Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How The March Against Monsanto Can (and will) Change The World

Note: I hosted a special radio show on  5/22/13, on The Anti-Media Radio where we went into more depth on all of these fundamental building blocks of the Food Revolution which included a panel of experts from each field I listed in this article. Please listen here here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxS7QJbmCY&feature=youtu.be

by Nick Bernabe
March Against Monsanto

How The March Against Can And Will Change The World

The March Against Monsanto was started by a handful of millenials with a passion for change, a passion that we all have within us. Many people make the mistake of looking for someone to make change for them when the real change in this world comes from within. The top-down approach for making the world a better place, i.e. electing politicians to do our bidding has come and gone, with little success. There's a revolution happening right before our eyes, and before I had the opportunity to help with the world-wide March Against Monsanto, I was largely oblivious to this sea change that is coming. The rules of change, of activism, of consciousness, and of helping people are being rewritten by you and me, one connection at a time. The new revolution of good is coming from the grass-roots and making its way upward; this bottom-up effect is exactly what those who would like to see us silent are afraid of.

This new way of media and activism cannot be controlled by the likes of corporations or governments; these are ideas and they cannot be stopped. This new paradigm shift starts with you, your friends and family, and the way you can connect with people around you; the way information is disseminated makes all the difference in this new paradigm. The mainstream media controls 95% of the information  that we see, from television to newspapers, to magazines. This is the top-down technique, where you have no choice but to consume what's being served, making for a fickle population that was manipulated by commercials and where money made the major difference between a bill passing or failing, and a politician being elected or losing. The new media  is a media of choice, where people can choose to get information on a topic that they choose. What does this mean? This means that a person that participates in the new media is more passionate, better informed, in turn a much more valuable asset to a social movement. These people are well versed in the information, founded in fact, and immune to the manipulation of a mainstream media establishment that is 90% owned by 6 monopolistic corporations. These new activists are warriors for truth and justice, and for those currently controlling the agenda, this can be a scary situation.

You see, the government and corporations are ingrained into the establishment; they're comfortable in their positions. This will be their downfall. History and science have shown that the comfortable devolve and the oppressed evolve; struggle is the essence of innovation and of change. This is why good always prevails over bad. The March Against Monsanto has grown beyond my wildest dreams; a few months ago it was just an idea. It has grown into a full blown movement and the people that started it wouldn't be able to stop if they wanted. You see, the people have taken over the March, the decentralization has come in a natural way, an intuitive way. Movements can no longer be over-centralized, as over-centralization is detrimental to any organization, institution, business and government. The new paradigm which is forming will be driven by people who care, not people who care for power. The old idea of inorganic manipulation, which used to be the norm, has fallen to the side in favor of this new movement of information: this new Revolution. Information is spreading in grass-roots, open source fashion, all the old rules are being thrown out.

How the March AgainstMonsanto can and will change the world. The beginning of the Food Revolution.

The March does not and cannot end on May 25, 2013. For many of the participants in the March Against Monsanto, this is their first protest or march that they have ever taken part of. This movement has awakened a very large group of people that care about their food supply and care about other people’s food supply. These courageous marchers have put aside all of their political and ideological differences to stand in solidarity for what is right.

How do we carry on this March Against Monsanto, this new food revolution passed the 25th?

Capture the momentum of this movement and harness it at the local level. Keep your local march network alive and growing.

All of the connections that you are making in your local areas, all of the people you are meeting through the organizing, planning, and marching process must be kept active for this march to have a lasting effect. If we just march on the 25th and nothing more, then the movement ends right then and there. Each event page for each local city is full of great contacts, activists, and people that care. Compile these lists, make email lists, start a newsletter, make a local Facebook page and keep the pressure on to continue this fight. Pass around signup sheets at your local marches to collect emails. Even if you don't have a plan of action for what to do with the emails you compile, put them into a spread sheet and save them until you figure it out. I recommend that once your march is over on Saturday evening that you change the Date of your local Facebook event to 5/24/14; this will keep the event page up and will make it easier to access your local food revolutionaries. Use open source organizing techniques to lower the burden and to keep your local movement decentralized. Using an open platform will make it easier for your local community and activists to add information into your spread sheets, email lists, and other data rich documents. Monsanto is not going away without a fight: They've been around for over 100 years and deeply entrenched in the political establishment of both parties.



After the March, take real steps to improve your food fate locally. Remember that people on a low or fixed income don’t have a choice to eat organic with their given incomes.

It’s not enough to simply tell people to eat organic, or vote for initiatives that will label GMOs. The very first thing you can do is plant your own garden. If you have the space, plant a garden larger than what you need to feed your family and help someone that is less fortunate with some fresh homegrown food from your garden. What if you don’t have a yard to plant in? One option is growing indoors. There is a growing industry of indoor gardeners that are starting to change the way we think about gardening through the use of
hydroponics . You should be able to find a local hydroponics store near you and get it all set up and growing food for a couple hundred dollars. There are also plenty of online retailers of indoor growing equipment; try Craigslist if you're on a tight budget. What if you don’t have a yard and growing indoors in not an option for you? At this point we need to look to our fellow local activists from the March Against Monsanto.

Community gardens are a great way to bring in a fresh and organic food source into an urban area. Find a plot of land that is vacant or belongs to the local city, find out who is on charge of it and get the ball rolling on starting a community garden. Enlist some people that you have met though the march to help you physically, technically, and financially. Look to the local community to crowd source labor and resources. If none of these are an option for you, there’s still hope for you within the food revolution. Share cropping is a way of getting some space to grow a garden that you can secure for free or a very low cost. Many urban sharecroppers will offer free food from the garden to the land owner in exchange for offering them some space to grow a garden. Share cropping is just like a community garden on a smaller scale. If you live in an area where there are many small yards with space available, think about setting up a sharecropping co-op where food can be traded and shared for little or no money. Always remember that the low income community is at the highest risk of GMO and chemical exposure from their food. Look into new technologies and techniques when setting up your new gardens. Vertical gardeningis great way to maximize limited space a make your garden virtually maintenance free. There’s an ancient technique of hydroponics that is just being rediscovered and developed: aquaponics.



Aquaponics is arguably the most efficient way to grow organic vegetables…and edible fish at the same time. This technique has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but new attention is being brought to aquaponics because of its efficiency and ability to grow both edible fish and vegetation. A Wisconsin man was able to grow over one million pounds of food in one year by utilizing these new and innovative growing techniques.

Activism

There are many forms of activism that we can use to improve our food fate and continue the food revolution. The March Against Monsanto is a perfect example of a mass movement that disseminates information to millions of people, awakening the masses to the injustices of the world. Activism can be done on a much smaller scale and many different ways. As I detailed earlier, the networks are being rebuilt in a new, more just way. Utilize your new local network of activists to keep pressure on local politicians and hold them to their promises. Organize mass emailing and mass calling to their offices when a critical vote is about to be made. Let them hear your voice amplified by your entire network. Build relationships with other activists from other causes, reach out to other interests and help support them, and they will support you. Spreading awareness is key to the food revolution; many people don't know what GMOs are, let alone know the negative effects on their health and environment that they cause.

Mobilize your local activist network often and keep them engaged in the community; you are the leaders of this movement! It's up to you to let your neighbors know what's in their food and how they can make real world progress to take their food back. These techniques can also be replicated on the national and global level, which is why it's important for you to stay connected to the national MAM campaign. We can find and spot things like the Monsanto Protection Act before they are passed into law and put out a call to action to all the local networks to help us get them stopped.

Support alternative media

Remember seeing the warnings about the dangers of the 'Monsanto Protection Act' on MSNBC and FOX News before it became a law? Me neither. That's because there was no warning from the mainstream media; in fact very few have even covered it to this day. We did find out about this bill when it was only a proposal from multiple reports by independent journalists, including SpreadLibertyNews on 12/17/12. The pattern that we see from the mainstream is a dangerous one. As I noted earlier, over 90% of the media is owned by 6 companies, and just like Monsanto, these companies have also slipped into bed with the government.
Comedians have become the only mainstream media sources that are willing to challenge the establishment's political and economic might. Yet pundits like Jon Stewart who have been shown in polls to be more trusted for news than some major news outlets, only bring light to these harmful pieces of legislation after they are already passed into law. This is why supporting and finding alternative news sources is so important: Do you want to find out about harmful legislation before it's passed while we still have time to mobilize and try to stop them, or do you want to find out about it on TV when it's too late? Find and support independent journalists on sites like TheAnti-Media.org that aggregate news from many diverse sources, find the ones you like and subscribe to their posts.

The mainstream media has major interests in other industries, including military adventurism and yes you guessed it, GMOs. In a court ruling in 2003, it was determined that news companies can legally lie to their viewers and readers. The case was brought about when two FOX News journalists tried to publish a report about the negative health effects of Monsanto's bovine growth hormone (BGH) and were subsequently fired when they refused to censor their story to fit FOX's agenda. Supporting alternative media is key in decentralizing our supply of unbiased information and getting news from sources that do not have billion-dollar agendas, finding like-minded activists, and keeping the pressure on politicians who seek to only enrich themselves and their corporate lackeys.

Note: I hosted a special radio show on  5/22/13, on The Anti-Media Radio where we went into more depth on all of these fundamental building blocks of the Food Revolution which included a panel of experts from each field I listed in this article. Please listen here here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxS7QJbmCY&feature=youtu.be

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