Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

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Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

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who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

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"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

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JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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Coalition of Immokalee Workers Pressure Wendy's to Sign Agreement Improving Florida Farmworkers' Wages and Conditions

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Posted May 29, 2013

Interview with Gerardo Reyes Chavez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers organizer, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Over the past eight years, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has reached agreements with four of the top five largest fast food restaurant chains – Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King and Subway – and seven others, to join the coalition's Fair Food Program, which covers 90 percent of the tomato industry in Florida. The program commits the companies to pay an extra penny a pound for tomatoes, which is then passed directly onto the workers. The funds collected in the program over the past several years has totaled $10 million.

The agreement also guarantees accurate accounting of work hours, health and safety protections, and zero tolerance for sexual harassment and slavery, both of which have been major problems in the tomato fields. The workers' coalition has been recognized for its anti-slavery work resulting in the emancipation of more than 1,000 workers who were being held captive in deplorable conditions.

Wendy's restaurant is the only one of the top five restaurant chains not to have signed onto the Fair Food Program, so members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, or CIW, and their supporters held a rally in New York City and a press conference on May 23 outside the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan, where the Wendy's annual shareholders' meeting was taking place. One of the speakers was farmworker and CIW organizer Gerardo Reyes Chavez, who recounted the long struggle of the Immokalee tomato pickers in Florida and the intransigence of Wendy's in ignoring calls to sign onto the coalition’s Fair Food program in bettering the lives of farmworkers. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus was at the press conference and recorded Chavez's comments.

GERARDO REYES CHAVEZ: I want to start by saying thanks to everyone for being here and to mention the importance of this historic program, the Fair Food Program, and the importance of the historic moment in which we are today with all the changes taking place in the tomato industry of Florida. Twelve years ago, it was just a dream that the farmworker community had, that one day we would be changing the conditions that existed for too long – conditions of abuse, conditions where farmworkers' dignity was constantly being stepped on ... conditions that are changing today because of the implementation of the program that the farmworkers created. The Fair Food Program is a unique collaboration between workers, tomato producers, and corporations that are participating, to ensure better wages and working conditions in Florida tomato fields, and implementing a zero tolerance policy for conditions of slavery and sexual harassment. Eleven corporations have signed, including Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, among others, committing their purchases under the Fair Food Program and working with 90 percent of the tomato industry in the state. Corporations are paying a premium pay to address sub-poverty wages and conditioning their purchasing on the implementation of rights for farmworkers in the tomato supply chain.

To talk a little bit about the case of slavery that was mentioned by my co-worker. In this case, this worker complained of being sexually harassed by her boss. When she complained, the tomato company refused to take action right away. So the buyers that have signed, that were buying tomatoes from that company, called and said, You have to fix this problem right away if you want to keep in business with us. When that happened, the company right away called the CIW, and the problem was fixed. This crew leader – who was the main person for hiring workers for this company – was fired, a situation that had never happened before until the application of the Fair Food Program. (Applause)

Thanks to the Fair Food Program, no women, and no worker, when they complain, have to give up their dignity to be able to feed their kids. It is something that's happening today.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Another example that's very powerful. When an older worker was asked, what was the most important thing for him in terms of the changes happening because of the program, he said, "I have spent my entire life in the fields, and I have seen kids become adults in the tomato rows. I have never seen the tomato industry treat us with respect until now. Thanks to the Fair Food Program, now they don't treat us like dogs." If Wendy's was the buyer for the farms where these abuses happen, the only thing that would happen there would be business as usual. Wendy's would not do anything, because they have not signed this important agreement, and they are not supporting the changes.

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