The worldwide March Against Monsanto events are still happening today, and reports and pictures have been pouring in from all corners of Facebook and social media.
While articles were published from ABC News, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, overall coverage of the day’s events seems spotty so far as expected, highlighting the need for GMO Freedom activists to share their stories and educate others over social media.
One such intriguing development took place at the March Against Monsanto event in Ann Arbor, Michigan, one of the more progressive and organic-friendly cities in the United States, during which the leader of the demonstration and march was taken into custody and hauled away by police.
The protester, named Kryssi, had been shouting chants into a bullhorn as the protesters marched from the “Diag,” a large gathering place in the middle of the campus of the University of Michigan, to nearby Hanover Park for a rally which I attended along with hundreds of other people.
The first scheduled speaker had just begun standing on a bench in the park to address and educate the crowd when all of a sudden everyone began looking in the opposite direction.
Chants of “Let her go! Let her go!” rang up from the crowd as police began to haul Kryssi away.
March Against Monsanto Video of Arrest
The video of the aftermath of the arrest of the demonstrator can be seen in the link below, as well as the chants by the others who had gathered telling the police to let her go. You must be logged into Facebook to see the video, which can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151620422574571&set=o.369250179856482&type=2&theater
As of about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, the Kryssi had been released from jail. Through Facebook she told me that she was placed in a holding cell for a few hours and then given a ticket for unauthorized use of a megaphone, even though she says she clearly wasn’t using it at the time since she was talking with the police.
A few minutes prior, police had told us to stop using the bullhorn since we didn’t have a permit (which was expected to cost $1600 according to organizers).
Conversations with other police who arrived as part of a team of about five shed more light on the focus of the incident after it had occurred. One policewoman seemed to focus on the lack of a permit as the reason for the arrest, as a large crowd was gathered in a spot near residential homes. Many demonstrators questioned the lack of First Amendment Rights to peacefully assemble.
Another cop spoke about the bullhorn issue, saying that it was not allowed due to not having a permit.
Krissy had been one of three or four people who used the bullhorn during the march for leading chants, but she was the only one arrested. One policeman said “We can’t arrest them all” when asked by the others why she was the only one to meet that fate.
According to one Facebook poster, the police attempted to search her purse in an illegal fashion before they were told that they’re not allowed to search an item of her property.
Here is how the arrest unfolded according to Kryssi:
“I saw a group of cops at the back and I figured they were going to try to arrest. I tried to prevent it by assuring them we were peaceful and showing them my Constitution. Before I could finish my sentence they had me in handcuffs.”
There has been talk of collecting money to pay for her bail fund. We will keep you updated on our Facebook page with any more developments.
In the meantime, please share your own pictures and stories of your local March Against Monsanto rallies in the comments below and on the page!
Video posted by James Schmid, demonstrator.