'A Little Slavery' Is Not OK, Gov. Crist

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2009 5:54 PM CST
Farm worker advocates holding a large petition with thousands of signatures demonstrate in front of the Burger King headquarters building in Miami.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A dozen years of prosecutions against Florida slave-holders still hasn't convinced Gov. Charlie Crist to back the cause—but he better, Barry Estabrook writes in Gourmet. Advocacy groups, who have tried for 2 years to meet with him, now threaten to re-enact slavery abuses in the state’s capital. Such pressure has won over "other powerful folks who initially refused to play ball," writes Estabrook.

Some fast-food corporations, appalled by stories of beatings and shackled workers, now refuse to deal with tomato growers who worked with slave-holders. More than 1,000 slaves have been freed in Florida since 1997, but Crist still passed the issue off to the Department of Agriculture. “Any instance is too many,” a department spokesman said, "but you’re talking about maybe a case a year.”