Thursday April 17th, the international day of farmers struggles, the group Agrocrisis blocked a Cargill company firm in the harbour of Ghent, Belgium. Some 30 activists began the action at around 6h30 in the morning and lasted until after 5 p.m. During all that time, not one truck with soy could enter or leave the firm. Some activists had locked themselves with pipes and bicycle chains at the gate, so it was impossible to open the entrance without brute force. The staff of the firm, scared of bad publicity, chose therefore to let the activists occupy the gate and didn't ask the police to intervene.
During the whole month of May a small team of A SEED, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Movimiento Agrario y Popular (MAP) will cross through various European countries. Info-evenings, meetings, action and filmfestivals will be held in which there will be a focus on large scale soy cultivation, genetechnology, agrofuels and resistance. Central in this tour is Gilda Roa, representative of the Paraguayan peasant organisation MAP.
From the 12 until the 30th of May the UN summit on Biodiversity (CBD) took place in the German town Bonn. But as expected the current problems with the food and climate crisis have not been solved by this meeting. Not even some serious steps in the right direction. But what can you expect with countries like Canada and Australia that mainly defend the interests of their large scale agriculture. Also delegations from European countries are thinking more about their multinationals and own decadent consumption pattern than about nature and a healthy and social food production.
Protesters at petrol stations state “Agrofuels are no solution for the climate and energy problem!”
Malmö, Saturday 20 September 2008 – During the European Social Forum (ESF) about 50 people protested against the introduction of the large scale production of agrofuels. The devastating social and environmental consequences of the production of energy crops was a big issue in the presentations and discussions inside the ESF. The Agrofools decided that it was important to reach the people in the streets as well, and to explain that we have to choose between food and fuel.
Land reforms! NO Steakholder Conferences!
Amsterdam – On the 9th of December (2008) A SEED Europe held a picket-line at a conference on genetically modified soy. The objective of the meeting was to discuss sustainability risks and benefits of GM soy and to formulate management options for companies. A SEED reminded participants upon arrival that not only is GM still controversial, but so is large-scale soy production in general. A SEED did not participate in the conference itself because the announcement made clear that in our eyes crucial poignant issues in the (GM) soy debate were not open for discussion.
(Deutsch untenan) On November 12 in Mehringhoeven (Berlin) Anton Pieper from A SEED will report from the social struggles and land conflicts caused by the soy production in Paraguay. The presentation will show the results of the peaceful organised resistance of the small farmers. It will also explain their demands. In the presentation there will also be an analysis of the expectations and changes created by the election of Fernando Lugo as President of Paraguay on April 20 2008. The social movements have helped Lugo with his campaign, but now they expect that something will be done to improve their situation.
Guerrilla Gardening in the Dutch Betuwe: “Animal industry equals animal suffering, climate disaster, and deforrestation.”
Friday April 17, 2009- 40 activists of the group 'Stop Straathof' made a vegetable garden on the terrain where agro-industrialist Straathof plans to expand one of his many pig farms. The action was a protest against the animal industry and accompanying soy production for animal feed, that causes a lot of suffering in South America.
Tuesday 19 May, 2009 – Today, the head office of WWF-Netherlands received some extraordinary visitors, including a weeping panda, a Monsanto circus director, and various people in white overalls spraying "Roundup". The action is a protest on the occasion of the upcoming vote of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), on 28 May in Campinas (Brazil). This forum will allow GM RoundupReady soy to be certified as 'responsible', while in reality, this soy is responsible for massive use of pesticides as well as deforestation and driving small farmers from their lands.
In june 2009 A SEED Europe and the German organisation Nandu have visited a large number of locations where local residents have organised themselves against the construction of mega pig stalls. Most dates on the tour featured an information meeting and a street event. But also the informal exchange of information, experiences, arguments and strategies are important objectives of the tour.
We had made a nice flyer to hand out during the tour. Here you find a digital gif-version of the dutch version: front & back.