April 17th: International Day of Farmer's Struggle Against GMOs and Patents on Life
[Forwarded from : No Patents on Life! kev@dojo.tao.ca ]

Via Campesina, the global organisation of small farmers and peasants, has declared the 17th of April an International Day of Protest against GMOs and patents. They have issued an invite to concerned people everywhere to participate in this day of protest against neo-liberal policies, and in favour of an alternative project: a dignified life for everybody.

April 17th is also a day of protest against the FTAA. We see the two as inextricably linked. Based on the positions and proposals that Canada and the US have put forward, it is clear that they intend to use the FTAA to push a WTO+ agenda that will force countries throughout the Americas to accept GMO crops and patents on life.

Simply put, the intellectual property rules of the FTAA and WTO perpetuate the imposition of eurocentric, patriarchal and capitalist conceptions of property, life, nature, and social relations on the rest of the world. They completely devalue the role that women and indigenous people have played over many centuries in developing and maintaining the diverse strands of grains, vegetables, and livestock varieties which nourish our communities today. They prioritize the profits of multinationals before achieving food security and people's self-determination.

This Friday, March 9th, there will be a meeting to plan activities for April 17th (which will probably take place in Montreal) and for the Summit of the Americas (in Quebec City). Among these will be a public statement/press conference denouncing the force-feeding of GMOs and an unfair intellectual property regime on the Americas, and a solidarity statement with the farmers and peasants who are most affected by these processes. We would like to get this signed by as many farmer's unions, peasant movements, anti-biotech activists, and other concerned people as possible.

Some other possible actions are listed below, but what we organize is totally dependent on the input and energy of those who want to get involved. Everyone is welcome...

Where: QPIRG McGill, 3647 University, 3rd floor (near Ave. des Pins)
When: 5pm, Friday March 9th

Potential actions
- writing and desseminating a declaration against the patenting of life, for a moratorium on GMOs, and in solidarity with farmers and peasants everywhere
- street theatre
- meeting with peasants and small farmers from all over the hemisphere
- making big bar-coded puppets
- forming an affinity group
- security perimeter actions
- participating in the Agriculture Forum at the People's Summit, which is being organized by Via Campesina and the National Farmer's Union

No Patents on Life!
Break the Seed Monopolies!
Food Democracy Now!
(Intellectual) Property is Theft!
Sink the bio-pirates! Arrrr...!!!

for more info: nopatentsonlife@yahoo.ca, or phone QPIRG (514) 398-7432

Via Campesina website: www.viacam.org