23: On Activism
Protests past and present
These are tumultuous times, aren’t they? This issue was supposed to be a Mise week for Bord–that’s our regular feature where we tell the story behind one of the city’s great dishes. But politics, as they have a way of doing, intervened. You may recall from previous issues that there’s been a crackdown here in Denmark on visas for chefs from outside the EU. A couple of days ago, a group of chefs decided they have had enough. To protest the continued frustrations and obstacles they and their colleagues have encountered in their attempts to apply for a Danish work permit, they will be holding a sit-in tomorrow (Monday) morning in front of SIRI, the agency responsible for visas. And since it’s not every day that a bunch of chefs take to the picket lines, you’re going to have to wait til next week for the story of that sexy carrot dish. Instead, we’ve got an interview with the sit-in’s organizer, Jessie Liu.
The protest announcement, coupled with the recent calls for unionization and walkouts as a way to combat unfair and abusive labor practices in the industry got me wondering about other times in history when hospitality workers from across a city or country came together to demand better conditions. Turns out, it’s quite the rabbit hole.