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"US-Nicaragua Solidarity Since 1988"

TSTSCA - Supports Olympia Co-op Boycott

The Thurston-Santo Tomas Sister County Association stands in solidarity with the Olympia Food Co-op, and condemns the lawsuit filed against the Co-op as an attempt to undermine the Coopís commitment to social justice by way of legal and financial intimidation.

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-opís 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 the just world we all deserve to live in.

The occupation of Palestine is often viewed as a conflict between Jews and Palestinians, two peoples who share a long and complex history of oppression. We believe it is important to note, however, that the occupying force is not the Jewish people, but the Israeli government. And just as Nicaraguans know that U.S. imperialism comes from the U.S. government and not the people of the U.S., we stand in solidarity not only with the Palestinian people but with tens of thousands of Israeli citizens who speak out against the Occupation as well.

This is not the first time the Co-Op membership has confronted a potentially divisive decision, and we respect the right of individuals or groups to support or disagree with decisions made by the staff and/or board of the Co-op. However, this lawsuit seriously threatens the well-being of an organization well known for its commitment to supporting the local community. We ask the plaintiffs to drop the suit and consider exercising the Co-opís established democratic option of bringing the boycott of Israeli goods to a member vote Ė and/or use other practices more consistent with collaborative, communicative, community-based processes for dispute resolution rather than resorting to the threat and divisiveness created by a lawsuit.

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