The No Spray Coalition, in conjunction with the Brooklyn Greens, invites you to an extraordinary public forum: "Pesticides, Genetic Engineering and Land How the BIOneers are engineering the new colonization of land in South America while also poisoning us here at home."
Featured speakers are biologist Javiera Rulli, and anti-pesticide activist Mitchel Cohen.
THURSDAY, JUNE 30th
7:30 pm (7 pm for socializing and eating)
NoSpray Coalition Office: 388 Atlantic Ave. (between Bond and Hoyt Streets), Brooklyn NY. F-R-E-E (Please bring food and drink to share)
A, C or G train to Hoyt-Schermerhorn St.;
2,4 or 5 train to Nevins St.;
or (long walk) N,Q,B,D,R train to Atlantic Ave./Pacific Street. Also, the #63 bus stops right near the office.
In addition to the ongoing (but much reduced, thanks to the hard work of many activists) West Nile mosquito spraying, New York City parks were, over the last few months, pounded with Monsanto's Round-Up herbicide (glyphosate), the same toxic brew being sprayed over Argentina's genetically modified soy fields. The speakers will be exploring the connections between the mass spraying of pesticides and herbicides in the U.S., the genetic engineering of agriculture, and the mass evictions of peasants and indigenous people from their lands in other parts of the world.
We will also discuss the role of large environmental groups (such as the World Wildlife Fund) in helping to "manage" and subvert the indigenous resistance to the spraying and genetic engineering comensurate with the theft of their lands.
About Javiera Rulli and her work:
Argentina is the world's 2nd largest producer after the U.S. of genetically modified crops, which are designed to withstand repeated pesticide spraying (while everything else around them dies). Other G.E. crops are engineered to produce pesticides in every cell of the plant. And a new GE technology would have "designer seeds" grow only with the spraying of the company's particular pesticide, developed exclusively to trigger that plant.
Currently, there is a huge expansion in the amount of genetically engineered Round-Up Ready soy being planted for foreign markets, leading to:
- a catastrophic social and environmental crisis
- mass evictions of peasants and indigenous people
- violence, and serious human rights violations
- poisoning of people and nature
- contamination rivers and groundwater with pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms
- 56 percent of the population now under the poverty level
From being known as the world's grain barn, Argentina has become a "soy dictatorship" of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with a growing external debt.
Over 99% of all soy production in Argentina is genetically modified, consisting of the variety of RR soy, resistant to the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate), and produced and patented by Monsanto. The implementation of large-scale intensive agriculture has brought about a loss of agricultural biodiversity and the destruction of local economies. The industrial agriculture has resulted in the concentration of land in the hands of big landowners and giant corporations, resulting in the expulsion of rural workers and small and medium-sized producers. As a result, today more than half of population survives under the poverty level.
The militarization of neighboring countries, such as Paraguay, is directly related to the genetically engineered soy expansion. Last week in Paraguay, growers of GM soy from Brazil crossed the border and attacked a peasant community, TEKOJOJA, in Caaguazu, Paraguay, in order to drive them off their lands, claim them for themselves and plant genetically engineered soy. They evicted 270 people, burned down 54 of the houses and all of the non-GMO crops. Two local farmers were killed -- ÁNGEL CRISTALDO and LUÍS TORRES -- many people were injured and 130 people arrested, amongst them many women and children.
Javiera Rulli is a biologist that works on issues of agriculture and food sovereignity in Argentina. She has worked in Holland with ASEED Action for Solidarity, Equality, Ecology and Diversity and participated in the anti-Genetic Engineering and Food Sovereignty campaigns. She returned to Argentina to live and work in a Kolla community in the Yungas, the tropical montane forest region in the Northwest of Argentina.
In 2004/5, Javiera Rulli helped organize the Iguazu Counter Conference, alongside the GRR and the MOCASE (Via Campesina Argentina). This was a forum called in response and parallel to "the Business Round Table on Sustainable Soy" initiated by the World Wildlife Fund. The Counterconference brought together a wide scope of peasant movements (Via Campesina Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina), indigenous organizations, unemployed organizations and ecology groups aiming to consolidate a common position and to coordinate future strategies for a different agricultural model, based on principles of food sovereignity, land reform and local development.
This forum should be very interesting, as well as providing us with
international links to expand our anti-pesticide struggle. If you are in New
York on June 30, please come.