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.
Posted: October 17th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: Capitol Hill, Congress, Corn Chimp, DC, Demonstration, FDA, Field Agents, GCU, GMO Labeling, Michael Taylor, Occupy the GMO Candidate, Police, Protest, Republican Party, USDA, Washington |
This morning Field Agents from the Occupy Monsanto Genetic Crimes Unit staged a demonstration outside of the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
As a part of the Occupy the GMO Candidate national day of action, Field Agents setup outside of the Capitol South Metro Station and greeted Capitol Hill staffers & Republican Party operatives as they arrived for work.
Many people gave thumbs up in approval and quite a few people laughed at the Corn Chimp’s street theater.
Field Agents held up signs & banners, mic-checked Romney for his ties to Monsanto, and asked staffers why Romney chooses to only eat organic food.
Throughout the demonstration there was an undercover police officer sitting in an unmarked car across the street monitoring the demonstration. At around 9:30AM when Field Agents concluded the demonstration and began to take off their costumes, the officer came up to the group and thanked us for our spirited activism. What he said next was rather shocking: he said he used for work for the USDA in the 1990s and that employees worked tirelessly to prevent GMOs from going into the American food supply.
Later today Field Agents will be heading to Democratic Party headquarters to ask why Obama has failed to fulfill his campaign promise to label GMO foods & why he appointed Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor to the second highest position at the FDA.
More photos & videos to be added soon!
Posted: September 30th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: Action, Clothing, Comstock Ferre, conversation, Creative, CT, Demonstration, fliers, hat, MA, Massachusetts, mobile, Monsanto, Police, Protest, ridiculous, Shirt, The Big E, trailer, walk, West Springfield, Wethersfield, Writing |
So here’s a little bit about yesterday’s action at the Big E’s Monsanto exhibit. What a wonderful day I shared with Nancy, Catherine and Trish. We roamed the fair, a pack of 4 committed women, looking forward to getting into the exhibit and raising a bit of a bother with questions and conversation. We wanted to wait until there were other people in line for the “tour” otherwise we’d be talking to ourselves and that we can do anytime!
While waiting for a good time to see the exhibit, we walked around the fair and got to know each other. Trish and Catherine came from up north and a bit of conversation sealed the deal on identifying with each other as sister activists for the cause.
Posted: September 22nd, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: Boycott, Brentwood, Cashier, Costume, Demonstration, Eric Herm, Free expression, Free Speech, gmo, GMO Labeling, GMO-Free, GMO-Free Midwest, International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms, manager, Millennium Hotel, Millions Against Monsanto, Missouri, MO, National Lawyers Guild, Occupy Monsanto, organic, Picket, Police, Protest, Shoppers, signs, solicitation, St. Louis, STL, Street Theater, Whole Foods Market |
Activist ties up the checkout line at Whole Foods by asking the clerk whether each of the items in her cart contain GMOs. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2
“Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off
Your Shirt in the Parking Lot”
by Don Fitz
Several dozen people at GMO-Free Midwest, the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto, went from picketing the industry-sponsored “Biosafety” symposium at the Millennium Hotel to Whole Foods Market (WFM) in Brentwood, Missouri. It was September 17, 2012, the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Safe food activists began a series of tactics which built on previous demonstrations and caught store management and local police completely off guard.
June 9 had seen a creative picket of WFM, including a 14 foot tall coyote puppet opposed to putting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. The picket provided an opportunity to talk with WFM workers who have been led to believe that the store does not sell GMOs. A few shoppers joined the picket upon learning that WFM brags that it labels GMO food when it only labels non-GMO food, leaving customers uninformed about potentially contaminated products.
On August 18 a new tactic challenged WFM. WFM aggressively censors “soliciting” which it says includes telling customers of dangers that GMOs poses to health and the environment. So, we went into its parking lot with signs on top of cars saying “GMOs Contaminate Food” on one side and “WFM Sells GMOs” on the other. Other cars had the same message on window signs or on home-made bumper stickers.
