Members of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op sing in support of their efforts to restore democracy at the Co-op and advocate for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Click here for recent updates on the Sacramento Food Co-op campaign to boycott Israeli goods.
Co-op Members Sing for Democracy
By Maggie Coulter, on SacramentoPress.com
June 5, 2011
Over 50 members of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op serenaded Co-op shoppers on the public sidewalk next to the Co-op on Friday afternoon, June 3, with back-up guitar, base, and tambourines.
Holding colorful balloons and signs, members sang, “This is my coop; This is your Co-op” to the tune of “This Land is Your Land”. Several shoppers stopped and joined in: “We’re member owners, Our voices m-a-t-t-er, This co-op belongs to you and me.” [ Click here for song lyrics.]...
“We’re here because we care about our Co-op, our community, and our democracy,” said Susan Bush, a Co-op Member since the 1980s. “The Co-op Board claims it supports democracy but it is refusing to let members vote on qualified initiatives as required in the Bylaws. We encourage Co-op members to read the Bylaws and demand that the Board follow them. The Board is trying to censor discussion and take away our right to vote. That’s autocratic, not democratic.”
Co-op Bylaws Section 10.06 mandates the Board to place measures on the ballot once two procedural requirements are met, gathering signatures and proposing the requested action at a Board or Member meeting. Co-op Members met these requirements for the Human Rights initiative in February and the Restore Co-op Democracy initiative in May. The Board has refused to put the Human Rights initiative on the ballot and will address the Restore Co-op Democracy initiative at its June 7, 6pm meeting at 1914 Alhambra. (A Bylaws analysis is available at www.coopdemocracy.org.)
Joining the rally was Israeli activist Dalit Baum, who addressed the proposed Human Rights Initiative that would allow members to vote on whether they want the store to support Palestinian human rights by not carrying Israeli products until Israel stops violating those rights.
“People all over the world, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, are trying to pressure Israel to obey international laws, protect human rights and be a real democracy,” said Baum. “It is heartening to see you here in Sacramento be part of that effort. Boycott and divestment helped South Africa to end apartheid and move to becoming a real democracy. These non-violent strategies can do the same for Israel/Palestine.”
[Read full article.]
In spite of creative actions by coop members (and thus partial owners), the Sacramento Food Co-op Board continues to thwart efforts towards socially-responsible product selection.
On June 9th, the Sacramento Press reported that the board instituted a bylaw amendment to restrict purchasing criteria. Read more...
On June 30th, pro-boycott co-op members began court proceedings to take the co-op to court, if need be, to reinstate bylaws giving members the right to put initiatives on the co-op ballot, including those regarding the human rights implications of Israeli products. Read more...
Click here for updates on the Sacramento Food Co-op campaign to boycott Israeli goods.