The Oct. 12 March Against Monsanto in Eureka was part of a global day of protest against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The Caffrey for Congress van drove from Garberville to the demonstration at the Eureka courthouse and participated in the event, which featured lining the curbs with protest signs held by participants in costume after the conclusion of the march, and an array of speakers. District 2 congressional candidate Andy Caffrey spoke of his pioneering involvement in opposing the biotechnology industry back in the mid-1980s.
He talked about the relentless multifaceted campaign, including direct action, which he organized against the atmospheric release of a genetically engineered microbe called Frostban, which was ultimately stopped and the company, which invented it, Advanced Genetic Sciences bankrupted due to this campaign. His message is, “We have to fight as hard as we can, the people - Republicans, Democrats, and Independents - are with us on the issue, and we have to cost the GMO producers money or cause Monsanto and the rest to think our resistance is going to cost them money in order for us to prevail.”
Thanks to Caffrey’s anti-Frostban campaign there have been no other atmospheric releases of GMO bacteria anywhere on earth ever since. In 2002 the BBC named Caffrey a world historic figure as the “world’s first genetically-engineered crop trasher.”
Caffrey also spoke of a lobbying trip he took to Washington D.C. in June, during which he met with staffers for 25 members of the House of Representatives and the Senate about GMO fish, trees, and the threat to world food crop seed stocks by GMOs.
Other speakers highlighted the inherent criminality and history of lies that biotechnology companies have engaged in to mislead the public, create a fake need for their products, and their being interwoven in the Washington D.C. political culture. A long list of Monsanto-paid individuals in presidential administrations, on the Supreme Court, and in Congress were noted, proving Monsanto’s tentacles extend nationally and increasingly internationally.
Speakers included North Coast Earth First!, which has insight into vast corporate networks as a result of the timber wars with Maxxam, and who continue with tree-sitting campaigns and remain a regional counter force to invasions from elements of the “corporatocracy.”
Others detailed the extensiveness of GMOs in food production, and the biotechnology companies have branched out in an endless attempt to realize increased profits. One point, which was repeated, was the need to have an attitude of concern for ensuing generations, and the children and grandchildren of speakers also spoke. Carrying signs such as “Resistance is Fertile,” a group of children took over the speakers’ area and voiced the need that adults be responsible environmentally.
One speaker extensively detailed the larger design of the biotechnology industry to control the food supply to introduce products, which would contribute to dependence and a docile public, which was noted as an element of a larger plutocratic agenda. Signs which had altered the name to “Monsatan” were held in the curb line, which resulted in passing motorists honking horns, giving a thumbs up, and shouting thank you as they drove past. Another criticism was the biotechnology industry’s considerable delusion, in that they believe that they are playing God as a result of eugenic experimentation.
In contrast to the more bizarre aspects of this out of control industry, a common sense response from the speaker’s platform, and in conversation throughout the day was heartening.
Congressional candidate Andy Caffrey informally conversed with the assembled, and then he and volunteers went around Eureka and Arcata posting campaign flyers.
The public is invited to weekly Wednesday and Thursday evening 6 p.m. potlucks featuring discussions of bioregional conversion and videos about climate destabilization. Fridays include the Thank Jah It’s Friday Listening Lounge, enjoying the KMUD morning show with an opportunity to call in, and an all day open community space.
Craig Louis Stehr is a supporter of Caffrey for Congress, headquartered at 446 Maple Lane, one block east of Hemp Connection in downtown Garberville. Telephone messages may be left at 707-923-2114.