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Why come to Sacramento?

by sac Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2003 at 2:36 PM

A major grassroots mobilization and convergence is planned in Sacramento from June 20-25. This is an opportunity for people to say no to a genetically engineered future, and to voice instead a living world vision, rooted in social justice and ecological sanity. It is also a chance to stand in solidarity with the people's movements and hundreds of peasant farmers groups from around the world that have called on social movements in the US to denounce and protest this meeting.

Why should you join the mobilization in Sacramento?

by Bas Ta

from http://www.therisingwind.com/sacramentoprotest.html

Are you hungry for justice? Do you want to resist the WTO, US Empire and Corporate Globalization? Are you fed up with genetically engineered trees, food, fish, future? Do you believe that access to healthy food and clean water is a fundamental human right?

From June 23-25 in Sacramento, the US Department of Agriculture, the Agency for International Development, and the State Department are hosting government ministers from 180 nations and transnational corporate reps to lay out the US government and agribusiness' vision for the future of the world.

Their agenda?

 Genetically engineered foods, animals and forests

 terminator seeds

 agribusiness that drives family farmers off the land, hijacks the global food supply and starves the poor

 food irradiation

 privatization of water

 corporate patents on indigenous wisdom, seeds, animals and plants

 pesticides and factory farming.

A major grassroots mobilization and convergence is planned in Sacramento from June 20-25. This is an opportunity for people to say no to a genetically engineered future, and to voice instead a living world vision, rooted in social justice and ecological sanity. It is also a chance to stand in solidarity with the people's movements and hundreds of peasant farmers groups from around the world that have called on social movements in the US to denounce and protest this meeting.

"There are two ways that Empire spreads its tentacles", Indian activist and author Arundhati Roy said in a recent interview on Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now, "one is with cruise missiles and daisy cutters...the other is with the checkbook." And though the checkbook may appear less dangerous than the cruise missile or the gun, more people are killed by the economic system enforced by the global elites than are killed by the military. In a world which produces enough food to feed one and a half times the current world population with an adequate and nutritious diet, corporate control of the economic system means that a staggering 30,000 people die every day from hunger, three quarters of whom are children under the age of 5.

Wars are being fought on many fronts, and the backroom deals which ensure that the majority of the world's population are kept under the heel of Empire are as much a target for people who believe in peace and justice as opposition to murderous armies and bombing campaigns in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Sacramento mobilization is time to show that we understand it is not enough for those of us who live in the US to turn out in hundreds of thousands at the outbreak of a military invasion - we need to be looking for strategic opportunities to confront Empire on an ongoing basis to turn this nation 180 degrees and walk together in a radically new direction.

And for all of you who went to Seattle, or who wish you had, Sacramento is certainly a strategic place to take action. It is widely recognized that controversy over agriculture is the achilles heel of 'free trade' agreements such as the World Trade Organization and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Some have even suggested that the whole WTO process could unravel at the WTO meeting in Mexico this September if there is continued failure to reach agreement on agriculture. While the Sacramento ministerial is not actually billed as a WTO meeting, the timing of this meeting to gather support for the US position on agriculture in the run up to the WTO ministerial in Mexico is no coincidence.

The US agriculture secretary Anne Veneman (who used to work for the biotech company Monsanto) contends that the Sacramento ministerial is all about the US sharing the benefits of genetic engineering and other technological developments to help feed the world. Her rhetoric fools no-one except the victims of the US corporate media machine. In the UN recently, the US was the only country in the world to vote against the human 'right to food'. And in every international forum where genetic engineering has been addressed, the strongest resistance to genetic engineering has come from the countries of the world with most hungry people.

Replying to a Monsanto advertisement about genetically engineered food which stated that "slowing its acceptance is a luxury our hungry world cannot afford", 24 delegates to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization from 18 African countries, responded with the following statement: "We . . . strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves."

So, come to Sacramento! Join us for a festival of diverse resistance to bio-imperialism, the Bush Administration and 'free trade'. There will be non-violent direct actions, marches, a rally, a teach-in, street theatre music and more to confront the war on the earth and its people.

Plug IN to the convergence!

For more information about the action, check out http://www.sacmobilization.org/

or contact them at (916) 497-1111

If you are interested in helping in the healing space or housing out of town pagan activists, please send an email to sachousing@therisingwind.com.


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