on the Hudson: toxic residue for jailed protesters
Washington, D.C. - April
Mobilize Against Globalization
We gathered in Franklin Square in
downtown DC on a beautiful day, and after a rally marched to the World Bank and
the International Monetary Fund buildings. Police were not there in
intimidating force, although as usual they herded people.
The march continued to the White House, although
one is separated from it due to construction on Pennsylvania Avenue.
What's bad is the opaque high "temporary" fence at Peace Park, a.k.a.
Lafayette Square. The march returned to Franklin Square for more speeches
and music, such as by David
The DC Guerilla Poetry Insurgency
were enlisted to entertain and involve the crowd simultaneously elsewhere in the
park, and along the march, which they ably did with portable sound system.
- For more info and analysis on the events of April 24, see indymedia
of DC. Above reporting by a Culture Change eyewitness activist.
The World Trade
Organization and FTAA:
A great idea to trash and a wonderful reason to go protest!
The war is coming home. Miami
was too much like Baghdad
Miami Crowd Control Would Do
Even the mainstream media has covered the
police over-reaction to lawful protest in Miami for the FTAA. For two
accounts, see truthout.org.
" The footage on television of the phalanxes of aggressive robo-cops was
even more frightening than the images of Seattle police at the WTO protest in
1999," said a depaver in Arcata, California, who did not make it to
Read our report on Plan
Puebla Panama, for background on free trade schemes in Mesoamerica.
on the Hudson: toxic residue for jailed protesters
Dissenters are taught yet another lesson
about the land of free speech & assembly
More info: http://nyc.indymedia.org/
Call to City Hall : Shutdown Toxic Guantanamo on the Hudson
01 Sep 2004
Modified: 07:46:00 PM
Demand toxic Pier 57 holding facility be closed, and prisoners transferred!
Demand access to experienced lawyers!
Following-up on the alert below, you can also email City officials.
The Police Commissioner: (646) 610-5410 or (646) 610-5000
Mayor Bloomberg: (212) 788-7418
The District Attorney: (212) 335-9000
The Court Administration: (212) 428-2500
Mayors dumb email form:
NYC Commissioner on Human Rights form:
Police Commissioner's dumb form:
Demand Pier 57 be closed, and prisoners transferred! Demand access to
experienced lawyers! Call the numbers above!
SUPPORT ARRESTED RNC PROTESTERS! TAKE ACTION BY CALLING NOW!
Thousands of people have been arrested protesting the Republican National
Convention in NYC. Many prisoners are being held under appalling and
extremely unhealthy conditions at a temporary detention center at Pier 57.
We're asking everyone to call and demand prisoners be immediately released
or transferred to a safe and sanitary facility. Call the Police Commissioner
at (646) 610-5410 or (646) 610-5000 or Mayor Bloomberg at (212) 788-7418.
END HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS
Medics treating people being released report chemical burns, allergic
reactions, severe respiratory problems, skin infections, rashes, welts,
wounds and cuts -- all caused by the grossly unsanitary conditions of Pier
57. Arrestees are being housed in a former bus garage, the floor covered in
motor-oil and grease.
With nowhere else to sit or sleep, people are laying in this toxic residue.
People are coming out of jail with their skin and clothes covered in a thick
black sludge. One person went into toxic shock from so much motor oil being
absorbed through their skin. Many have no access to food, water, phones or
lawyers. Prisoners also report the bathroom lacking toilet paper, toilet
seats or stall doors. This morning, United for Peace and Justice organized a
rally to protest these appalling conditions.
ACCESS TO APPROPRIATE LAWYERS
As well as this medical crisis, please also call to demand that everyone
have access to meet with experienced lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild
(NLG) well before their arraignment. Arrestees participating in jail
solidarity through not giving their names are not being allowed to meet with
experienced lawyers. Public Defenders often have no experience with jail
solidarity; these people need to be able to meet with NLG lawyers.
CALL NOW - PRESSURE POLITICIANS
We're asking for your support by calling to demand that all arrestees be
immediately released, or transferred to a cleaner, safer facility and Pier
57be closed. This is especially crucial for arrestees with asthma, emphysema
and other respiratory problems. Demand that all prisoners be able to meet
with experienced lawyers from the NLG well before their
arraignment, including those who have not given their names.
