Erika and Kristin

Occupy Big Food

Stand in Solidary with Farmers & Against Monsanto

Monsanto vs. Organic Farmers — In NYC Court

Jim Gerritsen -- one of the family farmers suing Monsanto

Will Organic Farmers See Their Day in Court?
Judge to consider oral argument in lawsuit against Monsanto

NEW YORK – December 29, 2011 – In a development celebrated by the organic plaintiffs, Judge Naomi Buchwald announced yesterday that oral arguments on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto will be heard in federal district court January 31, 2012 in Manhattan. Judge Buchwald’s decision will establish if organic farmers are to see their day in court.

The eighty-three family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations comprising the organic plaintiff group represent over 300,000 individuals.  The landmark lawsuit, filed in March 2011, challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic/GMO patents and seeks court protection for innocent family farmers who may become contaminated by Monsanto seed.

“We are grateful that Judge Buchwald has agreed to our request to hear oral argument on the motion,” said Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA. “Last August we submitted our written rebuttal and it made clear that Monsanto’s motion was without merit. Our legal team, from the Public Patent Foundation, is looking forward to orally presenting our position.  The family farmers deserve their day in court. We are anxious that this case go to trial as soon as possible so that our innocent farmers may receive Court protection.”

OSGATA is a membership organization composed primarily of farmers and seed businesses. Their mission is to develop and protect the organic seed industry along with their growers. In an effort to raise funds, OSGATA has launched a “Farmers Travel Fund” enabling family farmers from the plaintiff group to attend the court proceedings and related events.

Background information on the OSGATA v. Monsanto lawsuit may be found at .

The Re-Occupation

Join artists, musicians, and local community members for an all-day performance event in support of Occupy Wall Street and the occupation of space and reclaiming of the commons.

Freedom of expression and the right to assemble are sacred human freedoms. Through bold, courageous actions, Occupy Wall Street has renewed a sense of hope, revived a belief in community and awakened a revolutionary spirit too long silenced. To Occupy is to embody the spirit of liberation that we wish to manifest in our society.

On Saturday, December 17th – the 3 month anniversary of the birth of this movement, we will gather to celebrate Occupy Wall Street and to occupy space together.



Occupy Strikes Sachs!

Airing Goldman Sachs' Dirty Laundry

Occupiers descended on Goldman Sachs yesterday in solidarity with the West Coast Port blockades which managed to shut down three major ports: Oakland, Portland and Longview.  The march in New York began across the street from Zuccotti Park at 7:30 am and ended at 200 West Street where a heavy police presence was waiting with barricades to prevent protesters from blocking the front of the building. Nearly 300 protesters formed picket lines in front of and behind the building chanting, “Everyone pays their tax — everyone but Goldman Sachs!”

Eventually a mock press conference broke out complete with the the “head” of Goldman Sachs — a woman wearing a giant squid hat. A faux Fox news reporter and several others from the crowd asked questions of Mr. Sachs. The press conference moderator explained to the crowd — who were sitting on the cold concrete — “Mr. Sachs only speaks squid, good thing we have a translator.” The use of the squid is a reference to Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article in which he said, “The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

After the press conference, word spread that occupiers would be forming a flash mob in the winter garden atrium across the street from Goldman headquarters in the World Financial Center. Once gathered in the atrium, around 10 am, protesters began chanting, “Occupy Brookfield!” Brookfield is the private real estate company that owns the building as well as Zuccotti Park. Occupiers then danced, sang and linked hands to form a large circle in the middle of the atrium while a significant number of police officers began to surround the crowd. After several minutes, the police got on the megaphone but protesters drowned out their message. Protesters began dispersing in various directions around the building, some up to the top of the stairs and others up the escalator. Occupy Big Food was with a group that took some long corridors out of the building and then back around to behind the building. It was at that time we learned that 17 people were arrested inside the atrium.

