[permaculture] Reclaim the Commons Update! April 8 - 10 Chicago

Reclaim the Commons livetrii at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 19 15:27:13 EST 2006



This is an update about Reclaim The Commons – Three days of events in
Chicago (April 8-10) in response to the 2006 Biotech Industry 
Organization
convention. Also see our website: www.reclaimthecommons.net or email us 
at
reclaimthecommons at gmail.com. In this update: childcare and housing, RTC
consulta, basic schedule, how to help, info about the Biotech Industry
Organization (BIO), and “Why Reclaim The Commons.”
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!

CHILDCARE AND HOUSING will be available in Chicago during RTC. To 
request
(or offer) housing, send email to rtchousing at gmail.com. To request
childcare, send email to rtcchildcare at gmail.com.

CONSULTA for Reclaim The Commons is happening from 12-3 on Saturday, 
March
25th at Association House, 1116 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago. Planning for 
the
parade, festival, and banner action will be on the agenda. Please 
consider
coming if you live nearby.


BASIC SCHEDULE FOR RECLAIM THE COMMONS IN CHICAGO:

Saturday, April 8th:
Joint International GMOpposition Day in 30 Countries! 
altercampagne.free.fr
Morning: Puppet and banner making.
Afternoon: Festival! 2-5 pm at Federal Plaza (200 S. Dearborn) Music,
speakers, tabling, art making, food, kids’ games, street theatre. 
Please
contact us at reclaimthecommons at gmail.com about tabling, and ideas for
activities!
Evening: Panel on Genetic Engineering and Human Rights – North and 
South.
6:30 at DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus, Schmidt Academic Ctr. 
2320
N. Kenmore Ave With Anuradha Mittal (Oakland Institute), Carmelo Ruiz
(Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety), Sarah Alexander (White Earth Land
Recovery Project), and John Kinsman (National Family Farm Coalition and
Via Campesina). Moderated by Jeffrey Smith of Institute for Responsible
Technology.

Sunday, April 9th:
All day: Hands-on and educational workshops. Topics include 
Bioremediation
and Urban Sustainability, GMOs in Latin America, Genetic Engineering 
and
Indigenous Rights, Bioweapons Labs in Chicago, Tapestry of the Commons,
Seed Saving, Starting an Intentional Community, Food Sovereignty and 
more.
Evening: Concert with Broadcast Live (hip hop from Albany NY) and 
others,
with a presentation from the Beehive Collective 
(beehivecollective.org).

Monday, April 10th:
Morning: Banner action! We’ll be making banners before and during the
convergence, and on Monday morning we’ll take them out to busy spots
around the city. Please make a banner beforehand and bring it to 
Chicago!
Afternoon: Parade downtown with big colorful puppets and banners! 
Location
and time TBA.

Tuesday, April 11th:
Community gardening service project.



HOW TO HELP WITH RTC!
*Forward this update far and wide!
*Please post, distribute and make copies of our flyers! Downloadable
versions available at www.reclaimthecommons.net.
*Organize a group from your area to come to Chicago between April 8th 
and
April 10th.
*Donate:WE NEED MONEY FOR A CONVERGENCE SPACE! Also -  puppet and 
banner
making supplies, printing costs, food, and transportation for speakers.
Please send checks to Reclaim The Commons, attn: Laurie Nannini at 652
Brian Ave. Schaumburg, IL 60194, and make checks out to Laurie Nannini.
You can also donate by credit card on our website.
*Read up on the issues: seedsofdeception.com, sunshine-project.org,
gmwatch.org, indymedia.org, oaklandinstitute.org,
carmeloruiz.blogspot.com, savewildrice.org, organicconsumers.org,
altercampagne.free.fr, genetics-and-society.org, nffc.net and
centerforfoodsafety.org/Monsantovsusfarmersreport.cfm
*Come and table at the festival on the 8th, or organize crafts, games,
theatre, you name it.
*Let us know if you can help with translation at our workshops, 
especially
Spanish translation.
*Bring seeds or plants to swap or give away at the festival on April 
8th.
*Contribute: We’re looking for the following:
-tables for the festival (donated or lent)
-Art Supplies: colorful acrylic house paint, staple pliers, sheets to 
make
banners, paint brushes, permanent markers, tape, fabric, big pieces of
cardboard
-5 gallon buckets (for drums), steel cans and other noisemakers
-Colorful paper for flyers
-Your own banners, puppets, antics, and plans for street theatre
-bikes, locks, helmets
-literature to hand out
-cooking utensils and food donations
-medical and wellness supplies
-cars, driving service
-people: We need people who want to make puppets and banners, put up
fliers, make media, make music, face paint, silk-screen, build bikes, 
cook
food, help set up, and most importantly- COME!



WHAT IS THE BIOTECH INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION?

