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Fair Trade - National

“Hey hey, ho ho, child labor has got to go!” echoed through Times Square last Wednesday, as we rallied outside of the Hershey store.

You MUST SEE it for yourself what an extraordinary sight it was, with 2-300 people, mostly K-12 students, standing up for the rights of youth on the other side of the globe.  It was a profoundly embarrassing moment for Hershey, when hundreds of youth – the demographic that much of the company’s products and merchandising caters to – came to Hershey’s own front doorstep carrying signs, shouting chants, and calling Hershey out in public for using child labor in the cocoa fields.

Check out the incredible youth energy on this 15-second video, + more at http://www.youtube.com/raisethebarhershey

See photos, including kids’ moving and powerful poster messages to Hershey: 


Will YOU take just 5 minutes to take a stand with these youth??

Only you can ensure that the message of these youth reaches out across the internet, educating millions of people and resulting in real change.

Please help us reach our goal of getting thousands of views on our rally video.

  1. Watch the video of human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy speaking at the rally
  2. “Like” the video on Facebook
  3. Forward this email and/or “share” the video through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc with as many of your contacts as possible….how about 30?  50?  100?  300?
  4. Tweet Kerry Kennedy’s moving speech
  • "Must-see rally video: "Nothing sweet about child labor."- Kerry Kennedy & youth @ NYC Hershey store http://bit.ly/mEpKPW #HersheyGoFair PRT

ALSO:  Please make a contribution for our next rally!

This rally was an extraordinary success and we want to do more, so we can END forced and child labor in the cocoa fields for good!  Amplified sound, posters, permits, etc cost hundreds of dollars.  Please make a generous contribution (we’re asking everyone to pitch in at least $5, but more appreciated/needed!) at https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/703/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=7396.

More details on the rally:

First to arrive at the scene were 5th grade students from Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  Fired up and ready to go, these 11-year-olds grabbed hold of the megaphone, initiating the chanting and marching outside the Hershey Store for the next few hours.  Moments later, students from New York and New Jersey high schools arrived and began chanting and dancing along the streets, calling on Hershey to go Fair Trade.

Members of the coordinating organizations and a countless number of the thousands of locals and tourists that constantly throng Times Square joined the protest, grabbed signs to enthusiastically hold high, picked up informational flyers, signed petitions, and participated in the call-in action to Hershey.  The turnout to hold Hershey accountable for failure to eliminate child labor from its supply chain was so huge that there wasn’t enough space in front of the Hershey Store and we completely filled the sidewalks on both sides of the street as well as the adjacent loading zone, but that only made our chants louder!  Anyone who drove between the two massive groups on Broadway, the major thoroughfare through Times Square, heard our cries for justice reverberating in their cars.  

Fair Trade Campaign Director Adrienne Fitch-Frankel was the Master of Ceremonies.  Speakers included 11-year-old Marie Hogan, Global Exchange’s San Francisco Sweet Smarts chapter leader, and Neil Rathan, an NYC teacher whose use of Global Exchange’s Fair Trade unit inspired his students to launch Children Against Chocolate Aided Oppression (which challenges forced and child labor in the cocoa industry and promotes Fair Trade).  The band Left on Red, the Raging Grannies, and New Jersey’s St. Benedictine Academy also performed songs and slam poetry.

The Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign is organized by Global Exchange, Green America, and International Labor Rights Forum.  For more information, visit http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/raisethebarhershey.html.

Let’s show Hershey that we will not back down.  We will continue to urge Hershey and other chocolate companies to end their abuses in the cocoa industry.  
Thanks and congratulations to each of you who helped make the rally a success, whether you came to the rally, forwarded an invitation to folks in New York (MANY participants heard about the rally through your forwarded emails, Facebook, etc), participated in the call-in action, etc.  Your dedication to the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign is an inspiration to us all.

The chant at the end?“Hershey, make your chocolate fair, or we’ll be back here in Times Square.”

PS:  Don’t forget to take the We Want More from Our S’mores action this summer.

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