Over the past 50+ years, former Lake Apopka farmworkers, as well as current Apopka farmworkers have been exposed to highly toxic and debilitating chemical pesticides. Cancer, lupus, diabetes, and even death, now all plague the community of Apopka, Florida.
But through the community’s struggles and never-ending fight for environmental justice, the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilts were born! Dedicated to remembering and honoring those who gave their lives to feed America, the Quilts and the stories that every square tells is being heard across the globe!
From December 3 through December 6, the “Big 6” agrochemical trans-national corporations—Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, and Dupont—will be put on trial by the Permanent People’s Tribunal in Bangalore, India for their alleged crimes against humanity, including basic rights to life, livelihood, and health. Representing specific toxic sites across the globe, including the former farmlands surrounding Lake Apopka, the Pesticide Action Network International is fighting against the abuses committed by these corporations.
But for former Lake Apopka farmworkers Geraldean Matthew, a leading activist with the Apopka community, and Linda Lee, the primary creator of the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilts, the Permanent People’s Tribunal means that the stories and the struggles of their community will resonate throughout the entire world.
Through dedication and endless persistence, Ms. Matthew and Ms. Lee hope that this will spark change in US environmental and agricultural policy that will now, and forever in the future, protect farmworkers and give them the dignity they deserve.
Read more here.