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GE Action Update 41 - Day Of Action Next Week!

GE Free Action Update 41 10 December 2003

Kia ora koutou,

Lots in this update. Greenpeace has launched their new food guide, The ERMA roadshow was met with protest across the country and people are still working hard on behind the scenes projects.

A national day of action against Arnotts has been called for on Dec the 13th by the People’s Moratorium Enforcement Agency and A GE free direct action camp is being planned for early January in Motueka.

Read on…

This is the last update I am compiling. It is unclear if or in what form they will continue but there is interest from people in continuing them and possibly making it web-based. I just want to say thank you for all of the messages you have sent and the support and patience shown with my erratic timing! I will be handing over the melmaibpete email soon so if you want your name taken off the network let me know. If you want to get hold of me personally try maibrittpedersen@yahoo.com.

I will let the woman taking over from me introduce herself in the next update.

Thanks heaps, MMP GE Free Networkers – melmaibpete@lycos.com

* * *

INDEX:

1 WHAT YOU CAN DO:
2 NEW RESOURCES:
3 UPCOMMING EVENTS:
4 WHATS BEEN GOING ON FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY:
5 REQUESTS FOR HELP:
6 IMPORTANT DATES:

* * * * * * *

1 WHAT YOU CAN DO / NEW ACTION IDEAS!

* * * * * * * * *

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION:

From People Enforcing the People’s Moratorium…

‘This Is a Call For Action

Yes you need to get active quickly.

The focus of this day is the Arnotts Biscuit company which produces many of your favourite biscuits such as Tim Tams and Mint Slices, but with GE products. Farmbake cookies sure are good, but the company will not guarantee that their products are GE-Free. We want to put as much pressure on Arnotts as possible to show we will not buy their products until they source GE-Free products.

Some ideas for action are calling their 0800 881 966 or their customer service centre on 0508276688 and letting them know you want their products to be completely GE-Free and encouraging friends and family to do the same, by refusing to buy their products and letting them and others know why you are doing so until they are GE-Free. A list of other actions is listed on the website pmea.org.nz, or send an email to peoplesmoratorium@riseup.net for ideas on actions. Think of something creative to do in your area such as at your local supermarket on the 13th to show your opinion and get the message out there that we are committed to keeping New Zealand GE-Free.

Please forward this to any email lists you may have, and pass on the message to make it a really successful national day of action.’

Note supermarket action outline available from melmaibpete@lycos.com

* * * * * * *

INTERNATIONAL WEB PROTEST:

Take Action!

Massive International Protest on GM Contamination of Mexican Maize

Go here to send message of protest:

http://www.etcgroup.org/action3.asp

An open letter to Mexican government authorities and intergovernmental bodies was sent last month, signed by 302 organizations from 56 countries, demanding actions to stop contamination of farmers' maize with DNA from genetically modified (GM) maize, and to prevent any further contamination in the world's centers of crop diversity and origin.

See the letter and signatories here:

http://www.etcgroup.org/article.asp?newsid=417.

* * * * * * * *

GE FREE REGISTER:

Spread the word. Make sure everyone you know has registered their property / land etc GE Free. www.gefreeregister.co.nz

* * * * * * *

PMEA:

The People’s Moratorium is you. It is the people of Aotearoa enforcing the people’s moratorium in whatever way they need to, from using consumer power to education to other methods. The People’s Moratorium Enforcement Agency (PMEA) is not a group, but a way to empower people to be able to enforce the people’s moratorium. Already in action and nationwide. More details soon. www.pmea.org.nz

* * * * * * * * * *

PHONE CAMPAIGN:

From Wellington:

‘I'm phoning the Ministries of Environment and Health, also ANZFA, NZ Food Safety Authority, etc, asking how they know the "approved" GE foods are "safe", also what policing the so-called GE labeling has here, and just what labels can we see? So far, no-one knows anything about anything. Hopeless. I suggest a HUGE phone campaign. Also the suppliers - a huge phone campaign asking just what products are GE free, how do they know, etc, and if not, why not. I rang ANZFA in Australia, and was only the 2nd person from NZ to tell them no-one's policing the labeling regs here. There should be hundreds, if not thousands, of calls! You know - "Let your fingers do the walking"... PS They all have freephone numbers, so it doesn't cost anything...’ Note: Free phone numbers are on the madge purse power cards and on the Greenpeace guides and on website and of course in the phone book and on products.

