Call to Action: Confront Agribusiness at Sacramento Summit
Source: Coaltion for Sustainable Agriculture
Posted: April 9, 2003
Sacramento is an important destination on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) pre-Cancun itinerary. The United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), USAID, and the US State Department are hosting a summit to which the Ministers of Trade, Agriculture, and Environment from 180 nations have been invited. It will take place in downtown Sacramento from June 23-25, 2003.
An "Expo On Agricultural Science and Technology" will run concurrently to showcase transnational agribusiness and biotechnology corporations and promote an industrialized, hunger inducing, agricultural model. These events are intended to build up to the WTOs September 2003 meetings in Cancun, Mexico. Agriculture is the most contentious issue inside the WTO. Neither the meeting nor the Expo are open to the general public. "This is not a public event", say EXPO organizers. A broad coalition of community organizations from Sacramento and Northern California are organizing a response to these events.
Come To Sacramento
The resistant spirit of Seattle, D.C., Prague, and Quebec is alive and flows through Sacramento towards Cancun and beyond. The Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture is in the process of planning a response to both the meeting and EXPO. Events in Sacramento will include a "permitted" public demonstration and march, media events, street theatre, public education forums and literature, and non-threatening but disruptive direct actions. Our intent is to non-violently confront the powers that control our food systems with an alternative to their destructive, self-serving vision. We have adopted some basic guidelines of non-violent direct action for this mobilization and encourage a diversity of creative responses. They are not philosophical, political requirements placed upon participants or judgments about the validity of some tactics over others. The guidelines are agreements that create a basis for trust, so we can work together for this action and know what to expect from each other.
We will use no violence, physical or verbal, towards any person. We consider speech or acts that are racist, homophobic, or sexist to be violent. We will carry no weapons. We will not bring or use any alcohol or illegal drugs. We will not destroy property. We will respect the rights of others: we want your energy, ideas, and participation regardless of differences of race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age or previous political affiliations. We invite others to join us who are willing to accept our "guidelines" which we believe best serve the interests of our community, here in Sacramento.
The Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture is made up of organic farmers, family farmers, environmentalists, labor, religious, and economic/social justice groups. We encourage everyone who is concerned about the injustice of corporate globalization to join our network and/or organize actions leading up to June 23-25. This is a worldwide call to action, inviting the participation of social justice/ human rights/ animal rights/and peace activists, workers, students, trade unionists, environmentalists, indigenous groups, artists, community campaigners, consumer advocates, citizens and anyone else who is concerned about the violence and inequality of the corporate economy.
People and ecosystems worldwide already suffer the effects of polluted water, air and land: illness, death, anxiety, economic hardship, wrecked communities, loss of biodiversity and more. The "Agri-Business" model has not eliminated hunger in the U.S. The same unaccountable global corporations which, in their relentless quest for bigger and bigger profits, brought us the Roundup Ready and Terminator seeds, the toxicity of Love Canal, the 30,000+ causalities of Bhopal, the ecological catastrophe of the Exxon Valdez and the twisted torsos and missing limbs of Thalidomide, will now bring you genetically modified foods and escalating corporate control of all our food and water supplies, abroad and here at home.
What Can You Do?
Seize this opportunity to demand safe, sustainable agriculture, the rights of farmers to practice the time-tested traditional methods of their forebears, and wholesome, delicious, non-toxic, naturally grown food for every man, woman and child on the planet. Please join us, as an individual or as an organization, in organizing to get the message out to ag officials, the media and the public alike that the world wants to see an end to the horrors of industrial agriculture. Come to Sacramento this June.
If you want more information or to get involved email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916)-456-9435 Web site: www.biodev.org/sacramento/
Call For Endorsement
Please call or email us if your organization would like to endorse this mobilization.
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