May 24, 2014. Chicago. In what has become the most popular and widespread annual protest on Earth, millions of people in cities around the world will March Against Monsanto today, including Chicago. Protesters will likely cite notorious issues like genetically modified foods (GMO’s), the secretly passed Monsanto Protection Act, and even the forgotten victims of the corporation’s weapons of mass destruction like Agent Orange.
Image courtesy of RD Riccoboni
Those interested in joining the demonstrations won’t have to go far. Organized marches will be held in roughly 500 cities including 4 here in Illinois - Chicago, Rockford, Springfield and Champaign-Urbana. Residents of northwest Indiana may have to make the trek to Chicago, but those from southern Wisconsin will have an assortment of marches to choose from. As detailed on the March Against Monsanto city list, marches will be held in Appleton, Fond du Lac, Kenosha and Milwaukee.
March Against Monsanto
‘On May 24, millions of activists from around the world will once again March Against Monsanto, calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and other harmful agro-chemicals,’ the press release from organizers announced a few weeks ago, ‘Marches will occur on six continents, in 52 countries, with events in over 400 cities. In the US, solidarity marches are slated to occur in 47 states.’ That list has grown so rapidly over the past few weeks, it’s almost impossible to count at this point.
The site goes on to quote March Against Monsanto founder Tami Monroe. The mother of two warns, “Monsanto’s predatory business and corporate agricultural practices threatens their generation’s health, fertility and longevity. MAM supports a sustainable food production system. We must act now to stop GMO’s and harmful pesticides.”
March organizers around the world cite the Monsanto-induced epidemic of farmer suicides in India as just one example of the evils of the Monsanto corporation. ‘In India, more than 250,000 farmers have committed suicide after Monsanto’s Bt cotton seeds did not perform as promised,’ the March’s website informs readers, ‘Farmers, left in desperate poverty, are opting to free their families of debt by drinking Monsanto pesticide, thereby ending their lives.’
Chicago’s March Against Monsanto
Here in Chicago, the March Against Monsanto is scheduled to start at 1:00pm local time. Demonstrators are asked to gather at Adams and Dearborn near Federal Plaza. From there, the march will walk through the city’s financial district and culminate in a picnic-protest in Grant Park near Buckingham Fountain. There, marchers can demonstrate, visit with each other and hear speeches by local organizers.
One of those featured speakers will be Jessica Fujan, Midwest organizer for Food and Water Watch and a good friend of the Illinois Herald. Whether it’s an anti-global trade protest in Lincoln Park, an anti-fracking sit-in inside the state capitol in Springfield, or today’s anti-GMO march in Chicago, Jessica Fujan is always at the forefront, not only on the day of the demonstration, but usually behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to each event.
Other confirmed speakers at today’s March Against Monsanto include Ariane Glazer of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Carson Starkey of the IL Fair Trade Coalition, Mary Green from Know Your Farmer Know Your Food, Joan Levin, John Walsh, Diana Kleidon & Barbara Kimicata from IL Right to Know GMO, Mike Durschmid of Organic Consumers Assoc., and for everyone’s entertainment, the Chicago Bee’s street theater troop.
For more information about the March Against Monsanto in Chicago, visit the event’s Facebook Event Page. For more information about the March Against Monsanto in general, visit march’s website or read the article from our sister publication Whiteout Press, ‘March Against Monsanto worldwide on May 24th’.
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