Yes, Those Are Slaves On The Steps of The Florida Capitol Today
|New Times photo|
|Haitian farm workers in Homestead|
Their solution? Re-staging the horrors of farm-labor slavery at the Capitol, where Crist "won't be able to turn his back" on the problem, according to organizers. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has bused 60 workers to Tallahassee for the protest and gathered 34,000 signatures, Julia Perkins, a group staffer, tells Riptide.
"When we called Crist to ask for a meeting about slave labor, he referred us to the Department of Agriculture, who told us, 'Well, it's just one case a year usually,'" Perkins says. "As if one case a year of slavery is OK."
"There hasn't been any response to this abuse from the guy in the executive office," Perkins says. "We're looking for the governor to sit down and meet with these community workers who are here in Tallahassee today."
The problem goes well beyond Immokalee's tomato field's -- a New Times' investigation earlier this year found widespread abuse and under-payment of workers on the snap bean farms around Homestead. And a recent series in Gourmet magazine found that many undocumented workers in the state earn less than $200 a week and face daily abuse from supervisors.
Are you watching, Charlie?