More than two weeks after embarking on an odyssey that would ultimately cover 14 states and over 2,000 miles, the Return to Human Rights Tour crew was given a warm welcome by nearly 300 of their closest friends in Tampa on Wednesday! The tour's grand finale included a massive march from a Publix Greenwise store in Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood, to a Wendy’s restaurant on the highly trafficked Kennedy Boulevard, and a joyous rally looking to a future of an ever more powerful Fair Food movement.
People of faith from congregations in Naples all the way up to Orlando joined Immokalee farmworkers, students, worker leaders from local unions and grassroots labor movements, and a number of community organizations coming from as far as Palm Beach to take the tour's incredible energy home and finish off strong — leaving Publix and Wendy's with the message that, the longer they delay justice to farmworkers, the more united, steadfast and louder our movement's call will be!
With that, the Return to Human Rights Tour is a wrap. From the Sunshine State to its hometown of Columbus, Wendy’s felt the heat of a Fair Food Nation too long denied a simple request, perhaps best captured by CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo in Columbus: Farmworkers want to live with freedom and dignity, and refuse to be forced to return to the dark days of wage theft, sexual abuse, and forced labor. Until that reality reaches all workers, we'll be back, and we'll be stronger.
Finally, thank you to everyone across the Fair Food network who supported the tour with their incredible generosity. Truly, it is thanks to a number of committed allies that the intrepid Immokalee tour crew was fed, housed, equipped, and certainly, accompanied in the many colorful, spirited actions of the tour! We hope to see you again soon.