“Men [and women] make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.” — Karl Marx
Like all of you, our Real Food Media team is doing our best to respond to the immediate needs of our families, communities, and partners during the COVID-19 crisis. But as always, we’ve also got our eye on the many stories being told.
One such story is that of a heroic “war-time” president and the corporations that will save us—and the corporations that must themselves be saved to keep the economy afloat. Another—for us, far more compelling—story is that of the food, farm, healthcare, sanitation, transit, and many other often invisible workers making society run smoothly—and performing heroic duties in this crisis.
The pandemic has shone a light on the many vulnerabilities and inequities of the global capitalist system, not least the appalling working conditions of those who feed us. Our friends at Food Chain Workers Alliance have put together a list of urgent demands that include both emergency measures and long-overdue responses to basic rights workers have been demanding for years, even decades (see below).
Is the pandemic awakening a broad public commitment to taking care of everyone in our society, especially those most vulnerable? Can we engender a response that envisions more than just a return to pre-pandemic “normalcy” in which too many people, not to mention our planet, suffered greatly? We hope so. And we will be working, along with you and our partners, to center our communities as the heroes and sheroes of the new story that is unfolding.
As Marx’s comment suggests, we don’t get to choose the circumstances, but we do make our own history.
In community and solidarity,
Tanya, Tiffani, Christina, and Anna
Header image: Agroecology Learning Exchange in Bangalore, India this February. Photo by Rucha Chitnis