* * * * * * * * *

2 NEW RESOURCES:

* * * * * * * * *

NEW GREENPEACE TRUE FOOD GUIDE:

Greenpeace's GE-Free Food guide can help you use your dollars for good. Try it for yourself at http://www.gefreefood.org.nz. It’s a bit different than the last one. Comes in a smaller size and you can work out your shopping list on line too. http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/truefood/default.asp http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/pdf/GEFreeFoodGuide2004.pdf ‘Another of New Zealand’s biggest food companies; Goodman Fielder [These guys are the largest users of Canola oil in all their breads ... Vogel, Country Split, Meadowlea ...], has joined Australasian food heavyweights Heinz Watties and Unilever in the green (non-GE) section of the Greenpeace GE Free Food Guide. Volunteers dressed as Christmas elves were be on streets nationwide handing out free copies of the updated pocket sized consumer guide to avoiding genetically engineered (GE) food.’ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?reportID=53009&storyID=3535979 http://www.indymedia.org.nz/front.php3?article_id=12934&group=webcast

* * * * * * * * *

NZ GRASSROOTS GE FREE ACTIVISTS & THEIR SUPPORTERS - NEW: Decontaminate! Zine

Issue #1

Decontaminate! is a new newsletter dedicated to helping unify and build the grassroots GE-free movement by providing a forum where activists can exchange information, share strategy, discuss important issues within the movement, participate in informed critical debate, network with each other in an open and respectful environment and strengthen the grassroots. The moratorium has been lifted, the Peoples Moratorium has been issued and it needs to be enforced!

Order your copy of Issue #1 Only $3 (or free online)

Decontaminate! aims to inform, involve and inspire individuals, grassroots groups and the grassroots GE-free movement. Central to the philosophy of Decontaminate! is praxis - critically informed action/practice.

Decontaminate! seeks to analyse and create debate not only around issues of genetic engineering and its supporters, but also an in-depth examination of the GE-free movement and it’s ideological complexity and relationship to a broader socio-culture context. Decontaminate! wishes to make connections with and learn from other grassroots movements nationally and worldwide.

Every issue of Decontaminate! will contain the latest grassroots ge-free news, action updates, activist interviews, special focus sections, useful how-to information, commentary and much more. Decontaminate! will be published monthly and produced entirely by activists for activists. That means you, so get involved!

You can either help by writing submissions, helping with distribution, joining the team (publication, layout, website, writing content, editing) or by supporting us by buying a copy, making donations or just reading it online!

Send cash cheque to: Decontaminate! C/O PO BOX 6387, Wellington decontaminate@enzyme.org.nz http://decontamination.enzyme.org.nz Please distribute this email to your GE-free networks.

* * * * * * * * *

GE FREE BUMPER STICKERS:

Orange and black: get them distributed. Contact Greenpeace if you want some and haven’t got any yet. leighmartin@untitled.co.nz

* * * * * * * * *

TANGATA WHENUA - GE:

’A feature article about Maori views on GE was published in the Sunday Star Times at Labour weekend (27 Oct)’ – Sorry it missed the last update. The link is: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/sundaystartimes/0,2106,2704955a6619,00.html

* * * * * * * *

EU LEGISLATION:

Overview of EU regulations concerning GMOs available from melmaibpete@lycos.com

* * * * * * *

DEBUNK THE CANADA LOVES GE MYTH:

’This needs to be brought to Marion Hobbs attention, with her false claims that GE is happily coexisting with other forms of primary production in Canada!:’

Cabinet papers warn Canada off GM crops http://www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,2763,1083640,00.html

* * * * * * *

3 UPCOMING GE FREE EVENTS:

* * * * * * *

FUNDRAISER - WELLINGTON:

The HARAKEKE Eco-collective (part of the Wellington GE Free Coalition) proudly presents…

