Call to Action: Converge in Philadelphia, June 18th to 21st, 2005

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CALLING ON ALL PEOPLE who resent the demise of democracy and hold to the promise of authentic popular empowerment! All who dare to paint poems of resistance on walls of oppression, dance in city streets in defiance of police states, and plant seeds of sedition in the shadows of Empire: come to Philadelphia! As the world’s leading agents of eco-devastation and medical malpractice meet here in June, we cannot stand quiet. Join us to challenge the corporate crime, poisons for profit, and flagrant lies of the biotechnology industry, at the time of their annual international convention, with a creative uprising for truth, life and justice!

RECLAIM THE COMMONS! We recall a custom much older than two-party Republics, in which croplands, grazing land and forests were a public domain that benefited the whole community and belonged exclusively to no one. In today’s global society, our commons encompass the biological strata that sustain life on earth – air, water, food, medicine, energy, biodiversity – plus the means of communication, education and transit that connect us culturally. Today, to a degree unprecedented in human history, corporations have seized this public wealth and privatized it to reap growing profits for a small and ever-shrinking elite. As public access to and control over the commons has eroded, so has true democracy. For democracy to thrive, for racial, economic, social and environmental justice to take deep root, and for sustainability to flourish … we must reclaim our commons!

cancer.jpg RESIST BIOTECHNOLOGY! With their industrial exploitation of biotech research, agricultural, pharmaceutical and weapons-manufacturing corporations are now busily locking their greed into the most primal area of the commons, the genetic structures of life itself. At the expense of public health and ecological harmony, their profit-driven success hinges upon the global proliferation of dangerous genetically modified organisms (GMOs), disregarding the health needs of the poor while sinking money into science-fiction treatments of questionable safety, and governmental funding for deadly biological weapons deceptively classified as ‘biodefense.’

The corporations gathering in Philadelphia this June are contaminating the world with genetically engineered crops at the expense of our health, popular food sovereignty and biodiversity. They are profiting from unsafe and costly designer drugs, whose side effects can be worse than the conditions they’re aimed to treat, while raising the false hope that biotechnology carries the solution to all human ills. In the name of ‘biodefense,’ they are profiting from the costliest expansion of research into high-tech weaponry since the Manhattan Project, developing new bioweapons and resurrecting old ones, and exposing our communities to the hazard of uncontrollable biological agents. To reclaim our nutrition, health and security … we must resist their biotech!

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PLANT REAL DEMOCRACY! Sustainable, community-based alternatives to corporate biotech are possible and viable, and we are making them real! At our counter-convention in June, we will not only shine an educational spotlight on the dangers of GE food, medicine and weapons, but will also exhibit the grassroots eco-solutionstaking shape in our own communities. The Philadelphia area is home to a fabulous array of community gardens and organic farms, food co-ops and urban nutrition initiatives, radical health collectives and advocates for universal public health care, groups of student environmentalists and war resisters, interfaith leaders for human rights and renewable energy, and diverse neighborhood coalitions against police brutality, the gutting of public services, and environmental injustice …

We welcome this opportunity for local residents to come together and learn from each other, and for visiting activists to share energy and ideas from your home communities! With a shared commitment to putting our values and vision into action, we can and will counter their corporate bio-devastation with our peaceful uprising for BIODEMOCRACY!

 

To be involved with the BIODEMOCRACY 2005 mobilization, please contact:

Philadelphia RAGE (Resistance Against Genetic Engineering) at phillyrage@riseup.net
OR Nathaniel from the Student Environmental Action Coalition at (215) 222 4711.

For updates about the mobilization:
Send a blank email to:biodev-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

Read our Biodemocracy 2005 Statement of Unity

And check these websites for more information and reports:
www.reclaimthecommons.net (inactive)
www.biodev.org (contents reproduced here)
www.phillyimc.org
biotech.indymedia.org

 

“Because disease and starvation will not be solved by corporations!”

[photos from Reclaim the Commons 2004 in San Francisco]