Joaquín Magón: Salinas migrant workers face perilous future – The Salinas Californian

Joaquín Magón: Salinas migrant workers face perilous future
The Salinas Californian
"It's ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves." I know an old man who bends down low, his hands calloused and eyes going



Freedom gets fashionable as EILEEN FISHER and Bloomingdale’s give women across the nation a chance to celebrate great style and a great cause. The popular fashion brand will mark International Women’s Day by helping Not For Sale fight global slavery and create new futures for survivors of sex trafficking in Amsterdam.

On March 8th, customers can support Not For Sale by shopping the latest looks from EILEEN FISHER’s Spring 2012 collection at Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide (excluding Beverly Hills and Soho locations) and online at EILEEN FISHER will donate 3% of the day’s sales, in addition to a $ 5,000 donation from Bloomingdale’s, toward Not For Sale’s work combating human trafficking in Amsterdam. Customers shopping in Bloomingdale’s will have the opportunity to meet Not For Sale representatives at some locations and learn more about how they can take action against an atrocity affecting women globally.

Committed to tailoring its designs for women with respect to people and planet, EILEEN FISHER’s support of Not For Sale represents the continuation of a long adherence to the company’s highest ethical standards. “We are thrilled about this partnership with Not For Sale’s Amsterdam project because it is in line with our mission and practices,” says Luna Lee, EILEEN FISHER’s Human Rights Associate. “Not For Sale combines the principles of human rights, sustainability, and innovation in global projects that not only serves the immediate needs of their clients, but also addresses the root causes of human trafficking and slavery. Specifically, the Amsterdam project provides skills and inner confidence that will empower participants to create new futures for themselves and their communities.”

“It’s phenomenal to meet a company that cares about the story behind the barcode,” Not For Sale President and co-founder, David Batstone says of EILEEN FISHER’s responsible business practices.

The company is continuing its dedication to human rights through its support of Not For Sale’s innovative catering project in Amsterdam. The ultimate aim of this social venture is to assist exploited women to return to their country of origin with job skills that empower, prevent, and protect them and their families from further exploitation. Soups and breads will be made by survivors and delivered to those still enslaved or being exploited. This outreach will enable further identification of potential victims of human trafficking, and inform others of competitive alternative employment at the Not For Sale catering venture.

With the help of EILEEN FISHER, Not For Sale hopes to stitch new futures for women and girls worldwide.


More than 100 Economists Call for Trans-Pacific Trade Deal to Allow Capital Controls to Prevent Crises

In advance of Trans-Pacific trade talks, over 100 economists are sending a letter today urging negotiators to promote global financial stability by allowing the use of capital controls.


Freedom Sunday 2012 | Celebration and Action

Setting the captives free is part of the DNA of the church, according to NFS President Dave Batstone, who is “convinced that the church should be not only involved in, but leading abolitionist work in their own backyards and across the globe.” From the plains of Ghana to the mountain peaks of Nepal; from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the fjords of Norway, faith communities across the globe worshipped in solidarity this past Sunday, promoting the collective message of freedom.  Over 5,000 churches celebrated Freedom Sunday on February 26, using worship as a catalyst to transform the world. Freedom Sunday is an opportunity to sustain the freedom-focused preaching and worship, and translate it into “hope-infused, prayer-filled smart activism”.

Yet Freedom Sunday is only the beginning.

As a modern-day embodiment of biblical justice, Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church in Michigan is the quintessential model for using the momentum generated on Freedom Sunday for broader and deeper engagement.  Responding to the undisputable assertion that no one should be for sale, Spring Arbor has assembled an action team to create avenues to end modern-day slavery and also collaborates with the students at Spring Arbor University across the street.  In the past few months alone, Spring Arbor has fundraised $ 5,000 through organizing a 5k run, hosted an ethically-sourced chocolate campaign, and sent representation to the Asia Pacific Forum on Human Trafficking in Thailand.

