The Grupo de Agricultura Organica (GAO), the Cuban organic farming association, long at the forefront of the country's transition from industrial to organic agriculture, was named winner of the 1999 Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize.'
Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Members of Congress Kick-off Economic Human Rights Bus Tour in Georgia
One by one, the testifiers came forward to tell their emotion-filled stories of the plight of poor people in the world's most affluent society. Listening to the testimonies on November 11-12, were Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI), singer/activist Harry Belafonte, and actor/activist Danny Glover, as they traveled through Georgia with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Economic Human Rights Bus Tour, co-sponsored and organized by Food First and the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies.
Food First's most widely recognized and respected program staff person, ex-Policy Director Anuradha Mittal, has been named co-director of the Institute. As of August 2000, she and I will co-direct Food First.
The week-long "Battle of Seattle" during the failed World Trade Organization (WTO) talks, was a watershed event for the world's citizenry. We demonstrated our collective ability to be heard and to change the agenda. When before in American history have students, consumers, labor and women's movements, farmers, environmentalists, faith-based groups, human rights activists, and representatives from more than 100 countries marched hand in hand?
Food First organized the 2001 Economic Human Rights Bus Tour from May 29-31 to strengthen the movement for economic and social human rights in the United States. The bus tour was endorsed by the fifty-seven member Congressional Progressive Caucus and more than two hundred organizations from across the country. The tour drew the attention of policymakers and the media to growing poverty and hunger in rural and urban areas of California, as well as the powerful grassroots campaigns that address these human rights violations.
Following September 11, the burden falls on the progressive movement to keep the dream alive. At Food First, we have a clear vision of what we want our world to look like, and we know how to get there. Our vision of peace and security is not only about the absence of war, but is about equity and justice for all. Our vision is of a world free of hunger, where the working poor earn a living wage and the landless have a true right to land. This would be a world where children have the right to a safe and healthy childhood.
The World Food Summit: What Went Wrong?
When communal lands are parceled up and individual titles are given out, the result has often been a disaster, as in the case of Thailand. Communities that had held relatively stable tenure over their land for many generations lost them in just a few years after the new titles were used as collateral for bank loans, generating destitution and despair. In cases where the poor were given credit to buy land from willing sellers, as in Brazil, Guatemala, and South Africa, the results have been no better.
It was a chance for world leaders to revisit the "sustainable development" goals made ten years ago in Rio de Janeiro, and to rise above narrow self-interest to solve the gravest ecological problems facing our planet. But in Johannesburg, corporate interests set the agenda for sustainability on their own terms: nonbinding, voluntary agreements; public-private partnerships; and a push toward economic globalization as a panacea for the world's social and ecological problems.
In 2003, we continued our well-researched analysis and worked to forge international alliances with human rights, labor, and trade activists, and people's movements, using the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a strong moral yardstick to unite single-issue causes under the banner of economic and social human rights.