Police told drivers that they could not enter the parking lot with “protest signs” on their cars. But they were hard pressed to explain what was and what was not a protest sign. They were particularly befuddled at trying to figure out if they should order the removal of bumper stickers, since so many cars at WFM have safe food slogans on them. As we discussed what constitutes a protest message, other drivers came in, parked, and let their cars with signs on top remain throughout the afternoon.
Eric Herm, anti-GMO cotton farmer from Texas, stands by car sign in Whole Foods parking lot. Photo: Petermann/GJEP
A new level of action
On September 17, participants from GMO-Free Midwest took activities at WFM to a higher level. A few carried signs on the sidewalk. But most walked to the front of the store.
“If you are here to protest, you need to go to the sidewalk,” the police motioned. I buttoned up my jacket over my “Genetic Engineering — Don’t Swallow It” T-shirt and walked through the police. Since we didn’t appear different from the typical WFM customer, others did the same.
Some said, “I just came here to pick up a few items” as they walked by the police, who were again unsure of what to do.
Apparently warned that we would be there, WFM staff could be heard saying “What’s happening? They’re all coming in to shop.” Safe food activist wandered through the store looking at labels carefully. They did not put items in their carts if they read, “GMO-free,” “organic,” or “365,” which is the WFM house brand.
As shoppers went through the check-out line, they picked up each item and asked the cashier if it had GMOs in it. If so, it went in the “don’t buy” pile. Cashiers often weren’t sure; and that meant it also went in the “don’t buy” pile. One cashier claimed that everything WFM sold was GMO-free, which led to each item in turn being put aside by a disbelieving shopper.
Mindful of the bad working conditions at WFM, shoppers took the opportunity to explain our concerns to every employee. And there is no better opportunity to discuss potential food contamination than doing so with a customer waiting behind you in line. WFM is particularly vulnerable to such a tactic because the vast majority of its customers are concerned about food quality, but most think that store products are GMO-free.
From chatting with us, customers found out that, though WFM products cost more than those at other grocery stores, they are very likely to contain GMOs. With a bad rep for extreme anti-unionism and buying out competitors in order to destroy them, WFM is also resented for reversing its former opposition to GMO foods. It now babbles about “informed customer choices” but fails to inform customers by labeling food that might have GMOs.
A “superbug,” caused by consumption of GMO crops, argues with a police officer outside of Whole Foods. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
From Shop-In to Talk-In
Many safe food shoppers asked for the manager to come and verify whether food in their cart was GMO-free. At one point, a frazzled manager began grabbing handfuls of food and pushing it aside, saying “Yes, all this food has GMOs.” The manager seemed obsessed with keeping the check-out lane flowing as rapidly as possible.
Managerial distress was caused by two dictums: WFM policy says that every customer question must be answered; and, WFM also says that shopping must be a “pleasant experience.” But the shopping experience might be made unpleasant either by a slowed check-out line or by customers watching someone being hassled by police for the crime of asking if food quality is compromised. This particular manager decided that pleasant shopping would best be maintained by confirming that a large amount of WFM items might be contaminated with GMOs.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) had told us that WFM could order us to leave and those who refused could be arrested. But it would have been impossible for WFM to determine who constituted “us.” WFM could have brought police from inside to harass those they thought were “protestors.” But doing so would run the risk of intimidating everyday customers who go to WFM concerned with the quality of food and happen to ask a question or two about what they are buying. Its liberal façade again makes WFM more vulnerable to a shop-in than any other supermarket chain.
Our friendly shoppers left the store with a single purchased item, confirming that they were, in fact, WFM customers. Others asked what all the commotion was about and what we were trying to accomplish. Some asked if they should boycott WFM. We explained that they could help lay the groundwork for a future boycott by telling everyone they knew about the true face of WFM.
The WFM ban on “solicitation” had been broken in store aisles, in check-out lines, and at the store entrance. Unable to distinguish “protesters” from “legitimate” customers, neither WFM management nor Brentwood police could stop people from asking “Why should we be concerned about what we buy at WFM?” Getting people to ask that question was the point of the action.
