“Yes, we must absolutely go out into the streets, but our protests need to be more than generalized expressions of collective rage and grief; they must target the very functioning of the system that seeks to destroy us. Crucially, we should also be laying the groundwork for concrete organizing projects designed to move past protest and start building power from the bottom up. Protest alone–even militant, focused, and strategic protest–is a dead end if we don’t build an infrastructure of resistance to sustain our movements and communities in the long term.” – Micah White, Occupy activist, in an interview with National Public Radio
On Saturday, May 20, activists took to the streets, all over the world, for the sixth annual March Against Monsanto protests. News reports like those from Switzerland, Bangladesh, Toronto and, here in the U.S., Denver and Miami painted a picture of solidarity against what’s come to be known as the most evil corporation in the world.
As in years past, the Organic Consumers Association wholeheartedly supported this year’s march. We promoted it through our website, newsletter and social media networks. We mailed out about 400 packets of anti-GMO and anti-pesticide banners, bumperstickers and leaflets, to March Against Monsanto organizers.
We have always actively participated in the global March against Monsanto, and we will continue. But we also recognize that anti-Monsanto protests alone have not forced enough change, fast enough.
As Occupy activist Micah White said in a recent interview with National Public Radio, protest alone does not give us political power.
How true. If we learned anything from our years of work trying to pass GMO labeling laws, it was this: As long as corporations own our politicians, no amount of public support, no amount of protesting a corporation, without also addressing our broken political system, will move us in the direction we want to go.
We need to do more. So, what’s next?