We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the Olympia Food Co-op, and condemn the lawsuit filed against the Co-op in an attempt to undermine the Co-op’s commitment to social justice by way of legal and financial intimidation. We call on the plaintiffs to exercise the Co-op’s democratic option – bringing the boycott of Israeli goods to a member vote – instead of launching an aggressive lawsuit which seriously threatens the well-being of a cornerstone of the Olympia community. Lawsuits intended to silence and intimidate those who speak out against injustice should have no place in a democratic society.
For over three decades, the Co-op has enriched the Olympia community by striving to provide healthy, local, and sustainable food, and has rightly understood food sovereignty as one piece of the larger project of building a better world. From its emphasis on cooperative self-management, to its unswerving support for the local sustainable agriculture movement, to its persistent refusal to carry goods produced in ways that conflict with its core values, social justice has always been integral to the Co-op’s mission. The lawsuit against the Co-op is an attack on this commitment to social justice, and, by extension, on all of us who raise our voices against injustice and in the hope of creating a better world. For, as the author James Baldwin once wrote to wrongfully imprisoned Angela Davis, “if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
We therefore stand in solidarity with Olympia Food Co-op, and say to those who have brought this lawsuit: we will not be intimidated or silenced!
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