26 April 2003
Protesters Block Entrance to GM Firm's HQ
Protesters Block Entrance to GM Firm's Centre
By Tania Cocksedge, PA News, 25 April 2003
Campaigners against genetically modified crops blocked the main entrance of a multinational company today, protesters said.
About 15 protesters gathered outside Bayer CropScience in Hauxton, near Cambridge, this morning.
Anti-GM campaigner John Green said five of them were locked together with handcuffs inside steel tubes.
Another was chained to the underside of a lorry which was blocking the entrance, he said.
Mr Green, 28, from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said that 85% of GM crop by Bayer.
"We are here because its parent company Bayer AG based in Germany is this morning holding its annual general meeting for shareholders and other GM activists have gone to Cologne to to show that GM crops are not welcome here," he said.
Protesters are also waving banners and handing out leaflets.
A Cambridgeshire Police spokeswoman said officers were at the scene, where the protest started at about 8am.
The protesters were preventing gates from being opened, and lorries and people from getting in and out of the site, she said.
Bayer produces pesticides, insecticides and herbicides and develops seeds and crops.
Bayer hit by AGM protests in UK and Germany
25 April 2003
Bayer Cropscience's UK HQ has today been blockaded by activists. Simultaneously, British anti-GM activists disrupted Bayer's AGM in Köln, Germany. Here's an account of the German end of things.
At 9 am (CET) Activists outside the AGM began distributing leaflets, festooning the place with a banner, placards and balloons and announcing that a blockade was taking place in Britain at that moment. Meanwhile, others managed to get past the tight security and positioned themselves in the main hall. With 7000 shareholders at the AGM, many shareholders cannot enter the large hall where the board sits and have to watch by video in another huge room downstairs. One activist stayed in this room.
During the introductory speeches, which take at least 90 minutes, the activists picked their moment, and, taking turns, let off stink bombs, strew leaflets around, and informed surrounding shareholders of the British action, told Bayer to get out of GM crops, and shouted their objections to agricultural biotechnology, before being removed by security guards and held in a police van for some time. Taking a cue from the commotion in the large hall, the activist in the video room also announced the British action and voiced her objection to GM crops. After being removed, one activist nearly succeeded in getting back into the event again but was rumbled by a security guard at the last minute.
Along with anti-GM activists, there were the critical shareholders from the Coalition Against Bayer-Dangers, a representative of the parents of the 24 children killed by Bayer's pesticide in Peru, and protestors drawing attention to Bayer's being awarded the Big Brother award. Interestingly, Bayer felt it necessary to devote a part of the summing up of the year to responding to some of CBG's criticisms of the company.
more on bayer: http://ngin.tripod.com/agrevodiary.htm