Agro-Active in a Changing Climate

Before the climate action camp in the Antwerp harbour A SEED has published the article “The Climate Problem is a Food Problem” with some background information and fact on this issue. In the camp A SEED been getting attention from other climate activists for the (climate) problems that are inherent of the current food system. With an action in a supermarket in the centre of Antwerp we informed the ordinary shopping people about the huge amount of greenhouse gas emission that are caused by the the production of meat and dairy products. For a while the meat department of the supermarket had been closed off.

In autumn A SEED has been spending a lot of time and energy in the mobilisation for ‘Copenhagen.’ We did this mainly as part of the Climate Justice Action network (CJA). Besides helping with the organisation of the general infrastructure for the protests, A SEED had taken on the coordination of the Agriculture Action Day on December 15. Together with other organisations and individuals the joined statement “Resistance is Ripe” was written, posters and flyers were produced and actions were planned.
Several times the bad behaviour and plans of the agro-business has been exposed:

December 11: Don’t Buy the Lie. There were actions in front of buildings were companies were presenting of discussing their greenwash activities. Also agro-companies got some attention, especially Monsanto.

December 12: The Big Demo. Within the anti-capitalist “System Change, not Climate Change” block there was a sub-block from La Via Campesina and friends.

ImageDecember 13: ‘Mistica’ organised by La Via Campesina in front of the building of the Danish intensive meat industry. Also small farmers and peasants are against the big European pig- cow- and poultry farmers. It is not only disastrous for the climate, the huge imports of animal feed is killing small farmers in the south.

ImageDecember 15: Agriculture Action Day with a demonstration of about 1000 people in the centre of Copenhagen. A nice flyer had been printed in Danish and English to explain the issues to the people in the streets. On the route some actions took place. The first one at Danisco, a large Danish food processor, to criticise the way they greenwash their activities. In general international operating food companies are stimulating a dirty production and trade, instead of a local sustainable food production. The second stop was at a Netto supermarket. Those discounters can easily be criticized because of their bad labour conditions. But on top of this they are not seriously trying to sell ethically and sustainably produced products. The next target on the route was a Shell station. Just like other oil companies Shell is adding agrofuels/biofuels to their petrol. This fake green solution isn’t reducing the emission of greenhouse gassed and isn’t produced very clean either. The demonstration ended at the square in front of the same building where the Via Campesina action took place on the 13th. With 20 million pigs Denmark is Europe’s second producer of pork. Banners were hung on the building and Killing Fields, a short movie about the production of soy, had been screened on the square.
After the demonstration ended there was the Angry Mermaid Award at the KlimaForum. The ‘worst climate lobby award’ went to Monsanto for greenwashing their gm-soy and for presenting monocultures depended on a huge pesticide use as a climate friendly alternative that should deserve carbon credits.
More actions took place during the Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Reports and analyses are available on the Danish indymedia.

A SEED was mainly busy with the Action Day on the 15th, but we helped out with and participated in all of the mentioned actions.

The Summit in Copenhagen failed, although we didn’t expect anything from it. For a real change we have to continue building a strong grass roots movement that creates alternative that are not based on fossil fuel and other dirty sources of energy. People should organise locally, but also networking and international campaigning is important to create a real counter power against the industries and governments that don’t want to change.
In the Netherlands activists came together again to plan new climate campaigns. A next, broader, meeting is planned on February 21st.
Also the CJA network is coming together again to discuss how to continue and the plan new actions. The next European meeting will take place in Amsterdam on February 27-28. More about this you can find on the CJA website.