Demand Pier 57 be closed, and prisoners transferred! Demand access to
experienced lawyers! Call:
The Police Commissioner: (646) 610-5410 or (646) 610-5000
Mayor Bloomberg: (212) 788-7418
The District Attorney: (212) 335-9000
The Court Administration: (212) 428-2500
If you are in NYC, you can help out by coming down to the jail to welcome
protesters as they are being released. Most are being released from the
Courthouse at 100 Canal Street, or around the building at 125 White. Take
the 4,5,6 or N,R trains to Canal.
To follow some of the events around the RNC protests, check NYC Indymedia at
If you want to financially support the legal defense of people arrested
during the RNC protests, you can contribute money through the following
United for Peace and Justice
(212) 868-5545, http://www.unitedforpeace.org.
(Specify the donation is for legal defense.)
Anarchist People of Color Prisoner Defense Fund
National Lawyers Guild
If you or someone you know has experienced medical problems from police
misconduct during the RNC or from the conditions at detention facilities,
call Medical Activists of NY at 1-888-744-7856. If you or someone you know
has been arrested, you can call the National Lawyers Guild legal hotline at
Thank you for your help! Pass this message on and distribute as widely as
From NYC IMC:
Chemical Burns from Peer 57 (Video)
Email: david (nospam) indypgh.org (verified) 01 Sep
A woman shows her chemical burns from "Guantanamo on the Hudson."
Peer 57--a k a Guantanamo on the Hudson--is reportedly filled with toxic
chemicals and asbestos. In this brief clip a woman discusses her burns from
spending 30 hours there.
Link to video:
DEMOCRACY NOW! Producer jailed in Miami
[The following is a message written by
Democracy Now! producer Ana Nogueira on Nov. 23. She was arrested
Friday evening while covering the FTAA protests in Miami. We thank the
listeners and viewers who responded to our action alert last night and
called officials demanding her release. She was released early
Saturday morning. For full coverage on the FTAA protests tune into
"Early this morning I was sitting in a
jail cell in Miami, cold, hungry and trying to ignore the cockroaches
crawling on the floor of the cell. My clothes had been taken away from me
and thrown out because they reeked of pepper spray.
"I was arrested because I had not embedded
myself with the Police Department before doing my job of covering the
protests for the nationally syndicated public radio and tv program Democracy
Now! Instead, I was swept up late Friday afternoon with about 70 others as
we tried to obey an order to disperse from an "unlawful" jail
"Mine is not an isolated case. Four other
independent reporters were arrested with me and three of them remain in
jail: Jeanette Lee and Michael Medow, both of Michigan Independent Media
Center, as well as an IMC reporter who goes by the name of Winter.
Todd Price, a Madison, WI, journalist who was formerly the executive
director of community television station WYOU, was arrested with me
but has been released.
"In addition, Justin Lipson of the NYC IMC
Video Team was arrested on Thursday and is being held on a $10,000 bond.
Police smashed his camera and have charged him with two felonies. Miami New
Times staff writer Celeste Fraser Delgado was also arrested on Thursday
while trying to interview protesters. Her purse and press credentials were
left at the scene of her arrest.
"I am out now thanks entirely to the
pressure that Democracy Now! supporters and staff put on the jail to release
me. If not for all the emails and phone calls the police received demanding
my immediate release, I would still be there. However, I am still facing
charges and will most likely have to return to Miami to appear in court.
"I thank everyone who stood up for the
right of independent media today and contacted the jail urging them to
release me. But there is more we need to do. Our colleagues in Miami are
receiving disturbing reports of ongoing abuse of prisoners inside the jail,
including severe beatings, being held in a cold room with no toilet, getting
cold-showered every two hours. People of color and transgender people feel
that they were specifically targeted. We must all act now to demand that the
torture stop and all charges against the journalists be dropped.
"Please, tell everyone you possibly can to
call the numbers below to demand the release of Jeanette Lee, Michael Medow,
Winter, and Justin Lipson, the dropping of all charges against journalists,
and the fair treatment of all prisoners."
-- Ana Nogueira, Democracy Now! producer, urges
you to take ACTION:
Call/Email These Authorities:
Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK)
305-470-7636 or 305-470-7600 (Press 2 for TGK,
then 7 for booking or 9 for shift commander)
The Joint Task Force on Law Enforcement
Major Role (cell): 305-216-6594
FTAA Miami Unified Command Joint Information
Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas
City of Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz
Janet Lopez, Director Office of Communications
From the Redwood Peace and Justice Center (Arcata):
Some of our friends from Arcata have been arrested at the FTAA protests in
Miami. One is being held on felony charges at
$5000 bail. Demonstrators have been
treated terribly this week in Miami. Please take a minute to call
and pressure authorities in Miami to release them and cease their dangerous
From Miami Activist Defense
Support FTAA protesters in Miami!
