We were approached recently by the Wall Street Journal. A writer on agriculture subjects wanted to know about what Monsanto protesters will do when the object of their wrath merges with, and disappears into, the Bayer Corporation. How does a protester continue? The article based on our conversations was published last week on the WSJ’s front page (below the fold).
What could possibly be more insane than Monsanto's chemical misadventures in agribusiness? Why, it would be incidental street art performer Billy Talon, bleached out hair all gelled up and ready to go.
Love you, Rev. Billy! <3
Protest needs to focus on TPP, TTIP, TISA and other regulatory capture schemes disguised as trade deals.
The big bonus for Monsanto merging with a foreign corporation is the added leverage it gives them to sue governments in the US and other nations to change regulations to benefit Monsanto at the expense of we the people. the Main Street economy, and all living things.
This pinpoints an interesting and central problem. We would not purchase and thereby fund what destroys us: it is marketed to us in disguise and under a different name. We buy a can of beans and may buy it because it costs two cents less than the next on a shelf; we get the beans, the chemicals, the configuration of farmworkers and fields and transports and poisons and deceits that created it--and others do too.
That's nothing against protesting against Monsanto per se, and absolutely against these execrable so-called "trade deals" and articles of odious debt. Carry on! But yeah, there's going to be something more. We're not going to convince everyone not to do this while we are still buying the wrong beans and the agribusiness still gets its money. We are telling them to go left with the protest and pushing them right with every dollar. We have to stop funding them under one guise and under another.
That can be done, and the path is mostly known. But it takes some doing, and it takes some experiment: local food works a bit different in each locality. Organic food operates a bit differently with one set of organisms instead of another. We don't necessarily each need a garden in the back yard, but a much larger percentage of the population will have to engage such things creatively, and some of that will have to happen before we can out the understandings and mutual confidences that are necessary for distribution. That is going to take some time and some doing.
This is not a call to stop the protest and organization and move towards lifestyle change, but to do both and to move against the "work" that supports the highest bidder for a price. We are going to get a lot of resistance, and we will need each other.
GO REV! Monsanto is a devil FOR SURE! Love your work and look forward to see ya and "The Stop Shopping Choir" at Joe’s Pub at the Public, 425 Lafayette, New York City. Five Sundays November 20 to December 18, 2 PM doors open. http://joespub.publictheater.org/programs--events/joes-pub/?SiteTheme=JoesPub
All successful social movements have had street performance. If I sit on a park bench in Union Square in New York, I think of our performances here in this Speakers Corner. I remember the Radical Cheerleaders, the Yes Men, The Missile Dick Chicks, the Living Theater, all the break dancers and hip hoppers, the prayers of Dorothy Day and songs of Woody Guthrie and Paul Robeson. Some might seem insane, and others more like high art, but they were all necessary to create this place. Public space is earned.