Sunday, May 26, 2013

The March Against Monsanto

From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: The March Against Monsanto, organized by Occupy COMO in Columbia MO, was a huge success. I was amazed, having predicted a small turnout. There were 150 people, and these were folks of all ages. I saw farmers from the farmers’ market, moms pushing strollers, guys on bicycles and lots of twenty-something consumer types. This was one of a couple hundred marches around the world, all kicking off at 1 p.m. in their time zone. Here in Missouri, there were five marches: St. Louis (headquarters of Monsanto), Kansas City, Springfield, Jefferson City and Columbia. We might have gone to any of them, since we’re in the middle of the state, but Columbia is the home of University of Missouri (MIzzou), and they get millions in donations from Monsanto so we went there. The rally after the march, for example, was held in front of Monsanto Auditorium, donated by the multinational corporation. We started at city hall where a young man did a great job of summing up the problems. He even mentioned the Monsanto Protection Act. Then we followed a route that took us through downtown, where lots of people came out of their stores and cheered. Yay for them! We passed a wedding party, all dressed up, the guys looking like Mafioso in black suits, and they said a sarcastic, “Good luck with that one” when they saw our signs. Since it was a Saturday, and a break between spring and summer sessions, there was nobody in the auditorium or in the building, it seemed, but no matter. I’m sure the Monsantans caught the rally on their security cameras and they’ll keep the recordings and put some kind of facial recognition program on. Cool what they can do these days! I’m a big fan of chants, so I pay attention. One that resonated with the anti-Vietnam crowd went like this: Hell, no/ Monsanto]/We don’t want your GMOs. My favorite: GMOs are from the past/Local foods will save your ass. I need to order a new banner for the farm. Maybe that’s what I’ll put on it, but for my neighborhood I’ll have to clean it up: “Factory food is from the past/Local foods will save your donkey.”

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