GMO farmer dressed for duty outside of Whole Foods. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
From Talk-In to Gawk-In
A stiff foam-board sign with holes for zip-ties can be fastened with bungy cords to the top of a car in 10–15 seconds by people who have practiced doing it. As cops and store managers were trying to figure out if they could do anything about the growing number of GMO conversations among customers, two people fastened a six foot long sign saying that “WFM Sells GMOs” atop a station wagon. By the time the cops figured out what had happened, the two were long gone.
Cops walked over and asked the people looking at the car who owned it; but they just shrugged their shoulders. Most picketers left their sidewalk location to see what the cops were doing. Friendly shoppers walked toward the car. Customers drifted over to hear everyone asking about why police were concerned with a car that had a sign on its hood.
There’s few things that people gawk at more than cops looking at something while a small crowd looks at the cops. Barbara Chicherio asked what bothered them. “Protest signs need to be on the sidewalk and not on cars,” a cop huffed.
Barbara talked through the car signs – window signs – bumper sticker questions concerning which needed to be removed as the cop scowled. Remembering that she was wearing a “Millions Against Monsanto” T-shirt, she had a flash: “Officer,” she asked, “If everything critical of Whole Foods and Monsanto is a protest sign, do I have to take off this T-shirt?”
“Ma’am, please do not take off your T-shirt in the parking lot!” The crowd laughed and even the cop chuckled. The absurdity of trying to wrestle through the twists and turns of exactly what type of free expression WFM could suppress was too much.
It had become clear that effects of the police presence had turned into their opposite. Intended to be soft-core harassers, the police were less than totally dedicated to protecting WFM customers from the horror of people asking about food contamination. As they drew a larger crowd, the show of police force served to increase discussion about WFM, thereby furthering goals of the action.
Many of the tactics used on September 17 had been worked out weeks before. Others arose as the event unfolded. Throughout the WFM action, neither store management nor police had any idea of what to expect next or how they should respond.
Within half an hour of the mini-confrontation in the parking lot, the police gave up efforts to get the sign off the car and walked off. Soon the crowd drifted away but the sign remained until the end of the action. Having reached over 10 times as many WFM workers and customers as all previous efforts combined, safe food shoppers boarded a bus and cars headed for their final destination of the day: Monsanto World Headquarters in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
Don Fitz works helped plan GMO-Free Midwest and is active in the Greens/Green Party USA.
Posted: September 18th, 2012 | Filed under: Photos, Press | Tags: CA, California, Demonstration, Monsanto, Occupy Wall Street, Oxnard, Police, Power-Gomez, Prop 37., Proposition 37, Protest, Seminis, Thousand Oaks, Tom Helscher, Tracy Long |
ROB VARELA/THE VENTURA STAR – Alyssa Davis (from right), Ellie Loiacono and Heather Power-Gomez, all from Thousand Oaks, join the Occupy Monsanto protest and yell, “Label the seeds!” on Monday in Oxnard.
By Carol Lawrence – 1:00am, September 18, 2012
Local food activists chose Monday, the anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street activist movement, to start a global outcry in Oxnard against agribusiness giant Monsanto Co.’s chemicals and genetic modifications of plant seeds.
Less dramatic than Tuesday’s protest at Monsanto’s seed distribution plant Seminis Vegetable Seeds Inc. on Camino Del Sol, in which nine protesters in chains and shackles were arrested when they blocked the gates, Monday’s event at the same site drew about 35 protesters who limited their opposition to signs, masks and shouting on the sidewalks.
“Stop Patents on Life” read a sign held by a graduate student wearing a paper mask over her mouth and caution tape around her neck with the word “Hazard.”
“My concern is what genetically modified organisms do to the sustainability of our environment and the ability of farmers in Third World countries to support themselves,” said Tracy Long, of Ventura, who attended a May protest at the plant.
No arrests had been made as of 5:30 p.m. Monday. Oxnard Police Department officers circulated the block in police cars.
The demonstrators were part of a group called Occupy Monsanto, which identifies itself with Occupy Wall Street.
