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Healdsburg
May 26, 2024

Farmworker Protest Planned in Healdsburg Plaza

A farmworker protest is being planned in the plaza during the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience’s pinnacle event on Saturday: the “grand tasting” downtown. The demonstration is called “Power in the Plaza,” and like last year, it’s being organized by the local labor group North Bay Jobs With Justice. “Farmworkers are TAKING ACTION during the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience,” organizers write on Instagram. “Without farmworkers, there would be no wine, so why are workers being treated with such disrespect and paid such low wages by the Sonoma County winegrowers? 🍷💰 Workers deserve more — DIGNITY, JUSTICE, and DIGNIFIED WAGES. Join us as farmworker leaders announce their demands ahead of harvest. Spread the word! ✊🏽🚩” Here’s what Healdsburg Tribune news editor Christian Kallen observed at last year’s protest: “Describing Healdsburg as the ‘center of wealth in Sonoma County,’ Davin Cardenas rallied a crowd of some 200 farmworkers, their families and supporters at Giorgi Park on Saturday in a demonstration in support of disaster pay for farmworkers. Gathering strength and numbers as it went, the group marched down residential Piper Street toward the Plaza and did a loud loop in front of West Plaza Park. Then it settled at the gazebo for music, speeches and chants extolling the power of labor in the success of Healdsburg’s food and wine notoriety. … Also noted was the disparity between the attendees of the Healdsburg Wine and Food Experience, whose VIP tickets cost over $4,000, and the $17 hourly wage of farmworkers.” Some city politicians showed up to the protest last year to show their support, as well. In a lively comment thread about this year’s planned 11 a.m. demonstration in the “What’s Happening Healdsburg” Facebook group, farmers market manager Janet Ciel is asking organizers to “find an alternate location to start the rally and move to the plaza once we leave” around noon. She writes: “It’s complicated to have two events going on simultaneously. We have a Dixieland Jazz band booked for this market. I can’t see how both can go on together. We’re permitted to be there, whereas they are not. In previous years they’ve begun the rally elsewhere and moved to the plaza, and this would be ideal. We’re gone by 1pm. And of course we support farm workers, and what this is about!! But that’s not the point. We just want the market to happen as easily as it can, given we’re moving everyone for just this one week. Hope you can all understand.” Should be a pretty energetic day downtown, however it shakes out… (Source: Healdsburg Tribune & Facebook Groups & North Bay Labor Council & North Bay Jobs With Justice via Instagram)

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