Friday, May 27, 2011

Message to Quiznos from a Florida tomato

During the Spring Blitz for Farmworker Justice, we were joined by a number of Florida tomatoes, one of which gave an inspiring speech inside the first-ever Quiznos restaurant. Sadly we had technical difficulties with the video of the speech, but without further ado we'd like to share the transcript . . .

Quiznos: I am a tomato from Immokalee, Florida and I have a message for you. I have traveled a great distance to deliver this message. Many of my dear friends spoiled next to me along the way so I do not have the same patience that these kind people of Denver have been showing you.

Your complicity in the exploitation and abuse of the humble soul who so gently plucked me from the vine that nurtured me is nothing short of shameful.

We tomatoes are enraged that our succulence is an object of profit for you at the expense of our companeras' and companeros' human rights. We know the true cost you pay for us when you leverage your large purchasing power, and we can see through your carefully calculated public relations.

One penny more and a place at the table, that is all they are asking of you. Just one penny. Think of all the pennies that my family has made for you.

A place at the table is all they want. We have been complimentary served at many of your corporate meetings, so we know its a fact there are plenty of open seats for farmworkers at those tables.

Make no mistake about it. Tomatoes everywhere proudly and decisively stand with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and the principles of Fair Food.

In fact, we tomatoes have a beautiful legacy of fighting for what is right. We were harvested in Palmares and have crippled tyrants with food poisoning. Freedom fighters held captive in cold prison cells have been given strength due to our vital source of Vitamin C. It was us who provided the antioxidant Lycopene to heroic organizers like Dolores Huerta, Ella Baker, Emma Tenayuca, and, not so far away from here, Flaming Milka Sablich.

I will be on my way shortly because we have been busy the last few months, keeping rebellious bellies full from Eygpt to Wisconsin.

But before for I part, I want to leave you with some words being spoken out of Immokalee: “It is not a question of whether we will win, but when.” And we promise you that on the day victory arrives you will be able to taste its sweetness in every single tomato slice put on a Quizno sub.

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