This is a Call to Action for a Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere
Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.
When authorities got wind of a demonstration planned for Monday outside the Food and Drug Administration’s offices in College Park, they fortified their defenses.
A motorcycle and nine police vans, ominously marked “Homeland Security,” parked in front of the FDA building, and uniformed officers fanned out across the entrance, where they waited.
They needn’t have. The demonstrators, demanding that the FDA require the labeling of genetically modified foods, hadn’t come with violence in mind, or even civil disobedience. They had come to cook a 50-gallon vat of soup on the sidewalk and then consume the stuff — a first-ever “eat-in” at the FDA, they said.
There were no foul-mouthed anarchists dressed in black — just the sort of well-heeled crowd you’d come across at Whole Foods. “I packed up my kids’ lunches and drove from Boston to Hartford to ride a bus for five hours,” Kristi Marsh told the crowd, using the sound system to recount her trip to Monday’s protest. She wore a chef’s hat hand-lettered with the words “Everyday Mom.”
“I’ve never, ever protested before,” Marsh told me after her speech. “I was nervous. I had these visions of overturned buses and policemen dressed up like storm troopers. But when I saw part of the labor was to commit to no alcohol, no drugs, no violence, then I thought, ‘I want to be present.’ ”
She reached into her handbag. “Want some sunscreen?” she asked.
This is the face of the new protest movement — or at least organizers hope to make it so.
“We wanted a comfortable event,” Tom Llewellyn, the 30-year-old organizer, said of the FDA action, billed as “a day of sunshine and picnic-style protest” against GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. “It’s all about who you’re appealing to. There has to be a face of the movement for every single demographic to connect with.”
Taking a page from the gay-rights playbook, other causes on the left are holding fewer of the disruptive protests of recent decades and opting for persuasion over confrontation. In part, this strategy reflects the failure of recent movements, such as Occupy Wall Street and the anti-globalization demonstrations, to turn protesters’ enthusiasm into enduring public support.
The campaign against GMOs is typical: The movement has dropped its demand that such altered foods be banned, instead embracing the more reasonable goal of labeling such foods accurately. And activists are looking for non-threatening ways to broaden the cause’s appeal.
Llewellyn based Monday’s event on “Stone Soup,” a European folk tale about a traveler who persuades villagers to contribute to a communal meal. He borrowed the idea from peace activists of decades past, but made his a GMO-free soup.
“I’ve come here with this magical soup stone,” he told the crowd of 60, which swelled through the morning as the soup boiled.
The demonstrators, some wearing aprons, chef’s hats or clothing with GMO themes (“Give Peas a Chance”), handed over their organic vegetables and told their stories to the TV crews and reporters who had come to witness the spectacle:
“Hi, I’m Tory and this is my grandmother Nettie. We brought carrots . . . ”
Peter, a 12-year-old from Pennsylvania, announced: “I came here today with just organic mushrooms.” His mom patted him on the back after his turn at the microphone.
Another woman said, “My name is Erin O’Maley. I’m a chiropractor. . . . I brought some zucchini.”
A woman from Atlanta, Jay, was one of several to call for the resignation of Michael Taylor, the deputy FDA commissioner who had worked at Monsanto, a major GMO producer. “I’m a mother of an 8-year-old child and she’s not a science experiment,” the woman said.
Not all of the demonstrators were of the sort that would help the movement broaden its appeal. One man, in fatigues and a T-shirt covered with handwritten slogans, said he had brought “a non-edible mushroom” and complained that “my soup kitchen serves food that sucks.”
But the organizers found their target audience in Marsh of Massachusetts. Marsh, who writes tips on healthful living, said the image of the typical protest, angry and defiant, “scares people away.”
But as the soup simmered Monday, she told her fellow demonstrators that she would convert other mothers — “everyday me’s,” she called them — to the cause. “As long as you are out there doing this kind of stuff, I will be out there,” she said. “And I will be educating the everyday me’s, because that’s the masses that you need your support from.”
“Over 100 protesters, activists and food advocates gathered outside of the FDA Center Food Safety and Applied Nutrition today to participate in the first ever Occupy Monsanto Eat-in. On the menu: stone soup and U.S. policies when it comes to labeling genetically Modified foods. The protesters demanded all GMO foods to be labeled and an end to the revolving door between the Washington and the biotech industry. RT Correspondent Meghan Lopez was at the eat-in and took a bite out of the issue.”
Looking for more labels on the food we eat, Monday morning dozens gathered outside the Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety.
Kathy Engle-Dulac says genetically modified foods, or GMO’s, raise the biggest concerns.
If a food product has been genetically engineered, she believes consumers have the right to know.
Like others gathered Monday, she’s asking the FDA to change their policies so when consumers walk into a grocery store they know what they’re buying.
In a statement the Food and Drug Administration said: “Currently, food manufacturers may indicate through voluntary labeling whether foods have or have not been developed through genetic engineering provided such labeling is truthful and not misleading. In general, foods derived from genetically engineered plants must meet the same requirements, including safety requirements as other foods…”
Organic farmer Martin Dagoberto says he’s not sure if they’re as safe. He’s worried if there’s more GMO’s, it could affect his farming process.
