Here in Bristol, we chanted: “We don’t want no GMO.”
GM (genetically modified) technology is based on the outdated scientific premise that a gene is responsible for a characteristic. So all you have to do is add a desired characteristic from one species into another species and ta da, you have a nice new genetically modified organism (GMO).
It’s nothing like traditional breeding because it crosses species barriers, creating organisms that would never exist in nature.
Once a seed is genetically modified it can be patented – which means the company that patents it, owns it.
Which means you can now prosecute farmers who have your patented seeds on their fields. Even even if the seeds arrived (as seeds do) by wind or bees.
Check out GMO Myths and Truths for more info. This fully-referenced report shows that Monsanto et al‘s claims – that GM crops yield better, reduce pesticide use, and are safe to eat – are dubious.
Back to the march.
Well, despite some “trolling” beforehand including fake reports that marches were not going to happen, or would be violent, they happened and they were 100% peaceful.
See these pics of the London march and below.
I was a steward (I have an NVQ in Green Stewarding, I’ll have you know) for the approx 500-strong Bristol march and I can report it was filled with good humour and co-operation.
As we waited at Portland Square before setting off from the march, a man with a beautifully-ironed shirt volunteered he had escaped his “corporate pay masters” to support us.
“O, that’s great,”I said. “Are you coming on the march?”
Well, no, he wasn’t because he had already been there 45 minutes already.
He said Monsanto probably had some observers at the march but they were likely dressed in a “bohemian” way.
He was keen to meet local organisers but was uninterested when I suggested Bristol Friends of the Earth.
I think a security firm will have its work cut-out. The thing is there is not one over-arching or hierarchical body behind people like us.
These marches are organic and spontaneous – the human spirit rising up to protect our food.
After the march, Julia and I went to the VegFest (above), and reaped the benefits of a happy healthy food movement.
Who would have thought that wholesome food could be subversive?