A Documentary that Must Get Made—and How You Can Help

If you enjoy this blog, I’m asking a favor, and it’s not for me.

Please consider making a donation for Sam Mayfield, a documentary producer and friend of mine who is raising funds to defray production costs of her new film Wisconsin Rising! The documentary tells the story of how the people of Wisconsin rose up, occupied their state capitol, and took to the streets in a way that has been rarely seen in recent American history. More than one state’s rejection of a conservative takeover, Wisconsin Rising! is a microcosm of what is at stake in America today, at a time of fiscal crisis and ideologically driven budgets.

Donating is easy through Kickstarter. The site enables you to see a trailer and, if you choose, to use your existing Amazon account to contribute. Donations for as little as $1 are gladly accepted.

But do it now. According to Kickstarter rules, Sam has until Saturday to raise a total of $40,000 or she will lose the more than $23,000 that individuals have already given to the project.

The people that funded Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attack on workers were radical billionaires with a national agenda. This is an opportunity for the rest of us to be heard.

I was first introduced to Sam’s work through Silenced Voices,  her film about a 16-year-old Mexican boy who was killed in an accident at a Vermont dairy and the group of farmworkers’ rights advocates who accompanied his body back to his home village. It provides a unique and compelling glimpse into the families and culture that migrant workers leave behind when they come to this country and profoundly improved my understanding of the workers I wrote about in Tomatoland. I am indebted to her.

Silenced Voices was extraordinary and important. Wisconsin Rising! will be more so because it effects every worker in the United States.




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  1. Jenna says:

    I think it’s a mistake to assume that everyone who’s interested in following food politics is a supporter of the Wisconsin protests. Food politics are nuanced in a way that creates strange bedfellows–I hope in the future this blog will stick to food!

  2. S Wright says:

    I clicked on the link to Kickstarter and found:

    760 Backers
    $41,850 pledged of $40,000 goal
    0 seconds to go
    Funding Successful
    This project successfully raised its funding goal 4 days ago

    [subtracting 4 from today’s date 1/25/2012 would be 1/21/2012 Saturday,
    so it appears the goal was reached on the final day]

  3. Syd says:

    The second film may not be food related (on a 1st degree level) but the previous film certainly was as well as being helpful to Barry in his recent book.

    As far as those who follow food politics not being supportive of the Wisconsin protests, that’s a truth. Those who run corporate food, and corporate legislatures are quite annoyed with protests I imagine, since so much of those who work with food on any level are making the least amounts in wages and have the least protections, whether in a factory or serving it as wait staff. Traditionally that’s been good for Corporate America. Keep ‘em busy working and with little power or voice. And keep ‘em separated.

    However, most who are interested in food politics (and this blog is called “Politics of the Plate”) for the reasons of fair food that is safe, good, nutritious, plentiful, available, affordable, etc., probably are not going to get too far sharing, or having their concerns taken seriously with one of the prominent parties in the US.

    Also, despite what someone else might wish, this is Barry’s piece of the internet to do as he wishes with. If he wants to devote his blog to jugglers in clown suits with little dogs wearing feathered hats, well… that’s what Barry gets to do.

    Rock on Barry!

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