Bio-Democracy 2005 Confronts US Bio-Technology
Angry that the world"s largest convention of bio-tech and pharmaceutical executives will be held in Philadelphia June 18-21 to proceed with their agenda of genetically engineered agriculture, bio-weapons proliferation and healthcare for profit, a large coalition of organizations aims to challenge them with a festival, teach-ins, and "creative action."
This diverse group, which includes Philadelphia RAGE (Resistance Against Genetic Engineering), the Institute for Social Ecology, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, Mobilization for Social Justice and many more, claims that the bio-technology industry is attacking US people´s well-being and democracy without their consent.
Concerned that open-field testing of genetically engineered plants and animals has the potential of disrupting natural ecosystems, harming human health and contaminating the world"s diverse seed supplies, the coalition seeks to transform the food system dominated by corporate profit margins.
Among Bio-Democracy 2005"s demands are a moratorium on the use of genetically engineered plants and animals, a halt to the production, testing and use of biological and chemical weapons and an end to the patenting of life, as well as a call for democratic participation in all decisions affecting the future of life and human society on earth.
The coalition demands a moratorium on the actual use of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, Columbia and elsewhere, while demanding reparations for victims of US chemical attacks in the past and present, and criminal sanctions against the government officials and corporations who authorized and carried out those attacks.
The groups express support for farmers, farm workers, gardeners, scientists and indigenous people who are practicing and working toward sustainable and ecological systems of agriculture. They also recognize, celebrate and fight for biodiversity and diversity of cultures and knowledge.
A "reclaim the commons" festival with free food will kick-off the protest that will include seminars on sustainable agriculture, the healthcare crisis, communities resisting genetic engineering, bio-weapons, US militarism and the myths of bio-defense.
Tuesday, June 21, is billed as a "day of action with parades and rallies for universal healthcare, the earth and peace, with "creative action" against bio-weapons proliferation, genetic engineering and greed-based healthcare.