In this issue we are emphasizing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) that have been foisted upon the American public and the world by giant biotech companies, such as Monsanto.
September 16 and 17, St. Louis hosted the GMO-Free Midwest symposium and staged multiple activist events, culminating in a large rally at Monsanto’s corporate headquarters September 17 in coordination with the world-wide “Occupy Monsanto Day.” We have gone into depth on the actions in St. Louis with pictures and comments.
Usually there is little we can do to influence public policy with our vote. However, this year in California, Proposition 37 is on the ballot to label GMO’s. If this passes, it will have a huge impact on other states to start similar actions. We urge all Californians who receive this newsletter to vote “yes” on Prop 37 and to encourage family and friends to do the same.
Lastly, we have an article on predator drones that we have covered in the past, but needs to be covered even more strongly to depict the utter ruthlessness of the “targeted assassination” policy of the US government.
We are asking our readers as we have done in the past, to communicate with us on how you voted, why or if you did vote November 6. We will print your comments in our next issue.
You can reach us at http://www.
The Print Collective
Phil Ardery, Jr
“Stop Talking or You Will Be Removed from the Hotel”
by Don Fitz
GMO-Free Midwest picketers, joined by scientist Irina Ermakova, protest in St. Louis September 17. Photo: Don Fitz
On September 17 we were gathering to walk into the Millennium Hotel for the second day of “GMO Free Midwest,” the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto. Daniel (digger) Romano told us that we had been moved from the “Lewis and Clark” room to the “Laclede” room on the other side of the floor. As we entered the new room, it struck me that it was half the size of the one we had paid for.
Conference coordinator Barbara Chicherio went to find the supervisor in charge. She walked down the hall to a roped off area guarded heavily by hotel security. On the other side of the rope were attendees of the industry-backed “International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms” [GMOs].
It appeared that the Millennium Hotel was as interested in making sure that we did not contaminate its audience as we were interested in preventing GMOs from contaminating the environment.
Hotel convention director Rich Martin threatens to throw out organizers and journalists from the GMO-Free Midwest. Photo: Anne Petermann, Global Justice Ecology Project.
“Sir, are you in charge here?” Barbara asked. “Uptight” can barely describe the Millennium supervisor who starred back at her, stiff as a board. “I need to talk to you,” she continued. “Why were we moved from the room we rented?”
There was no answer.
“And why were we moved to the far end of the hall? And why were we put in a room half the size of what we paid for?”
“If you don’t stop talking to me, I will have you removed from the hotel,” was the most thoughtful answer he seemed able to come up with. Looking at his name tag, Barbara saw that he was “Rich Martin, Director of Catering and Convention Services.”
Continue reading the “Stop Talking” article here
“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.
Activist ties up the checkout line at Whole Foods by asking the clerk whether each of the items in her cart contains GMOs. Photo: Langelle/GJEP
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 pose 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.
Eric Herm, anti-GMO cotton farmer from Texas, stands by car sign in Whole Foods parking lot. Photo: Petermann/GJEP
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.
Continue reading the “Ma’am, Please” article here.
“Rats Who Eat ‘em Already Know…”
by Don Fitz
The Gateway Green Alliance/Green Party of St. Louis has over 10 years of experience picketing Monsanto World Headquarters (MWH). Long before the company was contaminating and dominating the food supply, it was producing toxic chemicals such as PCBs for insulation and Agent Orange for the Vietnam War. Its herbicide Roundup links its chemical past to its present focus on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Two-thirds of GMOs are created to make herbicide- and pesticide-resistant crops.
Demonstrators at Monsanto World Headquarters, Sept 17, 2012. Photo: Sandy Griffin
The demonstration at Monsanto was the largest of three during the last day of “GMO-Free Midwest,” the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto. Many picketers came by bus, first from the Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis. There, those attending a panel on the use of GMOs for global economic domination were rudely greeted by a hotel supervisor who had reassigned them to a room as far away as possible from the industry-sponsored Symposium on Biosafety of GMOs. But Dr. Irina Ermakova, a researcher known internationally for verifying harm experienced by rats fed GMOs, left the industry symposium to comment at GMO-Free Midwest and later join its picket.
