From dawn to dusk, Friday was a momentous day for the Wendy’s Boycott and the national struggle for farm labor justice.
In the morning, as Day Five of their fast for farmworker justice dawned on their encampment outside OSU’s administration building, 19 student fasters, along with a team of farmworkers from the CIW based in Columbus for the past six weeks, prepared for their long-awaited meeting with OSU administration officials to discuss their concerns over human rights conditions in Wendy’s supply chain. Lifted up by support from allies nationwide, including scores that dedicated their own sacrifice on the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, students’ goal was unwavering: to demand an answer, once and for all, as to whether the university would honor its commitment to cut its contract with Wendy’s over the fast food giant’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program.
Then later that afternoon, following seven days of growing excitement as the Return to Human Rights Tour made its way from Atlanta and Nashville to Minneapolis and Chicago, the tour crew of workers from Immokalee and their allies arrived to Columbus to join forces with hundreds of national allies for a weekend of action.
In a moving Friday afternoon vigil outside of Wendy's headquarters in Dublin, OH that kicked off the weekend, a delegation of religious leaders — hailing from several denominations of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism — joined CIW farmworker leaders to commend the student fasters and, right on their doorstep, call on Wendy’s to take a basic moral stand for human rights.
In spite of all the obstacles set before the growing Fair Food Nation — be it by Wendy’s, by OSU’s administration, or by other forces working to turn back on the clock on basic human rights in this country — the convergence yesterday of scores of indefatigable farmworkers from Florida, courageous student fasters from OSU, and steadfast allies arriving from all over the nation made one thing perfectly clear: Columbus, Ohio, is indeed, today, ground zero in the battle for Fair Food.