The massive rise in food prices is yet another attack on the working class. These price increases are hitting the poorest the hardest as they spend the greatest percentage of their income on food. For the rich, the impact will be like being hit by a feather. The rises are being blamed on ‘natural’ factors such as drought, bad harvest and the increase in demand outstripping supply. Though this may be part of the story, the basic cause of rising food prices is the way the global food system works. Food is a global commodity, bought and sold by huge corporations with the actual producers seeing little profit. Rather than food being produced for a local market, it is shipped all around the world, with many countries, including Britain, unable to feed themselves without importing. In addition, food is the target of speculation, with banks essentially ‘betting’ on food and causing a large part of recent price rises. Then, once this already more expensive food is ready to be sold to consumers, the supermarkets who dominate food sales in this country make sure that they pass on the price rises to consumers, desperate to protect their profits.
Many revolutions have been started by rises in food prices. May Day is our occasion to reaffirm our commitment to creating a new society. We will be meeting up in central London at 3 pm. We will do short protests outside a number of the supermarket chain stores. You may want to join us there or else organise your own protests outside supermarkets in your local area.
More information to follow.