Both are facing severe penalties because of their alleged involvement in direct action against a GM experiment in Catalonia. According to Transgenics Fora!, the only answer from the Catalan government to the growing rejection to GM crops has been to criminalise and repress the opposition to GM agriculture through penal and civil persecution of the people that actively disapprove, defy and resist the imposition of transgenics.
The prosecution is seeking a jail sentence for one of the accused, and the IRTA (AgroInstituto de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria – Food and Agriculture Investigation and Technology Institute ) and the University of Barcelona demand a 500.000 euro fine from the other campaigner.
Albert Ferré is facing a civil trial seeking 469.064 euros and 15 months in jail (equivalent to another fine of 24.000 euros ). He is accused of participating in the destruction of a GM wheat field trial owned by IRTA. This field trial did not meet the technical conditions nor the obligatory safety measures. This action, called for by Transgenics Fora! and the Assemblea Pagesa de Catalunya ( Peasant And Small Land Owners’ Assembly of Catalonia ), took place on July 3rd 2003 in Gimenells, Lérida, and involved the participation of around 70 people. The court case takes place on October 19 in the court of LLéida.
Josep Pàmies, of the Peasant and Small Land Owners Assembly of Catalonia ( Assemblea Pagesa de Catalunya ) , is under threat of two years jail time for criminal damage, another two years for ” disrespecting authority ” and 50.000 euros compensation for some of the events that took place on September 13 2003 during a protest directed to the Civil Government of Lleida in which the Assemblea Pagesa and several other collectives participated. The action consisted in the mowing of a GM maize field trial held by Syngenta in Alcoletge which was not legally registered, and the later delivery of some corn cobs and a list of concerns and demands to the Civil Government of Lleida. These being the places where the events that Josep is accused of having perpetrated took place.
Read more about the public protest events taking place around this court case on the Barcelona Indymedia website (barcelona.indymedia.org/?lang=en_US).
Transgenics Fora! and Assemblea Pagesa opposes these two accusations and are calling for active solidarity support from collectives or other entities. You can send solidarity declarations containing your (organisation’s) name, address, city, country and e-mail address to email@example.com. They also invite everyone to participate in actions and mobilisations. A bank account number is provided to be able to collect donations to help pay the legal assistance and, if it’s the case, to help pay the fines (bank account no.: 3025 0002 44 1433265093 at the Caixa d’Enginyers de Catalunya in Spain – for international money transfers you need to add the IBAN code).