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About this Issue – April 2019

For April, we invited articles on food: production, consumption, transformation. Inside this issue, you’ll see that writers chose to address the topic of food in many ways: efforts to support local food systems, food security in the face of climate change, the role that our public ports play in developing sustainable food systems, the role of fish not only as a food source but also in sustaining our ecosystems, and the Student/Farmworker Alliance effort to get Wendy’s to sign on to the Fair Food Program . As always, this issue expands beyond the topic to include pressing current local issues (the attempted rezone of Green Cove, the challenge of persuading coop shoppers to use less plastic) and national and international ones (Venezuela, Palestine).

Theme for May

May 1 is recognized as International Workers Day in countries around the world. May 1, 1886 was designated by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions as the day when the eight-hour work day would become standard. In preparation for that day, US labor unions prepared for a general strike, and on Saturday May 1, 1886, hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike. The infamous Haymarket affair was an outgrowth of this organizing effort. On May 4, a peaceful labor demonstration took place in Haymarket Square in Chicago, supporting the eight-hour work day and protesting the killing of several workers the previous day. Someone threw a dynamite bomb at the police as the crowd was dispersing. Gunfire ensued. Eight anarchists were charged and convicted of conspiracy. Four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, the new governor of Illinois pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

We were recently reminded of the power of labor unions when the Pilots and Flight Attendants Unions stopped Trump’s government shutdown, and of the power of workers to organize themselves when teachers in West Virginia struck to defend public education. We need a defiant, fighting labor movement if we hope to turn things around. This means understanding the evolution of our work and the continuing transformation of the economy to serve the rulers. We welcome well-researched news reporting, analyses of local, national or international events, and narratives and reflections on your experiences of work that shed light on the nature and practice of work in our time.

Upcoming themes:

June: Housing and houselessness

July: Community

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