One of the more truly politically-aware, and activist, lists I'm on is the COMFOOD list-serv (Community Food movement). Most of the folks on COMFOOD understand that "political" does not simply mean "being involved in government" or "activism to change/repeal/enact laws and policies." That is, they know from life experience and solid critical thought that politics in the narrow sense of "government" -- elected office holders, policy-making, arguments over decisions, and the like -- is not only just one, thin, narrow, shallow manifestation of power, it is also the face that deceives many into thinking that power does not shape people and the planet in any other realm. But it does, of course - and when power goes unseen, unacknowledged, unconfronted in science, education, economics, recreation, entertainment, the arts, "private life," and the many forms of public and private, corporate and domestic consumption .... well, that's how structures and practices of elite dominance and destruction become enormous and intractable. By fooling the majority into thinking that only "public" and government "power" is the politics to contest.
Food, of course, like farming, has been off the radar of the narrowly government-politics-focused "progressive" movements for decades. After all, food was marked off as inconsequential (so long as there was enough of it), just some silly "women / mothers/ homemakers" thing. Farming, as the U.S. became more and more urban, was likewise pushed off the platform as both the largely wealthy, urban-centric politic elites and their so-called progressive opponents dismissed farming as concerning only rural (i.e. ignorant, over-conservative, and thus uninteresting) whites.
Yet food and farming could be argued to be the ultimate example of how the personal is totally political! We all eat. And most of our food still, despite ravaging the oceans and fantasizing about hydroponics, comes from the land. Who eats - how much - of what kind and quality - is entirely politically determined, not simply through how money and infrastructure are allocated, but more broadly, through people's cultural decisions on what to eat. Food and farming decisions, and thus societal, economic, and political support involve not just economic class and environmental awareness but also concern for community, issues of ethnic identity, justice for workers, ethics for people, animals and ecosystems and yes.... what the departed and unlamented list-member Robert Mann hated the most... gender. ("Real Men Eat Beef" - it's the cowboy way to destroy the planet faster! But women eat quiche, and worry about nutrition and kids and animal welfare, and start home and school gardens, and go vegetarian in far larger numbers, in the West.)
Okay, so given that SftP has this traditional tendency to focus over-much, in my opinion, on the "public politics" that scientists and white men have traditionally indulged in, I think it's always good to look at how the play of power in science (such as our giant, hugely funded complex of Ag universities) and the lives of ordinary people can be altered through awareness of the politics of food! Here's a post from the Community-Food list-serv that speaks to that.
Could we maybe, collectively, think about what kind of "Science Demands for Occupy Wall St." we could come up with -- and forward to this growing movement?
Shouldn't we be part of it?