"The Miami Activist Defense (M.A.D.) committee and
National Lawyers Guild Legal Observers have
observed numerous illegal practices that
Miami City leadership has referred to as a
ìblueprint for Homeland Security,î
* Indiscriminate, excessive
force against hundreds of nonviolent
protesters with weapons including pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades
and various types of rubber bullets.
* Police stopping and
snatching protesters at random and taking
them away in unmarked vehicles.
* Violation of agreements made
with organizers and M.A.D. prior to
"Please take some time now and CALL the Mayors,
the city attorney, police chief Timoney
and others responsible for these
violations. Demand a full-scale,
independent investigation into the police officersí
Mayor, Miami-Dade County
MANUEL A. DIAZ
Mayor, City of Miami
Chief of police
Miami City Commissioner
Miami Dade County Commissioner
Local media have been grossly biased in their
coverage. While this is somewhat to
be expected the following are numbers that
people could call and voice frustrations.
CBS4: 305-639-4551, 305-639-4601, 305-639-4426
WPLG channel 10: 305-576-6397
WSUN Fox: 954-524-0388 (Rosh Lowe)
needs to rely on oil maximization and other forms of violence
As world trade is mainly an oil-burning/spilling activity,
terms of ecological impact and also to a large degree in its geo-political
effect, we bring you news and
commentary on World Trade Organization meetings and protests. Ralph Nader
makes the point that world trade means more oil depended upon for the shipping,
based on our paper on world trade dated 1994 that he gave to members of
Congress. Sustainable Energy Institute/Culture Change wrote to the WTO
asking about oil supplies used for trade, and has received no response so far
since early summer.
The Free Trade Area of the Americas ain't for the people; it's for an elite. 'Nuff said. You
can't vote directly on the FTAA or the WTO, so you protest. In Miami in
November shall be a large convergence of grassroots activists and unions against
the FTAA and its leaders, to perhaps shut down the WTO meeting in Seattle or
cause meeting-collapse as in Cancun in September. See plea for direct-action
Cancun, Mexico meeting of the WTO "collapsed" on Sept. 14
according to the Associated Press. AP reported that the WTO talks were
designed to change the face of farming around the world, despite
"differences between rich and poor nations." If tariffs had been
lowered by countries charging for imported farm goods, this might have meant
that "Consumers could have gotten cheaper fruits, vegetables and meat from
distant shores," said AP. Clearly there is no thought to the oil
required for transport, and by extension we can assume that the petroleum for
growing the food is also thought of as inconsequential.
At two a.m. on September 12, three activists braved wind, rain
and extremely tight security to climb and occupy a 300-foot crane overlooking
the Convention Center of Cancun, where the delegates of the WTO were meeting.
Twelve hours later, they still were broadcasting their message, Que Se Vayan
Todos, Alta OMC (They All Must Go, Stop the WTO).
On the ground showdown: As many as 10,000 people
attended the Sept. 13 march and rally to demand the end of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and to commemorate the death of South Korean farmer and
activist, Lee Kyung-hae, who took his life in protest against the WTO's
agricultural policies. When the march came to the police barricade at kilometer
Zero, the heavily constructed mega-fence was largely dismantled by an all
female activist crew with an anarchist security cordon, and finally tumbled
by a Korean-led contingent of hundreds of other activists.
of Mexican campesinos massing at the fence to march on the WTO meeting
could have poured through, but turned back when rock throwing got heavy,
according to a dispatch to this office from an Arcata Redwood Peace and Justice activist.
Support anti-FTAA convergence in Miami
Stop FTAA in Miami!
FTAA-ALCA SKYACTION TEAM
TIO MARCO will put
some savvy desperados hundreds of feet high near the Miami FTAA convention
center ( maybe thousands of feet si tu quieres ) with giant banners to do sell
phone interviews for days before and during the hemispheric fat cats meeting.
The joke is on the millionaires and corporate criminals when we tell them what
the world thinks about their trade-economics-for-the rich. Help us think up good
banner titles (SHORT!) Sponsor a Banner - they cost around $2,000 to do right.
