“Does the revolution begin with food?” was the title of a panel discussion held on August 20th in Marshfield, VT as part of the Institute for Social Ecology’s annual summer gathering. As chronicled in Organic Revolutionary, the field of social ecology has been my intellectual home for thirty years. Our panel with fellow ISE director Brian Tokar, Michelle Glowa of the California Institute for Integral Studies, and Wazir Mohamed of Indiana University looked at the social movements that have been seeded and nurtured through a focus on how food is produced, by whom, and for whom. Our discussion generated agreement that the marginalized and disenfranchised folks of the Global South, along with people of color and indigenous communities in North America, are the hopeful source of leadership towards democratic self-determination – beginning with food sovereignty and environmental justice.
The revolution now in progress led by Kurdish communities in the region known as Rojava was a central topic of our weekend together. This struggle has a direct relationship to social ecology due to the influence of writings by the ISE’s co-founder, Murray Bookchin, on the Kurds’ imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan. The plight of Rojava has been in the news lately, now that Turkey has invaded Syria with US support, primarily to prevent Rojava from forming a unified Kurdish corridor on its border. It is a complicated situation, to be sure, but humanitarian aid to these communities, who have been the most effective fighters against the Islamic State in Syria, is urgently needed. To learn more, please visit the North American Rojava Alliance.
I’ll be talking about why the revolution begins with food at Bluestockings bookstore in New York on Sunday, September 25th.