Monday was the first day of the group’s weeklong series of 65 events planned worldwide to protest Monsanto, its relationship with Third World farmers and the seeds it develops.
Tom Helscher with corporate affairs for Monsanto, which has headquarters in St. Louis, said Monsanto helps improve farm productivity and food quality.
“Agriculture and its uses are important to California, the U.S. and the world,” Helscher said. “We respect each individual’s right to express their point of view on these topics.”
California’s Proposition 37, a November ballot measure that would require labeling on most processed foods to explain whether they have ingredients from genetically modified organisms, gave several protesters a tangible action to support.
Several Thousand Oaks teenagers came after school to their first official protest.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, we’ve got a right to know,” shouted the teens to passing cars.
Seventeen-year-old Heather Power-Gomez, a Westlake High School student from Thousand Oaks, said she came because she thought food should be labeled.
“In biology class, we learned about genetically modified organisms and how they can affect your body,” she said. “They (Monsanto and scientists) can change the genetic structure of the seeds so your body doesn’t know how to react.”
Power-Gomez said scientific and medical studies she read in class suggested links to cancer and autism.
Occupy Monsanto’s spokesperson, Adam Eidinger, whose role in Washington, D.C., is to facilitate the Monsanto events by posting the company’s locations online and inviting actions there, says the group is “a subgroup (of the Occupy movement) and focused on food issues and one company.”
“We feel a part of group,” Eidinger said. “I think we realize we belong in the Occupy movement because we’re talking corporate control of food.”
Actions by the Occupy Monsanto group also took place Monday and were planned for other days this week in Woodland, Gilroy, Davis, Ohio, Hawaii, Australia and Argentina.
Only one activist Monday was celebrating Occupy’s birthday.
A Camarillo resident wore a party hat with a foxtail pinned to the back of his pants and a full-face mask. He declined to give his name.
“Happy /b/-day Occupy! 7,435 political prisoners and counting!” his sign read, referring to those arrested in a year’s worth of Occupy protests.
Source: Ventura County Star
Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Filed under: Photos, Press | Tags: CA, Davis, Demonstration, Direct Action, GCU, Genetic Crime Scene, gmo, KCRA, Occupy Monsanto, Police, Protest, Sacramento, TV, video, Woodland |
About 100 Occupy protesters blocked off the parking lot to Monsanto Corporation in Davis in an effort to shut down the chemical giant.
Members of the Occupy movement said they planned to mark the first year of the movement with more demonstration.
The protest, organized by Occupy Sacramento, Woodland and Davis groups, is one of nearly 100 demonstrations planned across the world in protest of the chemicals and mass pollution. It also marks one year of the movement.
Protesters carried signs, wore bio-hazard suits, and chanted “No GMO’s”, referring to genetically modified organisms.
Occupy held a similar protest at Monsanto in March.
The demonstration remained peaceful.
Davis police said they have brought in additional officers and have a contingency plan in place in case the protest escalates.
Source: Mae Fesai, KCRA
Posted: September 17th, 2012 | Filed under: Press, Video | Tags: CA, Davis, Demonstration, Direct Action, GCU, Genetic Crime Scene, gmo, KTXL, Occupy Monsanto, Police, Protest, Sacramento, TV, video, Woodland |
Zohreen Adamjee FOX40 News
7:43 a.m. PDT, September 17, 2012
DAVIS About 60 Occupy Sacramento, Woodland and Davis protesters gathered at the Monsanto Davis plant Monday morning to protest against the company exactly one year after the Occupy Movement began.
Monsanto is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and the protesters hope to let executives know they strongly oppose genetically modified food. They also hope to show support for Proposition 37, an initiative on the November 6th ballot that would require genetically modified foods to be labeled.
Davis Police are not saying if they will arrest people if Monsanto files a complaint, but say they will assess the situation and bring out more officers if necessary.
Protester Jonny Goh says he’s willing to be arrested. Goh says it is “part of being American.”
Approximately 200 people are expected to show up Monday at Monsanto located at 1920 5th Street.
Source: KTXL Sacramento