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This Moment

It’s impossible to put out a “newsletter” this week without acknowledging what’s going on in the streets in so many cities across this country—and how those actions are tied to the systemic and institutionalized social, environmental and economic injustice that runs throughout our society.

So we share this video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who sums it up this way:

“The way we end this [violence], and the way we move through this, is by establishing justice. That is the ultimate way of creating peace and prosperity.”

Words spoken like a genuine leader—and perhaps future president?

AOC also this week called out the hypocrisy of corporations, including fast-food king, McDonald’s, rejecting what she called “bland statements” of support for Black Lives Matter. 

As reported in Common Dreams, AOC “called out a number of companies which publicly expressed support for the protests in the past week but sell products that aid racial discrimination, tolerate racism on their platforms, and fail to support black families and businesses.”

The Common Dreams article also included sage advice from Judd Legum, editor of Popular Information:

"If you want to understand a corporation's values, ignore its tweets, and pay attention to its FEC filings.”

As the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare, injustice runs rampant through the U.S. food system—and nowhere has that injustice been more evident than in the industrial “Big Meat” industry, where thousands of slaughterhouse workers, forced to return to work, are now infected with the virus.

Ricardo Salvador, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, lays out how injustice and exploitation runs through our food and farming system in this recent article (and podcast). From farmers who aren’t paid a fair price, to slaughterhouse workers forced to work in unsafe conditions, to farmworkers who are “politically invisible,” what you have is:

“. . . the top of this pyramid . . .  which is essentially the highly concentrated agribusiness sector, attempting to exploit the moment to cut as many costs as possible . . .”

Whether we’re talking food system or any other “system” in this country, injustice ultimately leads to “unrest.”

As AOC says in her instagram video: “True peace is a just society.” 

And as she tweeted last week,“This moment calls for transformation.”

Watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on peace and justice

Read 'Yes, I Will Name Names': AOC Leads Charge Against Empty Corporate Claims of #BlackLivesMatter’

Read  'Our Food System Is Very Much Modeled on Plantation Economics’

Order Ronnie's New Book: Grassroots Rising

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