“It’s basically jeopardizing the organic integrity of our food supply of our seeds and its making organic farming almost impossible,” Dagoberto says.
On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto.
Why do we march?
Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
Monsanto’s GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world’s bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
Repealing relevant provisions of the US’s “Monsanto Protection Act.”
Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto’s secrets.
Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won’t take these injustices quietly.
We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.
So you want to March Against Monsanto? First, check and see if there’s already being one planned for your city, and if so, if there’s someone leading the organizing on it yet: http://bit.ly/ZTDsk8
If not, please read these guidelines for a general idea of what goes into planning a demonstration.
If you feel you can take it on, send a message to the page letting us know which city you’re in and that you’ve read this guide. We’ll then create an event for you and add you as a host.
Step 1: Decide whether to do a march or a single rally. If you can get at least 20 people, a march has the potential to reach a lot more people than a rally.
Step 2: Pick a good location. For a rally, a state capitol building or city hall is a good spot. If there are any GMO-related headquarters or corporations in your city, that’s another good spot.
If you’re doing a march, pick two well-known locations to start and end your march. You can do mini-rallies at each location. Keep in mind walking distance; around a mile is a good distance.
Step 3: Research which permits may be necessary to make your event legal. You can research this on the Internet by looking on city government websites or calling their offices. Requirements are usually different depending on whether you’re doing a march or a rally and where it will be held.
Step 4: Reach out to potential speakers if you plan to have a rally or mini-rallies along with a march; this is a great way to increase the turnout and get media coverage. Try reaching out to organizations in your city that oppose GMOs and/or Monsanto like farmers and organizations that promote organic foods. If there are politicians in your city/state who advocate GMO labeling, that’s another good idea as well.
Note: If you’re having speakers, you may need to get additional permits for a PA system and/or a bullhorn.
Step 5: Once you have all of the details worked out for your rally, it’s time to promote it! This is done by use of flyers, including large ones to post to telephone poles and small ones to handout.
Also send a press release to your local media alerting them to the event.
If you’re doing a march, be sure to create a banner to carry so people know why you’re marching. Also, make signs and have attendees bring their own as well.
*We will provide some guidance for you, but ultimately the success of your march will be in your hands, as this is a grassroots-led movement. Thank you!*
Official MAM statement
We would like to remind everyone that MAM does not support violence or aggression towards property or people. Violence will only set us back.
Please be clear this movement is non-violent. We want the world to hear us. We must behave like adults not stoop to the level of violence.
Our Marches are family events. We will have children, elderly, and disabled people present. Violence of any kind will not be acceptable.
Please be warned that often times Monsanto themselves will send in their own plants to try and incite or instigate aggression. Do not be fooled. They are trying to destroy our unity.
With that said, Please do not bring violence or abusive comments to our March or to our Event pages. Your comments will be deleted and if it continues you will be banned.
We encourage all organizers of the individual events to share this message.
Please be warned if you are an instigator you will not be tolerated at our march and we our organizers will ask you to stop or leave. If you continue we ourselves will politely and calmly ask a Police officer to remove you.
We encourage all organizers to be open and talk with your local police and make clear to them that these events are family events and we will cooperate and work with them to remove anyone who incites aggression.
Please understand, we are not trying to be authoritarian but that we have a responsibility to create a peaceful event for our children, parents, grandparents and all attending.
Remember the world will be watching and we have an example to set. Violence would be seized upon by the media and Monsanto. They would use this as propaganda to discredit the movement and label us as eco-terrorists. This is not a joke we are standing up against one of the most powerful corporations that ever existed.
This is why we reiterate no violence of any kind will be tolerated. We know most of you know this but for the few who did not you do now. For the instigators you are not welcome and we stand firm united in NON-Violence.
While we will be speaking up against the politicians and the corporations we will not condone any comments or threats of aggression towards them. We will expose their crimes and demand justice and change of policy. We do not by any means condone any type of vigilantism. Our mission is to raise awareness, expose, and legally stop Monsanto, and their cronies, crimes against humanity. We would like to see GMOs Labeled and/or banned until they can without a doubt be proven safe. So far we have seen the opposite. GMOs are not safe. Monsanto is an unethical unmoral corporation and they have been committing crimes against humanity for decades.
This event is a platform to bring us together in Unity. From here we can work together to create a powerful base of grass roots activism . We encourage all to network together and continue to work towards supporting ballot initiatives that are in place to label GMOs or Ban them, and create initiatives that have not yet been created. Continue working together to expose politicians that serve Monsanto and promote politicians that stand with the people. We encourage all to create mailing lists and or FB groups where you can continue working together after the march and until we have reached our goals. You may want to bring an ipad and have everyone who is interest type in their emails so you have a ready digital email list to bring people together for future efforts. This event has created powerful momentum and its in our best interest to brainstorm Ideas on how we can keep the ball rolling.