Mexican farmers today took their struggle against genetically modified (GM) corn to the plaza, embarking on a hunger strike and sit-in in Mexico City. And they need your support before they are arrested.
According to members of the Via Campesina, city officials agreed yesterday to allow the protestors peaceful demonstration in front of the Angel of Independence statue. However, when hundreds of farmers from 20 states in Mexico took their place on the plaza, they were quickly surrounded by armed forces threatening to evict them.
Regional leaders of Grassroots Internationals’ partner UNORCA (the National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Organizations) began a hunger strike today to call for a stop to the destruction of Mexican agriculture. The network of peasant and indigenous organizations in coalition with urban workers and student groups is calling for halt of planting GMO crops in Mexico. Industrial agriculture giants Monsanto, DuPont and Dow have requested authorization to plant 2.4 million hectares (six million acres) with GM corn, against the wishes of the people.
Alberto Gómez Flores, a leader of the UNORCA and coordinator of Via Campesina North America, said of the police crackdown on protestors: "It's very symbolic because they are preventing people of this country from being in front of the Monument of Independence from Spanish colonialism, and thus they are really serving their current masters, the new colonialists of Monsanto, DuPont and Pioneer."
He continued, "We will stay here in camp, as close as we can be to the Monument, and if they come to evict us we will sit peacefully in resistance. They will not take us away from here."
Members of UNORCA and the Via Campesina are calling on “all the people of goodwill” to send messages to the Head of Government of the Federal District condemning his deceit and demanding that the farmers be allowed to install their camp at the Angel monument.
Please raise your voice in support at this urgent moment.