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RNC protests
New Guantanamo on the Hudson: toxic residue for jailed protesters 

Washington, D.C. - April 24, 2004
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 Rovics.

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!


Miami Crowd Control Would Do Tyrant Proud
The war is coming home.  Miami was too much like Baghdad 

Even the mainstream media has covered the police over-reaction to lawful protest in Miami for the FTAA.  For two accounts, see " 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 Miami.

Read our report on Plan Puebla Panama, for background on free trade schemes in Mesoamerica. 


New Guantanamo on the Hudson: toxic residue for jailed protesters 

Dissenters are taught yet another lesson about the land of free speech & assembly

More info:


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!



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.

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.

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.

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 groups:

United for Peace and Justice
(212) 868-5545,
(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
(212) 679-6018.

Thank you for your help! Pass this message on and distribute as widely as possible!


 Chemical Burns from Peer 57 (Video)       
by david
Email: david (nospam) (verified)     01 Sep 2004
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  Democracy Now!]
"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 solidarity rally.
"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 Center
Phone: 305-579-6420

Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas
City of Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz
Telephone: 305-250-5300
Janet Lopez, Director Office of Communications
Phone: 305-416-1036
For more information visit the FTAA IMC in Miami at


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 practices.

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 including:
    * 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 protests.
"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 alarming behavior.
Mayor, Miami-Dade County
305.829.9336 home
305.375.5071 office
Mayor, City of Miami
Chief of police
City Attorney
Miami City Commissioner
305.858.7344 home
305.250.5333 office
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)

"Free Trade" needs to rely on oil maximization and other forms of violence

As world trade is mainly an oil-burning/spilling activity, especially in 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 players.


The 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.  

mujeres4.JPGThousands 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!


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 Cancun WTO!

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:, or (520) 540.0013


Hello friends and acquaintances and all involved in building a just world,


My 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.


I 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.


I 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.


Miracles 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.


I 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 meetings.


We 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!


Please 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 efforts.


Thanks 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, Argentina.


We will see...


Marcel Idels

Ecosolidarity Andes

520. 540.0013

from Culture Change e-Letter #25

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.

Police 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."

Besides 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.

Naked protesters in Sacramento don mud  to appeal to the
 gentler side of the police and those the police served at WTO.

"It 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.

Those 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 since 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.  

But 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!

As 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?

Some 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?

A strong show of force to keep the public away from its employees?
Sacramento  protesters kept at bay: keeping the public away from its employees inside. Courtesy

When consumers 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.

Polluting 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 rapidly depleting resources.  

Boycott 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.

A 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.

Loving 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.

Long-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).

When 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.

Peak global oil extraction is occurring perhaps as we speak, and there is no alternative energy future for this overbuilt Petroleum Civilization.  The solar, windmill and 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 now?  

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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