Washington

Fair Trade

Coalition

The Washington Fair Trade Coalition (WFTC) is a coalition of over 60 Washington labor, faith, environmental, farmer, and social justice groups that are committed to creating a fair, balanced, and sustainable global trading system.

News & Analysis

Standing in Solidarity with Striking Immigrants

Standing in Solidarity with Striking Immigrants

Over the last three weeks, nearly 1000 immigrants have gone on hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma protesting inhumane conditions. Last week, Washington Fair Trade Coalition responded to a call for support and held a solidarity day at the...

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Upcoming Events

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Last week, we joined the thousands gathered in Seattle to participate in the May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights #maydayseattle #maydaywa ...

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TODAY: Climate Justice Contingent Pre-Rally and May Day Seattle March for Workers and Immigrant Rights!

SCHEDULE:

10AM Join us at the Judkins Skatepark for a short pre-rally with speakers on the intersections of climate change, workers rights, and immigrant rights. We will then march together as a "solidarity contingent" up the hill to the May Day Main Stage.

11AM Program and rally at Judkins Park as part of the Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights.

1PM We march! Join the May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights as we make our way to Seattle Center.

INFO for the climate justice pre-rally here: www.facebook.com/events/1111593638986085

INFO for the main Seattle May Day march here:
www.facebook.com/events/1600651136614959/
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Climate Justice Contingent Pre-Rally for May Day Seattle

May 1, 2017, 10:00am - May 1, 2017, 1:00pm

Inseparable Struggles - Inseparable Solutions: Climate Justice Now! Deportation - Worker Exploitation - Climate Crisis: Same Root Cause! ***10 AM START TIME *** LOCATION ANNOUNCED: Judkins Skatepark - 2100 S Judkins St, Seattle, WA 98144 WHAT: Meeting at 10am for a short pre-rally and program of speakers on the intersections of Climate Justice with Immigrant and Workers Rights. Then we will march together as a "solidarity contingent" up the hill to the May Day Main Stage at Judkins Park to join with the Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights RSVP for that "main" May Day March HERE: www.facebook.com/events/1600651136614959/ NOTE: We will be to Judkins Park by 11 am and are coordinating closely with the May 1st Action Coalition so you can march in both! WHY THIS MARCH: We know that the issues of climate change and immigration are intrinsically tied together. As these issues intersect deeply, our movements for just solutions must intersect as well. As climate change drives resource scarcity, increased government repression and conflict, migration accelerates globally. Yet often, the people forced to migrate contributed the least to the problem of climate change. We have to stand together. Join us on May 1st at 10 am! PLEASE SHARE THIS EVENT WITH FRIENDS AND COMRADES! Welcome input on this march, including recommendations for the program and starting location as it's still coming together. Art builds info coming soon on Sunday 4/16 and 4/23. PLS SHARE! EVENT CO-SPONSORS: People's Climate Movement - Seattle Greenpeace USA 350 Seattle Climate Solutions Sierra Club Washington Chapter BlueGreen Alliance – Washington State Washington State Labor Council Washington Environmental Council Washington Conservation Voters

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What are you doing for Earth Day to May Day Week of Action?

Join us at the People's Climate Action Summit, April 29 (after the march) for an afternoon of workshops, skill-building, and art-making. Build your understanding of what it means to fight climate change from a perspective of justice, learn new skills, and connect!

Check out our 2PM workshop, "Going Global: Using Trade Policy to Fight Climate Change," to help us build a people's policy for fair trade.

Full program schedule at: earthday2mayday.org/summit/
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People's Climate Action Summit

April 29, 2017, 12:00pm - April 29, 2017, 8:00pm

Join the People’s Climate Movement Saturday, April 29 (after the march) for an afternoon of workshops, skill-building, and art-making at the People's Climate Action Summit: Resistance from Earth Day to May Day! The People's Climate Action Summit is the culminating event in a week of action between Earth Day to May Day. These events build our understanding of what it means to fight climate change from a perspective of justice and offer tools for taking action. Full program schedule at: earthday2mayday.org/summit/ Climate change affects everyone, sometimes in ways we might not think about… What foods are becoming more scarce or more expensive? What happens when outdoor worksites are hotter? What happens to people forced to move because their homes are destroyed by natural disasters? How does climate compound with existing inequalities to impact some people more than others? How can we work together to build a just future for all people and the planet? We’ll tackle these questions and more as we: -Build and deepen relationships between individuals, organizations, and movements engaged in the hands-on work of building a more just future for people and the planet -Learn about the connections between climate change and systems of oppression, especially from the perspectives of communities hardest hit by the effects of climate change -Provide skill-sharing and skill-building opportunities to be better and stronger advocates for change Over 35 community and environmental organizations will offer 20 workshops throughout the day on themes including: -food and climate change: from farmworker rights to a panel on permaculture -worker’s rights, labor and green jobs -environmental justice in Southeast Seattle -gender, race and climate change -youth and voter power for climate change -solar power, railroads, and transit solutions to climate change -over 15 short trainings on advocacy and community organizing skills! - campaigns from pipeline resistance, divestment, to carbon pricing and community reinvestment policy -banner-making, song-writing for protest and puppetry Workshop presenter organizations include: Latino Community Fund, Washington Fair Trade Coalition, Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Washington Women CAN, Sierra Club, Got Green?, NW SEED, Backbone Campaign, Transit Riders Union, United Auto Workers, 350 Seattle, Rising Tide Seattle, Blue Green Alliance, and more! Together, we can build stronger movements and a shared vision for a fair, sustainable future. See you at the Summit! Full program schedule at: earthday2mayday.org/summit/ --Excited to build the movement for a just future? Join us on May Day (May 1st) to march in the Climate Justice Contingent of the Immigrants and Workers Rights March in Seattle!--

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"Free" Trade = Free Movement for Corporations but Walls for People?!