 Goldman Sachs is Big Food

When we think of large food companies Goldman Sachs doesn’t come to mind — but in fact Goldman Sachs has broad reach into the global food supply. Here are a few examples:

  • In relation to yesterday’s port shutdown, two West Coast companies: port operator SSA Marine and grain exporter EGT were the center of the protests. Goldman Sachs owns a major stake in SSA Marine. Goldman Sachs is heavily involved in the commodity trading of food around the world. It stockpiles rice, wheat, corn, sugar, and livestock to raise commodity prices around the globe. This effectively creates profit for the company while many people are less and less able to afford basic staples.
  • Goldman Sachs has major assets in Shineway Industrial Group, one of the largest meat processors in China.
  • Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group joined forces with C.H. James & Company and together they acquired 37 Burger King restaurants in Chicago. Annual revenues exceed $50 million.

The squid is an apt metaphor for the type of global reach that Goldman Sachs exerts over a wide range of political and industrial systems. As journalist Chris Hedges has said, “There is no way within the corporate state to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs.” William Scott of the OWS library said yesterday after the protest, “This is why we have to occupy everywhere.”

**Matt Taibbi had this to say about yesterday’s OWS action in Rolling Stone, ” I almost shed tears of pride this morning when I read this hilarious passage in the Daily News: Earlier Monday, about 300 protesters in squid costumes surged outside the offices of Goldman Sachs investment bank shouting, “We fry Calimari!” and “Everyone pays their tax – everyone but Goldman, Sachs!”



We have created a petition to tell Butterball—the number one producer of turkeys in America—that Americans are no longer going to purchase turkeys that are inhumanely treated, or support a factory-farm system that creates dire environmental and health consequences. Please sign the petition here.

Occupy Big Food and #N17

Occupy Big Food is heading to Union Square this afternoon for the International Day of Action in commemoration of two months of Occupy Wall Street.

This is a NON-VIOLENT mass assemblage and we encourage everyone interested in a better, more democratic food system to stand up today and participate with the OWS protestors.

Follow our Tweets today: @occupybigfood

And plan on seeing us SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 in front of 140 Broadway 1PM for OCCUPY BIG FOOD TAKE II.

Marching Back to Zuccotti Yesterday

Our mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, is the 12th richest man in America and the richest man in New York City. He also owns a large chunk of the media and its content through his corporation, Bloomberg Media.

So, is it surprising that the mainstream media, including the New York Times, is questioning the strength of the Occupy movement? This, after the military-style raid of Zuccotti Park carried out by New York City cops delegated by Bloomberg early Tuesday morning?

The simplistic and pedantic editorial found on the Bloomberg Media website says it all:

We agree with some of the arguments raised by the Occupy Wall Street protesters and disagree with many more — particularly the divisive, simplistic notion that society is a 99-percent-versus-1-percent dichotomy. But we applaud the discussion that’s been opened, and hope it can turn constructively to the mission of seeing that all Americans have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Bloomberg’s editors claim “an equal opportunity to succeed” for all Americans. Can they tell that to children born in the vast ghettos of this country, the ones starving, the ones that live in food deserts and the ones that are grossly less educated?

Is it surprising that Bloomberg Media’s stance is this idea that we in America all begin on equal footing? No. But it is inaccurate as well as “divisive” and “simplistic.” How about these statistics, Mr. Bloomberg? 46.2 million Americans live below the poverty line and 14.5 percent of American households are defined as food insecure. The Guardian website features a short video regarding these statistics and others.

Yesterday, Occupy Big Food marched down Broadway with protesters returning to the park, cops on motorcycles, armed to the gills and nipping at our heels with their weapons and vehicles. Though surrounded, the group persevered, drawing in more and more followers along the route. The mood was powerful, tense and somber, but relentlessly optimistic. It’s not about a park or one day or even one idea. The chant that was constantly heard was “This. Is. A peaceful protest.” And it was. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about OWS to this point is its ability to keep the peace. And keep going.

Police Evict Zuccotti Park Protesters Today

Today the peaceful protestors of Zuccotti Park were evicted from what has become the heart and physical center of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

The eviction was implemented by the richest man in New York City — who happens to also be our mayor, Michael Bloomberg — under the premise that the park had become unsanitary as well as a fire and safety hazard.

It is imperative that we join with the greater movement on Thursday, November 17th for the Day of Action.

This movement is only beginning. Please plan on joining up on Nov 17th.

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