Continue reading the “Rats Who Eat ‘em” article here.
Occupy Monsanto: Occupy the Dialectic
by Don Fitz
According to Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero, Western powers have been grabbing seeds from the global South for centuries in order to develop new plant breeds. His talk provided a political and historical context to the current global battle around the patenting of seeds and crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
It was September 16, the first day of GMO-Free Midwest, the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto. On the panel with Carmelo was Dr. Ollie Fisher, whose first job after getting his Chemical Engineering degree was working at Monsanto. He left that position after becoming distressed with the way the company uses its technology to subjugate Africa and coerce it into producing food that compromises human health.
Priti Cox, Dr. Ollie Fisher, and Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero speak at GMO-Free Midwest, Sept 16 2012. Photo: Fitz
Priti Gulati Cox was also on the panel “GMOs as a Weapon of Global Domination.” She described effects of GMO crops in her native India. Monsanto advertises heavily to persuade farmers to switch to its new wonder seeds. After multiple crop failures, thousands of Indian farmers have committed suicide, unable to deal with the shame that bankruptcy has brought.
The following day, September 17, Occupy Monsanto sponsored actions across the globe. By beginning with a day of panels, the St. Louis event encouraged a dialectical interplay between thought and action. Dialectics can help in understanding historical processes that develop over centuries and can guide the growth of a particular struggle.
Continue reading “Occupy Monsanto: Occupy the Dialectic”
For President and for Vice President of the United States…
Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala
Election Day, November 6, 2012
by Elizabeth Fattah and Marge Van Cleef
What is the drone war but targeted assassinations that have killed many innocent non-combatants who are viewed as “collateral damage?”
According to Dave Patterson of San Diego Veterans for Peace, “Our drones are killing people on average every 4 days, and the President has authorized the CIA to assassinate people if they only suspect that they might be engaged in terrorist activities.”
Veterans for Peace demonstrate outside General Atomics, a factory making drones in Poway, a suburb of San Diego.
Vets for Peace conduct a weekly demonstration at General Atomics, a factory making drones in Poway, a suburb of San Diego. They recently held a special demonstration at the factory in coordination with Veterans for Peace-United Kingdom outside General Atomics in London, England.
Who are the terrorists or the militants that we target? Are they not “freedom fighters” in their country or ethnic groups that are fighting against western domination and control of their own resources?
Although the US Government has denied that there is a war on the Muslim world, we have seen the utter destruction of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, along with drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The attack on the Muslim world is to dominate and control resources and consolidate power.
Continue reading the drones article here.
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Voting Day – November 6
By voting “Yes” on Proposition 37, US citizens registered to vote in
California can require that by 2014, most genetically engineered fruits and vegetables
sold at retail in California would need to be labeled "partially produced with genetic
engineering" or "may be partially produced with genetic engineering." International
biochemical corporations, including Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co., have spent about $35
million to defeat Proposition 37. Californians: Please go to the polls and vote
For non-Californians (for Californians, too...) are there other reasons to go to the
polls November 6? Votes cast that day, plus the aggregated early votes, will commit each
state’s electors to either the Democrat or Republican candidates for US President
and Vice President. In that contest, we urge you to vote for neither the Democrat nor the
Republican. September’s Congress of Greens/Green Party USA endorsed Jill Stein for
US President and Cheri Honkala for Vice-President. Read about them at
Scott Tucker, writing for Truth Dig, makes a tidy summation of the electoral fraud
America calls its “two-party system.” Read Tucker’s article here.
And finally, for those who intend to vote for US President November 6, and who are
hearing from friends that “a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Mitt Romney,”
we offer worldcantwait.net’s “12 Steps to Overcoming Addiction to Voting for
the ‘Lesser’ of 2 Evils.”.