Sunday kicked off the fifteenth-annual conference by the Community Food Security Coalition at the Oakland Marriott City Center. When deciding upon the location for this year’s event, organizers couldn’t have known how well their timing would dovetail with the local Occupy movement. Yet it was clear that speakers and facilitators would capitalize on the themes playing out down the street (e.g., “Overturn the one percent that control our food system!”).
Much like the 99% movement is a large umbrella for many different causes, the food justice conference brought more than one thousand people together, all with individual (yet interconnected) concerns: child consumption of junk food, pesticide usage, urban agriculture, etc. The urgency and excitement could be felt in equal measure. “We’re here to occupy Oakland!” said organizer Eric Holt-Giménez.