The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is on the McDonald’s Truth Tour 2006: The Real Rights Tour! Today they stopped in Champaign-Urbana for the afternoon, making an appearance on the U-C IMC‘s low-power station WRFU and joining a community potluck dinner at the IMC. A couple of folks on the tour were also nice enough to carve out some time to sit down with an interview with me for this Friday’s radioshow.
Independent media has been instrumental in aiding the CIW, which represents tomato pickers in Florida, fight for better wages and more respect from large corporate tomato consumers like Taco Bell. They put a low-power FM station on the air in December, 2003, giving the workers a powerful tool for communication and education.
On the tour the workers are meeting with local church, social justice, human rights and student groups in the cities where they stop. They are also holding protests at local McDonald’s in order to pressure the company to raise the rates they are paid for their labor.
As a vegetarian I don’t typically eat at McDonald’s to begin with, though I avoided Taco Bell –a more veggie friendly fast-food chain–throughout the CIW’s boycott. They haven’t yet called a boycott on McDonald’s, in the hope that their tour and pressure will be enough to motivate the fast-food giant.
The CIW are holding a big rally in Chicago this Saturday, April 1, during which they will lead a march and demonstration in front of the so-called Rock N Roll McDonald’s.