My family and I loaded into the family van on Saturday for a trip. Instead of heading out on a picnic or camping in the woods, we headed to Santa Fe to participate in the March On Monsanto. The event was coordinated globally through social media in over 400 cities. As farmers and seed savers, we are well aware of the dangers posed by genetic modification.
To my surprise, there were over 400 people at the demonstration on the Santa Fe Railyard. This coincided with the Saturday Farmer's Market, which created a perfect audience among the Market's mostly green and liberal crowd. After a few speeches by local activists, the group marched to the state capital—waving signs, banners and carrying puppets that warned of the dangers of genetic modification. The protest culminated in live music and rants of various types. It wasn’t your typical family outing, but it was a great day for being alive nonetheless. Siempre en la lucha.
Editor’s note: Scroll on for more photos and a poem by Beata Tsosie-Peña.
Message to Monsanto
I am my own nation, with self-determination, a voice, and my own boundaries
You cannot encroach your mad science here
There will be no splicing, dicing, forceful injections to sterilize THIS free will
Your campaign of violence will never silence,
The power and song of sovereign landscapes
Your campaign to dominate
Remaining pockets of land-based beauty will fail
Your twisted esteem has yet to see
The power of ecology, boomeranged back at you with all the breath and balance
Of pure, reciprocal pollinators
Its funny the audacity, that monoculture mentality
For it’s in our inherent biodiversity
That the hungry will be fed
It’s the garden of truth in our hearts
That will keep our encoded memories
From being bled, carried out in sterile labs
Where viruses are shot with intentional precision
Enacting double helix holocausts on seeds we are supposed to protect
Your poisoning of generations is a toxic war crime
Carried over from your shameful days
Of bombarding veterans and civilians with an an agent called orange
Whose children with disabilities have yet to see
Justice or healthcare in their daily sunrise
Your poisoning of future generations will go no further
For while capitalism feeds you
And sneaky Protection Acts shield your diabolical crew,
Well protect this Monsanto, I am boycotting you
Watch as consumers change this tide
And the world community will no longer abide
No one will care when your abominations are set ablaze
And this place will rejoice
As Indigenous seed weathers its last era of tyranny
Our desert beauty genetics are as strong as our memory
And only we know how to tend and mend,
This land where our spirit is rooted, deeper than you know
We must keep growing our own food, saving heirloom seeds
Keep demanding these basic rights
And at the very least,
change for mandatory gmo labeling is now in sight
Nature has our back, is creating round up resistant seed
Being classified by your people as a super weed
Immune to your poison, is a plant called amaranth
That has fed us through centuries of colonization
What a relief and realization
That we are indeed a living civilization
Adapting and growing amidst such violent supremacy
You can rage into oblivion, drowning in your own greed
Unless you accept your deep need
To be retaught lessons of balance with technology, that does not have to bleed
It is time for this first crop of a movement to flourish
For collective action to harvest truth on hallowed ground
Sweet fruit we inherited
Through natural law that cannot be patented
Spirit beings of all that is alive
Help us get through these times
And we’ll return to our sacred promise
Our rightful place, as stewards of creativity and land-based grace
We remember now, when it is time to become warriors
When our seed is threatened and you have hurt our mother
We’ll stand our ground,
Carry solid intention as we walk in mass
For this is our nation
With self-determination, a voice, and boundaries,
Where only those with souls
In the end shall pass.
—Beata Tsosie-Peña, 2013
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About 90 percent of Americans are in favor of labels on foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. More than 50 other nations do it—including Russia and China—so why not America? Read about the Just Label It campaign and the push to unmask frankenfoods in the U.S. in this week’s food section.
For years, polls have shown that about 90 percent of Americans support the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms. That’s about as close to a consensus as you’re going to get in this country. But amazingly, in this supposed bastion of freedom and democracy, we’re denied the fundamental right to know what’s in our food. It’s a right that more than 50 other nations, including China and Russia, offer their citizens.