After The March Against Monsanto—What’s Next?


Published:

“Yes, we must absolutely go out into the streets, but our protests need to be more than generalized expressions of collective rage and grief; they must target the very functioning of the system that seeks to destroy us. Crucially, we should also be laying the groundwork for concrete organizing projects designed to move past protest and start building power from the bottom up. Protest alone–even militant, focused, and strategic protest–is a dead end if we don’t build an infrastructure of resistance to sustain our movements and communities in the long term.” — Micah White, Occupy activist, in an interview with National Public Radio

On Saturday, May 20, activists took to the streets, all over the world, for the sixth annual March Against Monsanto protests. News reports like those from Switzerland, Bangladesh, Toronto and, here in the U.S., Denver and Miami painted a picture of solidarity against what’s come to be known as the most evil corporation in the world.

As in years past, the Organic Consumers Association wholeheartedly supported this year’s march. We promoted it through our website, newsletter and social media networks. We mailed out about 400 packets of anti-GMO and anti-pesticide banners, bumperstickers and leaflets, to March Against Monsanto organizers.

We have always actively participated in the global March against Monsanto, and we will continue. But we also recognize that anti-Monsanto protests alone have not forced enough change, fast enough.

As Occupy activist Micah White said in a recent interview with National Public Radio, protest alone does not give us political power. How true—if we learned anything from our years of work trying to pass GMO labeling laws, it was this: As long as corporations own our politicians, no amount of public support, no amount of protesting a corporation, without also addressing our broken political system, will move us in the direction we want to go.

As long as we replace actual scientists with “industry consultants” and put them in charge of regulatory policy, as long as we appoint corporate CEOs, instead of scientists, to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) science arm, we can have no realistic expectation that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or USDA will put our concerns ahead of corporate America’s unquenchable thirst for profits.

Corporate influence over our politicians is not unique to the Trump Administration. It has been building up over the past 40 years, according to this article published in 2015 in The Atlantic, which notes that corporations spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures—more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.18 billion) and Senate ($860 million). The corporate takeover of our government didn’t happen overnight, the article says, but it happened. And it changed everything:

Things are quite different today. The evolution of business lobbying from a sparse reactive force into a ubiquitous and increasingly proactive one is among the most important transformations in American politics over the last 40 years. Probing the history of this transformation reveals that there is no “normal” level of business lobbying in American democracy. Rather, business lobbying has built itself up over time, and the self-reinforcing quality of corporate lobbying has increasingly come to overwhelm every other potentially countervailing force. It has also fundamentally changed how corporations interact with government—rather than trying to keep government out of its business (as they did for a long time), companies are now increasingly bringing government in as a partner, looking to see what the country can do for them.

Monsanto, poster child for all that’s wrong with our dominantly industrial food and agriculture system, a system that is responsible for nutrient-poor, pesticide-ridden food, polluted waterways, and global warming, is just one of hundreds of corporations that play the lobbying game.

Monsanto’s “partnership” with our federal government has been wildly successful. But corporate corruption of the U.S. political system runs well beyond Washington, D.C. At the state level, we have government’s like Maine’s, trying to strip local communities of their right to ban pesticides. And then there are city governments, like Fremont, Neb., making back-room deals to allow behemoth corporations like Costco build factory farms that will pollute local waterways.

It’s clear, as White said in his interview, that we must “move past protest and start building power from the bottom up.” As he describes it:

I've been an activist since I was 13, so my whole life has been doing this. I think it's very possible for us to build a social movement that would win elections in many, many rural communities very quickly. Much more quickly than anyone's ever seen. I think that it is conceivable that we could wake up and we could have activists controlling literally the local level in a way that we've never seen before. With that power, we'd have the sovereignty to pass legislation that really fundamentally affects people's lives.

We think he’s right. We also think author John Atcheson is right when he says: “If you don’t stand for something you won’t win anything.”

To that end, as we all move on after this year’s March Against Monsanto, Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has launched a #Resist and #Regenerate Movement, aimed at resisting the corporate takeover of our food, farming, and political systems by electing new local, state and federal politicians, and by engaging in consumer campaigns…but also advocating for solutions that will regenerate—not only those systems, but our health, our environment and our local economies.