Most of all we need
people - all kinds of people - some just like you - True we are hoping for a few
hot-shots not afraid of heavy charges and fines, but we definitely need anyone
who wants to help - AND it is just for a few months AND Bang-up Political art
placed with skill to show the powers they are not so ALL POWERFUL. HA! Here we
go, Cancun was fun... Miami is just a cheap bus ride away from 80 million
americans If the Mexican Students and poor campesinos could send 5,000 to the
WE have to get
everyone to MAIAMIAMI... Rock the Hemisphere - SEND Us: climbers, climbing gear,
cell phones, money, laptops gortex and an office we can do the rest.
JOIN SKYTEAM at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or (520) 540.0013
friends and acquaintances and all involved in building a just world,
name is Marcel Idles or Almond, I have worked tirelessly for several decades in
struggles such as the Redwood forests of California, Mt Graham in Arizona and
against US intervention in Central and South America. Many of these struggles
were long and difficult both because of the powers that we opposed and because
of our own movement weaknesses and disorganization.
have a hard time telling young activists that I meet what group I think is worth
putting their effort (or my own) into. Single issue campaigns do not seem to be
effective activism or educational tools. My best proof is the popularity of Bush
despite his war crimes and global arrogance.
have long felt that the rising consciousness and rebelliousness in America
Latina is the best hope that the Western Hemisphere has for real change. This is
why the US vigorously attacks popular movements in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El
Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia...etc. It is why I attended the WTO
Protests in Cancun and why I am now in Chiapas preparing to tour Mexican
activist communities in order to help them network with North Americans and help
us understand the struggles important to them and how we can unite against
US-led free trade enslavement schemes such as the WTO, FTAA and NAFTA.
began in Cancun. For the first time in more than 10 years I feel energized
and now have something to ask people to put their energy into. I watched
and participated in a difficult organizing scene where international activists
who were poorly funded and fearful of the Mexican police state came together
with the Mexican student and campesino groups to create effective and dramatic
actions despite the problems we faced with languages, styles and threats from
the thousands of well-armed and fortified military.
ask you to be serious at this time, to put aside a few months of your life
and all the resources that you have available, I ask for your love and strength
now. We all have to go to Miami at least for a day or two... millions of us. The
home of Governor-Brother Jeb Bush, the place where the lies of the George Bush
Team began with the theft of the last election and the home of this years FTAA
free trade meeting. More than this small effort I ask that you contribute
financially to help students from America Latina attend these hemispheric
also need immediate assistance in finding safe venues for these students to
acquire visas to enter the US. Please contact professors and university or
humanitarian organizations to get their immediate commitment to put in requests
for visas for educational and culture purposes - be creative, bold and fast!
contact us at Ecosolidarity Andes with any questions you have on how to help and
please send us and other related groups any information on how to assist these
you for reading this and a thousand blessings if you follow through and do your
part - this is much bigger to me than the elections - this is the people saying
no to Bush in America by all of the Americans from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego,
from Culture Change e-Letter
Industrial society has polluted enough
Shutting Down the WTO Economy?
by Jan Lundberg
Activists are proud of
themselves for shutting down the Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization
on November 30, 1999. A local songwriter there, Jim Page, rouses audience
up and down the coast to "Didn't We (Shut It Down)." In
June 2003 a mini-repeat was attempted at the Sacramento, Calif. meeting of the
WTO's agricultural ministers.
in the U.S. have been militarized, with many new weapons
that even include
sights on riot guns. Sacramento, June 23, 2003
However, for all the foes
of globalizationórepresented by up to 4,000 protesters at Sacramento and maybe
50,000 at Seattleófew people are
trying to actually shut down or totally restructure the fundamental problem or
culprit: the economy of worldwide polluting industry. In this column
we explore a sure but benign and legal way.
People know well that our global climate should
not be tampered with, but they still want "the System" to keep rolling
along. Many who wish this are not necessarily fond of the system or of their own lot
in life, but they just want to get money they need for the short term and foreseeable
future. (That may not be the only way to live; modern humans are
finding out the hard way.)
Breadwinners are forced to
buy frankenfoods, or GMO- (genetically mutilated organisms)
laced corporate products that have not been properly tested. Tests that have been
done have alarmed scientists on the harm that GMOs do to consumers of the
food. That information has been suppressed in the U.S. media, so the
spirited protests in Sacramento June 22-26 appeared odd to some who rely on TV news.