A fundraiser screening of

THE LORD OF THE RINGS:

THE RETURN OF THE KING

December 23rd, 8:55 pm, Embassy Theatre Support our mission to save THIS Middle Earth, and experience the trilogy finale of cinematic glory conjured up by Kiwi ingenuity. Tickets $18 each ($20 door sales if any left), cash only please. To purchase tickets, please contact any of the following people: ‘The Baileys’: 976-4663 (Wellington Central) Lalipa: 934-2656 (Karori, Kelburn, Tinakori) Alisa: 566-7830 (The Hutt)

Organic drinks and nibbles available, as well as Lalipa's divinely delicious vegan hummus dip, considered to be 'the food of the Elves'. All proceeds go to the 'Kotahi Ao' global grassroots film project (www.kotahiao.org).

* * * * * * * * *

NATIONAL ACTION CAMP:

This is an invitation to all campaigners; activists and individuals opposing the use of genetically engineered organisms in our food and environment. Now that the moratorium is lifted and the government has shown its contempt for the people of Aotearoa, it is time to take the campaign to a new level. Come to the National Direct Action Camp near Motueka Jan 2-4, 2004:

This will be a unique opportunity to take the GE campaign further and increase the pressure on both the biotech companies and the government. The idea for this camp came from the Tent City in Wellington, and the announcement of the Peoples Moratorium in October 2003.

Check our website www.pmea.org.nz for a complete program and more details on what to bring (and what not to bring) and how to get there. The workshops will be held at Mountain Valley School near Motueka. Bring your tents for accommodation.

Workshops include: Direct action strategy and tactics (What people in other countries do to challenge GE and why now is the time to take direct action in New Zealand) Consensus decision-making and affinity groups (Working together more effectively and avoiding power struggles) Direct communication (Banner making, stencils, subvertising) Supermarket actions (Direct action in supermarkets to help spread the word abut what products not to buy) Media training (Make the most out of your activities!) Blockading (Block trains and trucks and ships transporting GE organisms and contaminated food) Decontamination (Don’t like having field trials in your neighbourhood? Do something about them)

If you are interested in coming along please contact us at peoplesmoratorium@riseup.net or ring us at 0508 GE FREE NOW (0508 433 733). Let us know how many of you are coming so that we have an easier time for planning the workshops and logistics. See you in the fields!

* * * * *

4 WHATS BEEN GOING ON FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY:

* * * * * * * * *

AUSTRALAISAN GE FREE ALLIANCE?

Australian GE Free Activist Bob Phelps of Gene Ethics Network met with (amoung others) Sue Kedgly of the Green and separately with the Wellington GE Free Coalition in November. We had lots of discussions and realized there was a lot in common we could work on and support each other with. There was some discussion of an Australasian GE Free Alliance, primarily to target ANZFA and other cross Tasman GE issues. If you want to comment on the proposal, be part of getting it going or want to see the minutes of the meeting contact melmaibpete@lycos.com

* * *

AUCKLAND ACTION:

nz herald 08.11.2003

’Prime Minister Helen Clark was painted as a National Party leader yesterday when anti-GM protesters took to her Mt Albert electorate office.

The protesters slopped Tory blue paint about and wrote slogans calling her a "substantially equivalent National leader" in a play on words relating to GM-derived foods which can be described as "substantially equivalent" to conventional foods under New Zealand food safety regulations. They claim her stand on GM is akin to the centre-right rather than the centre-left.’ (Wahoo! Ha ha)

Images: http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0311/S00069.htm

* * * * * *

BIOTECH CONFERENCE:

"Preparation, Management and Exploitation of Biotech and Lifescience patents: Examining intellectual property protection, licensing and enforcement issues." Conference was targeted for protest on the 13th and 14th of November by the Auckland crew. Noise makers (pot lids, trumpets, whistles, babies, etc), banners, and placards, were present.

‘This is the corporate face of biotechnology, pushing intellectual property rights as the vehicle to own our food chain and bodies. We won't get caught in the trap of only boycotting/protesting the final consumer product! The aim was to send a clear message to big business that we will protect a GE free Aotearoa!’