How will we build the movement? By enlisting the help of concerned citizens and conscious consumers in moving beyond online “clictivism” and protests, to on-the-ground political and consumer action. We’ve launched the #Resist and #Regenerate Movement on Meetup.com, to help reach new activists, and to give them the tools—and motivation—to work on local issues and local elections. We hope activists will use the platform to connect the dots between their work, with the work other food, farming, natural health, climate and social justice activists are doing, in their shared communities.

So, if you participated in a March Against Monsanto last weekend (and even if you didn’t), and you’re looking for the next step in the fight against Monsanto (and a host of other bad-actor politicians), start, or join, a #Resist and Regenerate Meetup group.

It’s time to get out, get active, get political and get corporations out of our politics.

Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.

This article was republished from Organic Consumers Association.

See also:
Pesticide Safety Questioned By Pregnancy Research
‘Pure’ Fiction? Sue Bee Honey Secret Ingredient

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 19, 2018

Fittingly for President’s Day, the Moon is in Aries, a sign of leadership. A late morning lunar trine to Mars lifts the spirits of parade goers and marchers alike. It also provides plenty of energy for athletes and exercise buffs…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2018

Spend a cozy winter weekend with colleagues diving into the rich material contained within the Dàodéjīng. While each class builds upon the material covered in the previous...

Cost: $325

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
View map »


Sponsor: Eastern Medicinal Therapies Education Center
Telephone: 617-435-3586
Contact Name: Lauren Paap
Website »

More information

Great readings at a great rate - only $20 for 15 minutes. Join us for a great day with lots of specials too! Our web site is not currently able to take registrations for the psychic fair. Please...

Cost: $20 for a 15 minute reading

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Join us for an afternoon of messages from your loved ones on the other side. As an empath and a healer, I am able to connect with random loved ones on the other side and connect them with the right...

Cost: $30 in advance/$35 day of show

Where:
Harvard Unitarian Universalist Church
9 Ayer Road
On The Common
Harvard, MA  01451
View map »


Sponsor: Wachusett Music Series
Telephone: 978-365-2043
Contact Name: Jean or Denise
Website »

More information

February 18 - 23, 2018 With Rev. Michelle Renee Pelletier, founding director of the Center for Psychic Healing, Harwich, MA.

Where:
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs
Calistoga, CA


Sponsor: Center for Psychic Healing
Telephone: 707-849-7793
Website »

More information

Are you curious about yoga but don't know where to begin? The Intro to Yoga Series is a great place to start your practice. This series will provide a safe, non-competitive and welcoming...

Cost: $90 for series

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut St, Suite A
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Telephone: 603-969-8968
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is...

Cost: $11-$15 per class

Where:
Chelmsford Wellness Center
3 Littleton Road, 2nd Floor
Westford, MA  01886
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

A guided tour in discovering, confirming and verifying your personality, behaviors and habits. A three part series at the Waltham Public Library Monday, February 5 7:15PM Monday, February 12...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

February 20 - 22, 2017 Three day training including new techniques for advanced Reiki training, Reiki master training, and Holy Fire II upgrade. Includes discussion, demonstrations, practice...

Cost: $1025 ppd.

Where:
Women of Wisdom
, MA


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Website »

More information

Experience the power of singing gospel music with more than 250 others as part of the Mystic Chorale, led by award-winning director and composer, Jonathan Singleton. Join Mystic as we prepare...

Cost: $105

Where:
First Parish Unitarian
630 Mass Ave.
Arlington , MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Mystic Chorale
Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Show More...
Show Less...

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is integrating into treatment plans. By...

Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

6 Week Series with Sherri Snyder-Roche Start your year with greater awareness. In Kundalini Yoga, we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the...

Cost: $90

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Romy Valdez There are few instruments like the Gong that can heal us through its purification properties of sound vibrations. In this energy field, the beginnings of removing all blocks can...

Cost: $30 early bird ($35 at the door)

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags