by Stephen Dafoe
Edmonton – A free bus has been arranged to take Morinville and area residents to the 3rd Worldwide March Against Monsanto, taking place at End of Steel Park May 24th at noon.
“This is a grassroots protest to protect our food, soil, air, water and bees from the biochemical company Monsanto,” said local organizer Kimberly Porlier, adding the event is a peaceful demonstration designed to bring awareness. “The genetic modification of our food is an imprecise science that poses many health risks. They have been marketed as a way to feed the world when in fact its yields have proven no increase over time and these crops rely heavily on chemicals.” Porlier believes GMO farming is unsustainable and has backed many farmers into only being able to plant GMO seeds as soil health becomes depleted due to pesticide use.
It is a movement Porlier says is growing and not going away any time soon. “This is the 3rd Worldwide March against Monsanto where millions of people are standing together peacefully from all walks of life to take back our commons,” she said. “Once you know what is going on it cannot be ignored.”
Porlier organized and ran a Monsanto March in Morinville last October during world Food Day, one that drew a considerable crowd to march from St. Jean Baptiste Park, where speakers presented information on GMOs, to the cultural centre, where participants watched a documentary on the subject. The organizer was unable to duplicate that effort this spring. “I was very excited to see so many people come out to the last march in October,” she said. “The support shown was more than I anticipated. While I believe it is important to keep this issue visible until it is resolved, I was unable to organize a separate march for Morinville this spring. It takes a lot of time, dedication, coordination and money to pull it off successfully and as working mom with two small children and an injured knee I didn’t feel that I would be able to do it all.”
Although there will be no local version of the protest, Porlier believes the bus is an excellent opportunity to bring like minded individuals together that might not do so on their own.
Information booths will set up by many different local organizations at the event. Speakers begin at noon and the march will take place at 12:30. Porlier said the bus can hold 50-75 people and will depart from the Skyline Ball Diamonds (10510 107 St.) at10:30 a.m. May 24 and reload in Edmonton at 2 p.m. for the return trip to Morinvlle.
She is hoping residents interested in learning about GMOs and the percieved dangers they pose will hop on the bus and take part in the event. “This [affects] every single person on the planet,” she said. “It is a global fight for humanities basic right to clean air, food, and water. We owe it to ourselves and our children to get informed about what is being done to the food we are putting on our table. This may be the biggest fight of our lifetime.”