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Voices from the Street during Biojustice 2001 Protests

by various Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2001 at 7:50 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886

various comments from participants in the Biojustice 2001 demonstrations in San Diego through June 25, 2001

bio vox01 The following is a compilation of what activists had to say at the Bio 2001 protests.
 

"According to the United Nations, we're already producing enough food to feed one and a half times the world population with an adequate, nutritious diet. The fact that the US government and the people of BIO 2001 are arguing that a genetically engineered future is the solution is just diverting attention from the real causes of hunger, the real causes of poverty, the real causes of ill health, the fact that most people in this world still don't have access to clean water".-Luke Anderson

"If we're really serious about improving the health care of millions of people on this planet, we can do so. But that takes political change. That takes change from the bottom up. That takes people demanding that their right to equality on this planet is not only answered but acted on".-Luke Anderson
 
 

Americans don't know about biotechnology. They don't know that they're eating it, they don't know they're drinking it. They don't know that these are the technologies that are shaping their medical futures. We are here to counter that trend. We're here to build awareness and to give people the opportunity to learn what this technology is. -Chaia Heller, professor of Ecological Philosophy at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont:

I've done observations in both open- and closed-air research facilities and you'd be astounded to see people walking around with trans-genetic pollen on their clothing and walking right out of the laboratory. And the idea that you can have an open-air field test that is contained is ridiculous.-Chaia Heller, professor of Ecological Philosophy at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont:

I think this is very, very dangerous. Once you introduce biologically modified organisms into the environment, at a certain point you cannot go backwards. This is going to affect people for generations to come. So I think our challenge is to make the links between biotechnology and the people across the border who are living under colonial conditions. Those issues are inextricably connected.-Chaia Heller, professor of Ecological Philosophy at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont:

When you really understand what biotechnology is, it's not just a technology that's rearranging the food supply and medical products for generations to come. It's a new mode of capitalist production. The same capitalist system that is producing biotechnology that is creating the kind of trade wars and the kind of economic structures that are keeping people impoverished all over the world. It's the same system.-Chaia Heller, professor of Ecological Philosophy at the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont:
 

We don't believe that genetically modified organisms in their untested state should be coming into our bodies or into our food system or into the environment.-Group of young women from the Bay Area:
 

The issue is commodification of life itself. Humans can only exist as part of a community and that's not just a human community, but an ecological biosphere community. For any one person to try to say they own something like that and to try to put a patent on something and put a dollar value on it is to pretty much deny what makes us human.-Group of young women from the Bay Area:
 

All of us have learned some very serious life skills of being individuals, and there's some unlearning that we have to do to have a kind of sharing and generosity and connectedness with ourselves and the natural environment.-Group of young women from the Bay Area:
 

We are trained to believe in the individual 'I', meaning myself, and 'if I have my food and my car and my house I don't have to worry about the peel in Mexico because they're not me'. Other paradigms would define 'I' as 'my community' and that community extended to the biotic community of the world. I'm concerned about the workers in Mexico because they are really not that separate from me. If they're being pushed off their land, if they're being commodified and having their knowledge taken and patented by the corporations, well, that's mine too. I'm a part of that.-Group of young women from the Bay Area:
 
 
 

I just informed myself about a week ago. There was not a lot of information out. I went to the Starlight yesterday and that informed me a lot. They had booths set up. I picked up information and gave it to my friends and passed it all out.-Nineteen-year-old woman from San Diego dressed as an ear of corn
 
 

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