Following on the heels of Freedom Sunday, Mark Wexler, Executive Director and Co-founder of Not For Sale, will present at Spring Arbor on February 29, followed by Kevin Austin, Director of the Abolitionist Faith Community, from March 7-9.  In 2012, Not For Sale seeks to engage communities around the United States and the world, equipping individuals with innovative and practical solutions, and empowering them to work against the prevalence of modern-day slavery in their own backyards.

If you are interested equipping your community with the knowledge and action steps needed to end modern-day slavery, consider hosting a Not For Sale speaker or workshop. Over five different workshops are offered by Not For Sale, ranging from faith-based activism to recognizing the red flags of human trafficking activity in one’s own community.

For more information on these workshops, please email tour (at) notforsalecampaign dot org or visit:


France Says Google Privacy Plan Likely Violates European Law – New York Times
France Says Google Privacy Plan Likely Violates European Law
New York Times
In addition to issuing warnings, the French privacy agency has the power to fine companies up to 300000 euros ($ 400000) for privacy breaches in France. It can also seek court orders to try to stop companies from engaging in practices that are deemed to
Google's privacy changes fall short, France saysSan Francisco Chronicle
Google Privacy Policy Could Violate EU Law, France SaysWall Street Journal (blog)
France raps Google's new privacy
all 402 news articles »


A Shift in Focus

Putting the interests of Somali people first


Ellie Kemp and Ben Murphy, Oxfam policy advisors on Somalia

As key governments and institutions from the region and the wider Islamic and Western world gather in London on 23 February 2012 to review their approach to the crisis in Somalia, this paper highlights the need for more effective international engagement with the country’s ongoing humanitarian emergency.

More than six months after the UN declared a famine, over 31 per cent of the population remains in urgent need of assistance, an escalation of the conflict is still forcing thousands of civilians from their homes, and expulsions and insecurity are making it increasingly difficult for aid agencies to reach those in need.

While responsibility for this situation lies first and foremost with Somali warring factions, the international community has also been at fault. Policies focused more on international security concerns than on the needs, interests, and wishes of the Somali people have inadvertently fueled both the conflict and the humanitarian crisis. An internationally backed escalation of regional military intervention since late 2011 presents grave risks for the civilian population and their access to assistance, which foreign governments and multilateral institutions have been slow to respond to. A dangerous conflation of humanitarian assistance with international security and state-building initiatives in Somalia, including counter-terrorism efforts, has fed perceptions among opposition groups that aid agencies are proxies of Western governments, further shrinking humanitarian space.

It is unclear how long the current period of intense conflict across much of southern Somalia will continue. But we do know that as long as it does, the food crisis will persist in the affected areas. If millions of people in need are to benefit fully from the aid efforts of Somali civil society and international agencies, more systematic account must be taken of the humanitarian fallout of regional and international political and security initiatives. More coherent strategies are needed from regional, Western and Islamic stakeholders, focused on supporting inclusive Somali-led reconciliation and peace-building, while scaling up efforts to increase humanitarian access and coordination, and to build Somali resilience to future shocks.

Key recommendations

The London conference’s success must be judged on whether it results in:

  • Actors from the region, the West, and the Islamic world using their influence with all relevant parties to ensure broader access to humanitarian assistance, while upholding humanitarian principles. This should take place alongside donor governments and aid organizations scaling up both humanitarian and longer-term resilience programming;
  • Action to ensure that political and security strategies do not undermine humanitarian assistance; and
  • Priority given to non-militarized and sustainable solutions to the conflict and humanitarian crisis, in particular through ensuring that a wide section of the Somali population is engaged in the process of developing these solutions.


State roundup: State tobacco funds scrutinized; More allegations against Calif … –

State roundup: State tobacco funds scrutinized; More allegations against Calif
The report can't result in sanctions, but it has proven to move public opinion in the past to force changes by tobacco companies in how they sell cigarettes, how states fund efforts and how the federal government regulates the trade (Gormley, 2/25).

and more »


“Why I’m Fasting For Freedom” – by Katie Bergman

“A church that’s lost its voice for justice is a church that’s lost its relevance in the world.” (Richard Stearns, author of The Hole in Our Gospel)

As a young girl, I remember listening to missionaries speak to our church about their profound experiences while serving in developing countries around the world.  Their riveting presentations helped instill an irrepressible passion for justice in me, which I desired to turn into a vocation as I grew up.  Along the way, however, I began receiving the impression that people who gave up their income, sold their possessions, and left their countries to serve others were anomalies—they had some sort of special calling, while the rest of us were to be content with remaining in the pew.