* * * *

ERMA NOVEMBER ROAD SHOW

The circus was held outside of the ERMA Roadshow being hosted at the Michael Fowler Center last month. It served to point out that ERMA itself is nothing more than a show, an organisation designed to make the Labour-government appear democratic.

“The ERMA Roadshow is biased labour-government propaganda attempting to convince the people of Aotearoa/New Zealand that Genetically Engineered Organisms are safe, containable, and able to co-exist with non-GEOs,“ said Felicity Perry, spokesperson for the People’s Moratorium Enforcement Agency. “ERMA’s theory of co-existence is impossible – they can’t stop the wind from blowing, bees from cross-pollinating, and organisms from spreading,” Perry said.

“ERMA’s idea of co-existence - like a circus - is laughable yet disturbing, and proves that it is incapable of protecting New Zealanders from the economic, environmental, and social risks of Genetic Engineering,” said Perry. http://www.indymedia.org.nz/front.php3?article_id=12772&group=webcast

* * * * *

GE FREE MOVEMENT IN NZ PORTAL SITE:

This is being worked on to make it easier for people to understand and particiapte in the GE free movement in NZ in all its diversity.

* * * * * * *

MORE SUPERMARKETS GOING GE FREE IN NZ:

Foodstuffs - the power behind New World, Pak 'N Save, Four Square and Write Price supermarkets - announced it was "going GM free" last month.

Progressive Enterprises - which owns Foodtown, Woolworths, Countdown and Price Chopper, and the franchise for FreshChoice and SuperValue also "reminded" customers of its long-time GE-free stance on its own brands (since 2001). http://www.lifesciencenz.com/news-detail.asp?newsID=5277

* * * * * * * * * *

SOCIAL FORUM:

GE was discussed at the forum held in Porirua – check out indymedia for more info on that.

* * * * * * * *

LASTEST FROM THE EU and UK:

UK defeat on move to widen GM food sales Britain tried and failed last month to lift a five-year EU-wide moratorium on new genetically modified food products, in a move that attracted criticism from green groups. http://www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,2763,1102674,00.html

* * * * * * *

ANALYSIS OF THE ‘FACE OF SCIENCE’:

George Monbiot exposes how a bizarre and cultish political network has become the public face of the scientific establishment, at the heart of its media attacks against critics of biotechnology. "Far from rebuilding public trust in science and medicine, this group's repugnant philosophy could finally destroy it." http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1102753,00.html

* * * * * * *

MEDIA :

There has been masses of stories and articles in papers / mags / radio over the last week not to mention a whole heap of press releases from the greens, GE free NZ and the Sustainability Council and others. Too much to include here but if you are really interested go to the 90 degrees website, or individual sites for the Sunday star, the herald etc and for Greenpeace, GE Free NZ, MAdGE, Sust Council, Greens etc.

* * * * * * *

5. REQUESTS FROM ROUND THE COUNTRY:

* * * * *

A UNITED FRONT:

From discussion at tent city:

’We are a diverse movement and not all of us agree on tactics. That’s cool but lets not put other GE Free groups down in the media. It may be a good idea to simply direct media to the group concerned. In light of this it was discussed that groups need to take responsibility for actions / ideas they have so that they are clearly identified in the GE Free movement and so others groups don’t cop it if something is seen to go wrong. So please:

1 Identify who you are if you’re doing an action or whatever (you can make up a name… This is so it doesn’t get attributed to someone else)

2 Don’t critise other groups’ actions (no comment’s a good one)

3 Direct media to the groups they are asking about if not your own

4 How about we present the idea that we are a diverse not divisive movement.

* * * * * * *

6. IMPORTANT DATES

* * * * *

DECEMBER:

Dec 13 National Day of Action

Dec 23 Fundraiser in Wellington

JANUARY:

Jan 2-4 Direct Action Camp Motueka

If you have moved or don't want to receive these updates let us know so we can keep the network up to date. Email melmaibpete@lycos.com

The networkers disclaim all responsibility for the actions and ideas of individuals or groups

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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