Seeds of Deception, by Jeffrey Smith, hits the bookstores
in September as the WTO meets in Cancun. Published by Yes! Books,
distributed by Chelsea Green Publishing, the
book explains why George Bush has just gone to the WTO to force the European Union to
accept U.S. GMO "food."
frankenfoods and the obliteration of seed diversity by biotech/petroleum
corporations, people feel insecure from related policies such as war for oil and
other global-warming fossil foolery. Yet, even among hardened activists who
realize (1) the overpopulated world cannot continue the consumption we see, and (2) there is no technofix to
sufficiently replace fossil fuels or
maintain the present petroleum-oriented infrastructure, few advocate an end
to what the WTO represents: polluting industry on a massive, ecocidal scale.
protesters in Sacramento don mud to appeal to the
gentler side of the
police and those the police served at WTO.
is not necessary to base a way of life on desecrating the environment. The
fact that this is not obvious to masses of modern people attests to the power of
institutional education and other forms of propaganda." - Depaver
In Sacramento June 22-25, the WTO
ministerial meeting drew hundreds fewer delegates than hoped for by the
organizers and cheerleaders, because protesters were anticipated. The
expected heavy-handed police presence and instances of brutality were no doubt a factor as
well. This WTO meeting, protests were fruitful and spirited, partly
because people feel so passionately about protecting their food from GMOs that
the WTO meeting was promoting.. Some delegates and members of the press
learned how people value their local, natural foods and that people will fight
for their rights.
One observer, Jack Nounnan of the
Humboldt County contingent of protesters, was deeply satisfied over the message
and demeanor of the protests. An experienced elder, and defender of the
Earth, he is right that progress is being made when protests are counted on and
brought off successfully.
When collapse comes, people may
remember the issues involved at the WTO events so that mistakes are
not repeated. Building anew will likely involve little if any petroleum
industry assistance, let alone a monster motor vehicle fleet. Monsanto is known
for its GMO seeds, but it's basically a petrochemical maker that wants to sell
poison. The whole system depends on trucking along with
oceanic shipping and some rail freight--all petroleum fueled. No major
road system will endure long, as the luxury of pavement staying in repair
depends on a growing economy that can afford to fix what the heavy trucks chew
up at taxpayer expense.
who say the system that the WTO represents should be stopped dead appear to be
limited to the notorious black bloc (anarchist protesters in the U.S.), Euro
street demonstrators of a hard core bent, and the Earth Liberation Front which
the Clinton Administration has been labeled the nation's top terrorist group. Some
independent activists and commentators adhere to the shut-it-down prescription
for the unsustainable industrial economy, as philosophers likely to be found growing organic kale.
most critics of the WTO simply want corporate power reigned in, so that an
imagined democratic pollution society can return and seem less threatening.
This approach is like looking for lost keys at night under the streetlight
because it is easier, not because the keys were really dropped there. And
there's certainly little funding from foundations over in the darkness!
committed as some activists and protesters are to shutting down WTO meetings, as
well as even advocating an end to the present dominant socioeconomic system, a
bona fide movement to do this is but a flea on an elephant today. But
there may be a way, in the form of boycotting the
buying of new cars.. Even if you love war for
oil, why waste $5,000 by just driving a machine off a new-car lot?
young environmentalists are too impatient to let people make the choice to
boycott new global-warming speed coffins, so the choice is made for
us: taking steps to forcibly shut down pollutionóinvolving any
property destructionódoes occur and it brings down the wrath of society as
ruled by the kings of private property. An Earth First!er named Free got a
23-year prison sentence for setting a couple of unoccupied SUVs on fire in a
dealership in the middle of the night.
