“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. “
Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail
There are a lot of complex questions in movement building. There are plenty of reasons for discouragement and despair. There’s much to argue about regarding what should be done and how.
Please, let’s take a brief pause from all of that and double the size of the Food, Farm and Hunger reform movement today. It’s really very simple. Half of the movement got caught up in some mainstream media myths and ended up advocating on the wrong side of the core issue of the 2007-2008 farm bill, the Commodity Title. Let’s get them on board with a few basic facts (and exposure of a few basic mainstream media fallacies).
Hey, it’s the easiest mobilization you’ll ever see. We already have twice as many movement activists. They’re already advocating. In fact, 50,000+ show up to vote for a new Secretary of Agriculture. 50,000+ protest against Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Thousands vote for White House Farmer. (Hey, the farm bill got passed last summer, they're chomping at the bit to to find a place to fight for farm bill justice now anyway!)
It’s just that half of them are inadvertently siding with agribusiness. They don’t mean to. They share our core values. They just got taken in by a false paradigm, actually a paradigm that’s simpler than reality, and then went to work on behalf of the agribusiness output complex (the Cargills, ADMs, Tysons, Kelloggs, Smithfields, Walmarts of groceries) and the agribusiness input complex (the Monsantos, Duponts, John Deeres).
I’ve posted on this so many times, I’m tired. So just go to these other posts I made today for online (links) documentation of the basic facts, and the names of some key leaders on each side. (It mentions some of the big sign-on lists on the wrong side, so you can see more organizations there.
Here it is (scroll down and open the comments section and go to my name for the basic documentation:
Get more here at my blog, for example my documentation against the main myths from this “agribusiness” side of our own justice movement.
Ok, tell these groups to boycott any sign-on that doesn’t address the key concerns (price floors and ceilings, supply management and reserves). Refuse to fund any of these groups until they leave the agribusiness side and rejoin the justice side.
Ok, the farm bill got passed. But it’s much worse than the last one for farmers! We could well have an emergency farm bill well before the five years are up. Remember, we had four emergency farm bills between 1996 and 2002! So do it now.
All it takes for this to happen is for this article to go viral…viral…viral…viral.