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The Brawl Over Fair Trade Coffee

Source: The Nation

On May 20, the country’s oldest “fair trade” coffee company, Equal Exchange, purchased a full-page color advertisement in the Burlington Free Press. It was an open letter to the CEO of the Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee company, the world’s largest buyer of fair trade–certified coffee. “We wish to congratulate you for your past deeds,” Equal Exchange wrote, “but now urgently request that you withdraw your support for the certification agency Fair Trade USA…in light of its unilateral decision to change the rules of fair trade.” read more

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Why We Can’t Depend On Activists To Create Change

Source: Alternet

Over the years I have often been asked how I became an activist. The question of how individuals as individuals become involved in social change movements, fascinating as it may seem, can carry equally fascinating assumptions about activism itself. It may imply a voluntary and self-selecting enterprise, an extracurricular activity, a realm of subculture, and a differentiating label; that an activistis a particular kind of person. When people refer to me as an activist, I have taken to correcting them: “I dislike the label activist,” I politely explain, “because it lets everyone else off the hook. We all have civic responsibilities. Social change happens when whole communities are in motion.” read more

Hundreds to Gather for the People’s Convention for Human Rights in Burlington, VT

Over this Labor Day weekend, hundreds of people from across Vermont, the US and Canada will come to the three day People’s Convention for Human Rights in Burlington, VT. The convention is a project of over 11 Vermont grassroots organizations that currently work in a wide array of areas, such as climate justice, disability rights, workers’ rights, and immigrant rights.

Video: Vermont People’s Convention for Human Rights

This labor day weekend, come out to the People's Convention for Human Rights to explore how we are struggling to meet our fundamental needs, and how we can work together to fight for our human rights, for dignity for everyone, a healthy environment and real democracy. The People's Convention will include workshops, kids activities, music, art, street theater, food, and much much more!