Clearly, fighting fire with fire
raises issues of hypocrisy and becoming one's own enemy as a polluter. It would be
possible to shut down pollution with direct nonviolent action, but it appears to
be a most doubtful and unpopular prospect--no matter how urgent a mile-high stack of
Worldwatch Institute reports may appear on the ailing life-support system of our
planet. When it comes to the idea of using force, ask the Luddites: their smashing of
exploitative capitalists' factory machines, to defend the Luddites' village
crafts, resulted in capital punishment two centuries ago. The difference
is, Free had very little public support. Don'tcha want a nice new SUV?
protesters kept at bay: keeping the public away from its employees inside. Courtesy indymedia.org
keep buying the products of major polluters, there is no hope for
ending the level of pollution that threatens life as we know it. By the
same token, there is no hope for dismantling the nuclear threat when people keep
paying for nuclear weapons and waste through paying the taxes. However, the end of
abundant, cheap oil will change all that.
and destroying the beautiful, biologically diverse Earth are tied to the
availability of money in the form of consumer buying power (two-thirds of the
U.S. economy). The other main contributor to maintaining the pollution
economy is plentiful, low-cost petroleum. However, not only is a distorted
climate among the costs we really pay for the petroleum; oil and natural gas are
buying new cars
It may or may not be in our power as individuals or as a society to shut down
polluting consumption and production on a deliberate or planned basis. In
case it is possible for mere mortals to have as much of an effect as two gigantic
forcesómad Mother Nature and a collapsing economyówe can explore the method of maximizing the
power of our spending-dollars.
boycott of new cars would have a strong restructuring effect on the economy in a matter
of weeks, because at least 25% of all U.S. jobs are motor-vehicle-industry
related (aside from depending on transport). Advocating this would be
irresponsible if destruction and hardship were the object. However, this
economy has to go anywayóit will of its own weight. So, the sooner the
better? And if its demise is anticipated or planned, people will be more
prepared to institute sustainable practices for survival. Such as:
exclusively buying locally made products that one needs. Even a used car when
purchased puts money into the community instead of distant corporations. Here in Humboldt County, people
are proud to have old cars and use them little.
and trusting nature and ourselves is key to survival and enjoying life.
The root word of "economics," ecos, is Greek for household, and this
root word is also what "ecosystem" is based on. To separate
the economy from the ecosystem is impossible, and to attempt it is damaging even though
profitable in the short-term.
collapse of the present dominant economy is advisable and leads to
sustainability if collapse comes soon enough in the right way. Short-term, collapse is
painful, but more painful the longer it is put off. It was painful in the
1930s, but not nearly so much as will the next, final, giant depression. In
1930, people in the U.S. were not yet virtually eating petroleum. Now that
they are, population growth has been accommodated to reach a size more than
double what is was in 1930 at the dawn of the petroleum-agriculture age (or, in
perspective, an age-lette).
the economy collapses, whether from a concerted campaign to buy only used cars (the weakened economy will also force people to do
so) or from inevitable
petroleum supply shortage around the corner, people will eat local food to the
extent that they can and must. To the extent they cannot, they will
starve. Cannibalism will reign; the question is how much. It will be
worse in New York City than in Havana where they grow their own organic food and get
around on bikes. The average piece of food consumed in the U.S. nowadays
travels 1,400 miles before it is eaten, thanks to the wonders of transportation
relying on oil.
global oil extraction is occurring perhaps as we speak, and there is no
alternative energy future for this overbuilt Petroleum Civilization. The solar,
hydrogen buffs wish for a magical transformation of an entire infrastructure,
and it won't happen without a lot of rebuildingóby a much reduced population
eking out subsistence in the trashed ecosystem. So, do we extend this
unwinnable, lethal game of propping up the Waste Economy, or cut our losses
A WTO trade-show participant reports:
A coalition of organic
farmers and farming organizations set up a small organic food stand inside their
booth space at the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) (WTO)
Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology. Attended
by over 100 ministers, the Conference took place from June 23rd through June
25th in Sacramento, Calif.
The organic booth proved to be the most popular exhibit at
the conference. Agricultural ministers, USDA employees, and biotech industry
reps all enjoyed the organic produce and wine. Many of the ministers were hungry
not only for organic food, but also for knowledge on organic agriculture.
Organic farmer Christie Knoll provided local fresh cherries,
peaches and other summer delights to conference attendees. Mark Mulcahey
(Organic Options) designed a beautiful produce display. John Williams of Frog's
Leap winery served his wine. Zea Sonnabend, Brian Leahy, Brian Sharpe (CCOF),
"Amigo" Bob Contisano (Organic Ag Advisors), and Jessica Miller (Eco
Farm Association) were in attendance to help answer the ministers' questions and
provide them with organic food.
Serving the only fresh, local food available inside the
conference, the organic booth reminded the ministers that agriculture is about
the production of nutritious food. Even USDA Secretary of Agriculture Ann
Veneman stopped by to enjoy a fresh strawberry (see picture).
- Brian Leahy
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