Thousands of people marched against Monsanto in cities across New Mexico on Saturday, May 25. The largest marches brought together over 1,000 people in Santa Fe and 2,000 in Albuquerque. A photo album on FB from Albuquerque’s march has over 300 photos. At 3 minutes in Occupy New Mexico’s video documenting the Santa Fe march from start to finish, you can see how big the march is with people streaming out of the Farmers Market for blocks. Stay tuned for more media highlights (or check the ABQ and Santa Fe FB event pages).
5/19 UPDATE: Silver City and Taos have become the 3rd and 4th New Mexico cities to join the historic #MarchAgainstMonsanto day of action on Saturday, May 25! The protest in Silver City (FB event page / flyer) is meeting at Energy Ideal (820 N. Bullard St) at 1 pm. Meanwhile in Taos (FB event page / flyer) from 10 am to 1 pm, the events will include a puppet show on GMO and organic issues at 11:30 am at the Farmers Market, and a protest march ending at Taos Plaza for free organic food with Food Not Bombs Free Skool.
The largest protest in history against Genetically Modified Food, both in New Mexico and worldwide, is set for Saturday, May 25. Two weeks before the global “March Against Monsanto” day of action, the Albuquerque FB event page already has over 600 RSVPs and another march is spinning off in Santa Fe.
In Santa Fe, advocates for a safe, healthy and sustainable food supply are also pushing for action at the city and county level. In March 2013, the city of Santa Fe unanimously passed a resolution in support of labeling Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food and a ban on Genetically Engineered (GE) crops within the city. On Tuesday, May 28, Santa Fe County is scheduled to decide on a companion measure to the city’s GMO-free resolution. Public comment will be heard at 5 pm in the County Commission Chambers, 102 Grant Ave. And a few days earlier on Thursday, May 23 (8:30 am at the Angel Depot conference room located at 1222 Siler Road), the Santa Fe City and County Advisory Council on Food Policy is also expected to discuss policy recommendations for addressing consumer concern about GMO contamination within the food system.
Meanwhile, the May 25 protest is set to take place simultaneously in dozens of countries throughout the world. At last count, 63 countries, 48 out 50 states and Washington, DC are planning demonstrations against Monsanto on May 25. “The international day of protest scheduled for May 25 is now looking at becoming one for the record books, and even a number of celebrities have lent their star power to help raise awareness of the movement,” reports RT.com. “Here in America you don’t get the right to know whether you’re eating genetically modified organisms,” award-winning music performer Dave Matthews says in a video for the march that has been uploaded to the Web. Comedian Bill Maher and actor Danny DeVito also appeared in the clip to plead with people around the world to rally against GMO companies.”
The May 25 protest comes on the heels of U.S. Congress passing a biotech rider dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics. The rider essentially allows Monsanto and other companies that use GMOs to plant and sell genetically-altered products without gaining federal permission. “The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards,” dozens of food businesses and retailers wrote Congress before the bill was passed. But in the weeks since the rider was approved within an annual agriculture spending bill, anti-Monsanto sentiment has only increased.
MAY 25 “MARCH AGAINST MONSANTO” PROMO VIDEO
In Albuquerque, in the spirit of supporting local growers, healthy eating, and spreading awareness, the incredibly ambitious event organizers are attempting to host a growers market in conjunction with the rally. This is planned to include a raffle, live music, a guest speaker, a petition for all to sign, and more!
The Albuquerque group posted a detailed statement of non-violence, and their Facebook page has become a wealth of information about many different aspects of the public debate and health and environmental concerns regarding genetically modified food. The non-violence statement declares, “The March Against Monsanto Albuquerque is committed to non-violent action that raises awareness about corporate control of our food system, the environmental and health impacts of our food system, and alternative ways to grow food and feed our population. All participants and organizers are dedicated to developing and maintaining a safe, peaceful event that promotes food system knowledge and long-term commitments to the food movement.” Read the full statement (PDF) here.