ILWU Local 23 representing at Washington Fair Trade Coalition's Solidarity Day at the NW Detention Center last week, where more than 800 immigrants went on hunger strike over the course of two weeks protesting the inhumane treatment.

Get involved in fighting to close the NW Detention Center and end Tacoma's contract with for-profit GEO Group that runs the immigration prison. Check out NWDC Resistance on Facebook for ongoing updates.

#EconomicJustice #SocialJustice #MigrantJustice
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Photos from last week's solidarity action at the Northwest Detention Center. Update on the 3rd week of the ongoing incarcerated immigrant hunger strike below.
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For Immediate Release - From NWDC Resistance/Resistencia al NWDC
Contact: Maru Mora Villalpando, (206) 251 6658, maru@latinoadvocacy.org
April 26, 2017
Fifty Detainees Continue On Hunger Strike as Public Pressure Grows Against NWDC
Tuesday Hearing Before Tacoma City Council Highlighted Widespread Opposition
Tacoma, WA - Immigrants incarcerated at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) continued their protest of conditions inside the Tacoma immigration prison as the hunger strike entered its third week. NWDC Resistance confirmed that at least 50 detainees were refusing to eat, and were extending their protest to boycotting the commissary.
In response to community pressure brought about by the hunger strikers’ protests at the Northwest Detention Center, the Tacoma City Council held a hearing yesterday Tuesday afternoon to discuss halting plans for the facility’s expansion. In a packed hearing, the vast majority of those who testified voiced their opposition to the hunger strike. Tacoma City leaders said they have no control over federal immigration policy, but advocates noted that City Council has the power to change municipal code, and the Finance Director can revoke GEO Group’s license to operate the detention center. In less than 48 hours, NWDCR wrote a letter calling on City Council to take action with over 20 community groups co-signing, and over 600 individuals signed the petition. We delivered both to City Council for inclusion in the public record, and we await their response.
Hunger strikers’ letters were read into the record at the public hearing for the City. Those on hunger strike directly contradicted GEO’s claims that the private-prison company offers “humane” services, stating, “If this is called humane treatment, well I am sorry because I call this inhumane treatment and protecting their own economic interests.” Other hunger striker testimony read into the record denounced the lack of proper medical care, stating, “When the doctor comes to the appointment, his response to everything is that they can’t help you because there isn’t enough money in the budget, and they can’t help you unless you are on the verge of death.” Hunger strikers denounced GEO’s economic calculus in ensuring the mistreatment of detainees, stating, “They know that if the facility is closed they will no longer have their little gold mine.”
Hunger strikers sent a list of demands, which NWDC Resistance read at the public hearing before City Council:
“We want improvement in these things:
1) lower prices in commissary
2) have contact visit at all times
3) pay more than $1 to workers [per day]
4) better food like actual meats instead of soy, beans and rice. Same as Texas, Florida and other detention centers offer.
Those the reasons we should stand together strong. We asking to get the same accommodations as in some other detention facilities. We are going on hunger strike on Tuesday 4/25/17 and we are asking you to join us. To get a change that should make a difference for us and our families!”
While anti-immigrant critics claimed that changes in the NWDC would make other facility conditions worse, hunger strikers themselves express solidarity for detainees throughout the US.
The University of Washington’s International Human Rights Clinic also submitted a letter in support of the hunger strikers demands, commenting, in part, that “until the NWDC closes and immigrants are allowed to face immigration proceedings free within their communities, the city should work to comply with recommendations to the U.S. to ensure persons detained have access to privacy, freedom of movement, activities, contact visits, nutritionally adequate food. The city needs to protect persons detained from discrimination, assault, segregation, and solitary confinement.”
On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, three state senators and one representative from Latino Civic Alliance visited the NWDC to learn more about the facility. Community members are present at gates of the facility to offer solidarity to immigrants on hunger strike. For live updates, visit www.facebook.com/NWDCResistance/.
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NWDC Resistance is a volunteer community group that emerged to fight deportations in 2014 at the now-infamous Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA as part of the #Not1Mmore campaign, and supported people detained who organized hunger strikes asking for a halt to all deportations and better treatment and conditions.
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Photo Credit: Jo Lundahl

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Current Campaign

Free Trade Facts

The Impact Of Free Trade Policy In Washington State

Manufacturing Jobs Lost in Washington State

Jobs Lost due to the Rising Trade Deficit With Mexico

Current Free Trade policy has proven to be a losing battle for workers, farmers, and communities in WA State and around the world.

Why Should I Care?

  • Mexican farmers unable to compete with cheaper American
    corn lose their land and migrate to cities to find work in maquilladoras
    (sweatshops) or to the US and WA State as farm workers
  • 65,193 workers were certified under Trade Adjustment Assistance
    1994-2011 as directly losing their job because of US trade policy (US DoL statistics).
    positions associated with these jobs such as drivers, suppliers and
    small businesses do not qualify and are not counted.
  • Mexican farmers unable to compete with cheaper American
    corn lose their land and migrate to cities to find work in maquilladoras (sweatshops) or to the US and WA State as farm workers

Fair Trade

Not Free Trade

What Would It Look Like?

For too long, U.S. trade policy has benefited transnational corporations at the expense of workers’ rights, consumer safety and the environment at home and abroad. The Washington Fair Trade Coalition, working with local, national, and international partners, aims to build a new model of trade, a model that supports our communities and our world. What could that look like?

Help us fight for fair trade!