Today, I consider this a fallacy.  It’s erroneous to believe that the extent of a Christian’s calling is to merely avoid the most serious of sins and to show up to church on Sunday morning.  Faith must have an element of action, an outward expression to some extent.  Unfortunately, many churches today find themselves immobilized and detached from effective methods of engagement.  Considering the total income of American churchgoers is $ 5.2 trillion, it is obvious that “a lack of money is not our problem” (Richard Stearns).  It’s a lack of will.

Retreating from the world’s problems is not an option for a person committed to following a God that calls for the “chains of injustice” to be untied (Isaiah 58).  Sacrificing comfort, stability, and security in order to actively serve others was Jesus’ mission statement.  With the Bible containing almost 2,000 passages pertaining to social justice, there is no rationalization for the Christian church’s apathy.

We can continue to pray for our missionaries, of course.  And naturally, we can send away a portion of the contents of the offering plate to them.  But what if a missionary didn’t have to be a person travelling thousands of miles across the ocean to foreign lands in order to ameliorate suffering?  What if we used the ground we are walking upon–right here, right now–as our own personal mission field?

In Luke 4:18, we are called to “proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to set the oppressed free.”  That is why I am choosing to stand in solidarity with thousands of others in the Abolitionist Faith Community who want to combine spirituality with direct, concrete, and meaningful action—by Fasting For Freedom.  During the 40 days of Lent, I am fasting from one meal a day and paying forward the amount of money I would’ve spent on that meal to Not For Sale.  The funds Not For Sale receives will be invested into creating and growing social enterprises that employ survivors of human trafficking and empower vulnerable communities.

Not For Sale is founded upon a clear, solution-based principle: we all have a role in the modern-day abolitionist movement.  We are all connected to the global slave trade, but we are also in the position to end it.  If you’re a person of faith, put it to action.  If you’re a student, then challenge your peers to become more educated and engaged.  If you’re a consumer, then make your purchase your advocacy.

Faith does not have to be legalistic.  Faith can transcend the rituals of attending church, studying scripture, and praying.  It can become a results-producing, world-changing, slavery-ending social revolution.

Katie is a member of the Not For Sale Fellowship. CLICK HERE to learn about how you can apply to be a Fellow, and visit their blog here.


Rebel Against Injustice | Enation is Not For Sale

Not For Sale’s Free2Rock T-shirt campaign for February kicked off today with American rock band, ENATION. The Washington-based band has partnered with Not For Sale to design an exclusive limited-edition Free2Rock T-shirt to end slavery, available only until Monday, March 5, for $ 24.

Speaking about Free2Rock, Richard Lee Jackson of ENATION said, “I am excited to be a part of this campaign as it not only directly supports Not For Sale’s global work ending slavery, but it also provides abolitionists an easy way to take action against modern-day slavery. I hope our fans join us in Rebelling Against Injustice by purchasing a t-shirt.”

Every Free2Rock purchase supports Not For Sale’s work to fight slavery. Proceeds will go to Not For Sale’s partner factory in El Salvador. Not For Sale works with this factory to employ and empower people at risk of human trafficking. For the past year, Not For Sale has been employing this factory to create customizable athletic apparel, which is available to order via the Not For Sale Store.

Free2Rock unites you, your favorite band, and Not For Sale in the fight to end modern slavery. Each month a different band, singer, or celebrity will collaborate on a limited edition design. Only available for one week every month, all of the proceeds from the T-shirts will benefit Not For Sale’s anti-slavery initiatives and create new futures for survivors around the globe. Join Not For Sale and rock the world by taking action against slavery.

Purchase your limited-edition ENATION Free2Rock t-shirt today.

CLICK HERE to learn more and purchase