In promotion of a green, new economy, ORWC's newest working group has put together a Labor Day weekend community event that will serve as an example of a green alternative to the usual Labor Day festivities, and one that calls attention to the plight of workers across our country who labor every day to make a living.
This new working group, the Environmental and Food Justice Working Group, is hosting ORWC’s Really Really Free Market (RRFM) TODAY at the corner of Main and Beech Streets! ORWC is proud to be joined by Green Sangha, a group dedicated to bringing spiritual practice and environmental work together to heal our communities.
No exchange of money or bartering is allowed at the RRFM. The RRFM is a living example of a "gift economy" in which people bring the items and services they want to give away and take what they need. ORWC has been hosting monthly RRFMs since Earth Day 2012 and Green Sangha will be holding their second annual "Solar Cooking Demonstration and Food Offering" at today's RRFM.
Because RRFMs are devoted to the re-use and re-gifting of goods and services that would otherwise go to waste, they are an inherently green form of interaction and an active rejection of the current economic model. As income inequality increases and as corporations and the 1% stifle the voice of the people via massive financial influence within the halls of government, it is no surprise that people are looking for these alternatives to the traditional economic model that is disenfranchising them.
ORWC’s newest working group has also begun monthly dumpster diving expeditions in coordination with the RRFMs. The food reclaimed from these monthly actions have fed countless people in our community: ORWC’s July dumpster diving evening generated enough food to help feed about thirty people at Occupy San Jose’s (OSJ) “Occusoup” event, in which food was prepared and donated to our sisters and brothers who were homeless or at-risk; some were Occupiers themselves. In light of the recent revelation that 40% of our nation’s food goes in the trash, ORWC considers our monthly dumpster dives to be small but important acts of reclamation and resistance to a culture of waste and ungratefulness.
Labor Day weekend is a time when working people are supposed to be celebrated and honored. Instead, everyday workers are facing attack from all levels of government and within all facets of the current economic system.
Amidst this atmosphere, ORWC is proud to have played a small part in helping our fellow members of the 99% get by with our monthly food reclamations and RRFMs. We understand that helping our embattled neighbors doesn’t just involve putting pressure on the corporations and government bodies that disenfranchise us: it also means fostering a culture of direct action and giving within our own communities. We are proud to be involved in this way and challenge all corporations, government bodies, community groups, and individuals with a conscience to begin emulating some of our practices as we look ahead to the holiday season.
ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at City Hall in Redwood CIty, with General Assemblies commencing at at 6 PM.