The March Against Monsanto campaign has been fairly quiet since their overwhelmingly successful May 25 event that saw demonstrators taking to the streets in record numbers of more than two million people in support of the GMO Freedom movement in over 400 cities and several dozen countries.
Now the campaign is gearing up for the next incarnation of what could become an ongoing trend to raise awareness of the critical need to contain the spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food crops.
The campaign has quietly announced that another march is tentatively planned for October 12, World Food Day.
“We are going to get involved heavily with the October 12 World Food Day,” said Nick Bernabe, March Against Monsanto’s Social Media Director, in a recent article on the movement’s website, www.march-against-monsanto.com.
The march’s Facebook page also currently features a cover graphic showing the date, Oct. 12, along with a large March Against Monsanto headline on the top and the Twitter hashtag #MarchAgainstMonsanto.
The details of the event are still being worked out, but the movement also said that they are working to promote the July 4 Moms Across America march where people are encouraged to join their local Independence Day parades to show their support for GMO labeling (and containment of cross contamination, hopefully, which is another area the movement should begin focusing on).
For now, however, activists should begin planning for both new March Against Monsanto-supported events as the movement continues to grow for GMO free food and fairness and transparency among elected officials. Some Facebook pages from the May 25 individual events have already begun organizing for the Oct. 12 march.
New March Against Monsanto Events a Great Opportunity
With news of GMO wheat cross contamination greatly hurting American export markets and more and more people informed about and avoiding GMOs than ever before thanks to the May 25 event, now is the time to define the March Against Monsanto movement and move forward in the most constructive ways possible.
Some people have suggested changing the focus from being “against Monsanto” to something more upbeat and constructive. The March Against Monsanto name has already become so popular and magnetizing that it will likely stick around for years to come, however.
But demonstrators can make some important changes to the messages they deliver on the streets the next time around that will help turn the march into an even stronger and more inclusive phenomenon and movement with widespread appeal. The first march served a great purpose for bringing awareness to the GMO issue and showing the passion that activists have for their cause on a grand scale. The task now is to move away from protest actions and displays/signs that are more about venting emotions and toward actions and displays/signs that convey important points to the media.
For example, during the first march, my sign focused on the recent United Nations report that showed that small scale organic farming is the way to “feed the world” rather than GMOs as the companies behind them always seem to falsely point out. The purpose of the sign was to expose a myth and to hopefully get another member of the media to take notice.
Ideally, the next March Against Monsanto event on October 12 will have dozens of similar posters, mass produced with a uniform look and theme, to hold up in large numbers so that the media will have no choice but to pay attention and word will spread so as to discourage the continued parroting of the myth that “GMOs feed the world.” Other myths can also be debunked with large amounts of signs and press materials to hand out to people or newspapers and TV stations.
By the same token, posts that simply vent negative feelings about how evil Monsanto and other GMO companies are may not have the best impact this time around compared to signs like the one mentioned above. More solution-oriented or awareness-oriented posters are always a better idea, such as one promoting the virtues of organic farming, one showing icons of what food to avoid buying when non-organic (soy, corn etc.), or one describing how un-American GMOs truly are, considering they cross contaminate other crops and take away our right to choose healthy, nutritious and natural food.
All Hands on Deck for New March Against Monsanto Event on Oct. 12 Date
The March Against Monsanto event and campaign has a lot of grassroots traction behind it, but the organization aspect of it is still taking shape.
The good news is that we can all work hard to do our part in making the October 12 march the best one yet and perhaps the one that finally starts bringing about real change in Washington, D.C. and especially among consumers.
We can start making signs now, start drafting emails to local TV stations and newspapers or even telling them about the event on their social media sites such as Facebook, and start making plans and clearing our schedules to attend on October 12 (and July 4 as well). We can also coordinate with local groups and movements including organic farmers and health food stores and companies to begin posting fliers in their stores and more. Permits will also unfortunately need to be pulled, but it’s important to be prepared.
The next March Against Monsanto event could be the big one, if we want it to be and put in the work, that is. And with so much awareness created from the last event, media stations won’t have the option of ignoring the marches this time around as many did last time. They will have no choice but to provide more coverage or face the penalty of even more mistrust and more viewers or readers jumping ship if they refuse to cover what has clearly become a landmark movement in the fight for freedom from under-tested, health and environmentally destructive GMO crops.
To stay up to date with the March Against Monsanto campaign, sign up for their ewsletter to receive email updates here: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/2013/05/subscribe-to-get-march-against-monsanto.html
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