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December 2012
Posted: December 18th, 2012 By BWM

A while ago, I got word that a new straight edge related project was in the works. Being straight edge myself, I was really curious to hear what kind of project this was, and what the project intended to accomplish. When I heard that the main theme of the project was discussing straight edge beyond punk rock, I was instantly hooked and have been patiently waiting since. We are extremely excited for this project to launch, we hope you are too!

Counter Conduct is an effort to best document anti-authoritarian aspirations and critiques coming from those who have been influenced and shaped by straightedge and to examine how embodied practices make antiauthoritarian politics more viable. Many of our peers do incredible work somewhat invisibly anchored to this commitment and we aim to make that intersection more visible and reflect on its various iterations. Counter Conduct is a project that not only wishes to add to the critical discourse of resistance, but to also dismantle conceptions and realities of an often rigid subculture.  Counter Conduct will launch in early 2013″

Posted: December 10th, 2012 By BWM

In case you didn’t know, our good friends at Food Empowerment Project have an awesome page focusing on slavery in the chocolate industry. They have also been so kind to publish a company list containing companies they can recommend (companies using slavery free chocolate), and those they cannot (companies using questionable chocolate or chocolate sourced from child slavery). We would like to thank F.E.P for keeping the pressure on the company Clif bar about the origin of their chocolate, but this time they are asking for our help! Please check out their petition against Clif Bar, sign it, and pass it along to friends and family.

“Isn’t it disappointing when a “socially responsible” company refuses to be transparent?

We at Food Empowerment Project have long enjoyed the products from Clif Bar & Company, including energy bars that contain chocolate. But when we asked Clif last year, “From which countries do you get cocoa beans?” they refused to tell us.

With some 1.7 million children in Ghana and the Ivory Coast being used as slaves in the chocolate industry, we as consumers have the right to know.

Many chocolate companies – including Newman’s Own – disclosed to us where their cocoa beans come from, so what does Clif Bar have to hide? We are not asking for full supply chain information or grower names – simply the cocoa beans’ country of origin.

Plantations in Ghana and the Ivory Coast together supply 70 percent of the world’s cocoa. For years, these farms have used child slaves, who work 12 hours a day. They cut cocoa pods from trees with heavy machetes, slice the pods open, scoop out the beans, and put them in the sun to dry. Then they stuff the beans into bags and load them onto trucks bound for the United States and Europe. Children are not paid, they are cut off from their families, and when they don’t work fast enough, they are beaten.

Clif Bar acknowledges on their website “that food matters to our families, our communities, and our planet – as our food choices affect the physical, social, and environmental fabric of our lives.” They even pledge a commitment to communities worldwide. Yet this now all seems to be empty rhetoric.

Recently, Clif Bar announced that they intend to use the Rainforest Alliance certification, a system that imposes the least amount of requirements on the companies that plan to use its seal and does not guarantee the cocoa is free of child labor or slavery. While we appreciate Clif Bar’s effort, our question remains the same: Where do you source your cocoa from?

How could a company that prides itself on social responsibility choose to not be transparent about an issue as important as child slavery?

Please join us in asking them.”

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