The Biotech Industry Organization (BIO) is a group of the world’s 
largest
agribusiness, pharmaceutical, financial and biodefense corporations, 
along
with various representatives from governments and academia. Each year 
they
hold a convention in a different U.S. city, and this year they picked
Chicago. Some 15,000 BIO delegates will be descending on Chicago’s
McCormack Place Convention Center from April 8th – 12th.

The BIO convention will bring to Chicago an unprecedented public 
relations
bonanza promoting biotech and genetic engineering. But what BIO really
represents is a global system of agriculture that is dominated by a few
agribusiness corporations – from genetically engineered seeds, to
pesticides, to the table. BIO will downplay the fact that so-called
'biodefense' research is equally applicable to offensive bioweapons
development, and that massive new U.S. funding for bioweapons research 
may
be spurring a new biological weapons arms race. Pharmaceutical
corporations at BIO will continue to ignore the crisis in healthcare
access, and focus instead on futuristic treatments designed to attract
investors and, when they succeed, provide mainly for the wealthy. Their
website is www.bio.org.


WHY RECLAIM THE COMMONS?
The Commons are the universal heritage of people and all living things.
They are everything needed to support healthy life on earth: air, 
water,
food, shelter, health care, seeds, and our genes. They are what is 
needed
to sustain culture: our multicultural heritages, education, information
and the means to disseminate it, essential human services, public 
spaces,
and political space. They are equally the land, its forests, the 
oceans,
and all ecosystems. In sum, the Commons are everything that we inherit
jointly and freely, and hold in trust for future generations.

Reclaim The Commons 2006 will shed light on big biotech’s attempts to
expropriate and claim hold to vast areas of the Commons that belong to 
us
all.

These include:

Agricultural heritage: Since the beginning of agriculture, farmers and
gardeners have been saving, developing, caretaking and replanting seeds
from the plants they grow. Genetic engineering threatens this basic 
right
for farmers worldwide, placing control and ownership of seeds into the
hands of corporations. RTC opposes genetic engineering and corporate
control of agriculture, and supports sustainable local food systems and
local food sovereignty.

Life Itself: Corporations are also attempting to assert control over 
wild
plants and animals by recording and then patenting their genetic codes. 
In
fact, over 4000 patents of human genetic codes have also been approved.
RTC is dedicated to the proposition that life cannot be patented.

Food: Independent feeding studies have documented underdeveloped 
organs,
signs of cancer, allergies, and high mortality in rats fed genetically
engineered (GE) feed. Government and industry have done little 
substantive
health research on GE products. Most people don’t know that over 70% of
processed foods now contain GE ingredients because there is no labeling
requirement. RTC calls for a stop to this contamination of our food
supply, and for universal access to safe, affordable, healthy food.

Healthcare: The largest pharmaceutical corporations in BIO - Merck,
Pfizer, AstraZeneca and others - can boast some of the highest profit
margins in the corporate world, while basic medical care is 
unaffordable
for millions of people in the US and billions elsewhere. The futuristic
biotech research promoted by BIO may attract investors, but it will not
solve this basic healthcare crisis. RTC advocates for universal access 
to
good healthcare.

Biosafety: In the last few years the U.S. government has dramatically
increased funding for research on biological weapons. New labs that 
create
and handle genetically engineered diseases are being built in and near
several urban areas, posing potentially disastrous risks. The research 
is
billed as biodefense, but can easily translate to offensive 
applications.
RTC calls for a stop to the development and testing of biological 
weapons.

Ecosystems: By raising genetically engineered crops and animals in the
open, biotech corporations are endangering the Earth’s ecology and
ecosystems. Examples are genetically engineered trees, alfalfa, grass 
and
salmon – all of which can contaminate wild populations through
cross-pollination and cross-breeding. Simulations have shown that this
sort of contamination could have devastating effects on natural
ecosystems. RTC opposes the release of genetically engineered organisms
into the environment.

Science and Academia: Pharmaceutical and agribusiness corporations 
largely
control and often are the sole beneficiaries of research done at public
universities in the U.S. When it comes to regulation of biotechnology, 
the
same people are found to rotate between corporate and government
positions, providing corporate-friendly assessments when serving as
regulators. RTC calls for a stop to the revolving door between industry
and government, and for independent research at public universities.

Reclaim The Commons supports and celebrates the complex, diverse and
wondrous ecosystems of our planet that make life possible, as well as 
the
gardeners, farmers, farm workers, scientists, healthcare workers,
activists, indigenous people and all who are working for a just,
democratic and sustainable future.










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Starhawk is a lifelong activist in peace and global justice movements, a leader in the feminist and earth-based spirituality movements, author or coauthor of ten books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, and her latest, The Earth Path. 

Starhawk's website is www.starhawk.org, and more of her writings and information on her schedule and activities can be found there.

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