Utah march against Monsanto
Salt Lake City, UT – Over 200 activists and community members gathered at the state capitol, May 24, to join with cities across the country by rallying against the Monsanto Corporation. People assembled on the steps of the capitol despite the rain to listen to a number of speakers including Craig Bowden, Melanie Widerburg-Zucker, Justin Danneman, Lorena Apgar Hansen and Jonathan Hansen. People spoke of the effects that Monsanto has across the globe and locally on families and communities.
The keynote speaker for the event was former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Anderson gave a fiery speech on the effects of corporate interests in the U.S. and nailed former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael Taylor who is now head of the FDA. Anderson stated, “We don’t need a government of the rich, we need a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Musicians Michael Cundick and Josh Blakesley also performed for the crowd.
Gregory Lucero of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization was passing out a Fight Back! commentary describing Monsanto’s role in the U.S. dirty war in Colombia. Lucero said, “The U.S. government has spent over $8 billion since the year 2000 on war in Colombia. Monsanto is the company contracted by the U.S. military to spray Roundup chemicals on Colombian peasants’ crops under the guise of a 'war on drugs', decimating the countryside. This contributes to hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Colombia. We need to support Colombian farmers and say, 'No more Monsanto fumigations. No to U.S. war in Colombia!' We’re out here to show our solidarity with the Colombian people.”
The crowd then took to the streets in a militant manner, despite a police presence, marching from the capitol to the County Building. The large group raised their signs and banners as they walked through traffic chanting “Monsanto against the wall, no more GMO’s at all” and “Monsanto no more, we won’t fund your secret war!” Protest leaders ended the protest with calls for the people of Salt Lake City to continue organizing and fighting back.