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Reclaim the Commons 2005 Update # 1 from Philadelphia

The world's largest convention of biotech and pharmaceutical executives is coming to Philadelphia this June. Join thousands to resist their closed-door corporate agenda of GE agriculture, healthcare for profit and bioweapons proliferation. Give voice to a different vision of fair trade, local food sovereignty, healthcare for all, biodiversity, and honest science.

Alert ::: Grassroots Democracy is Growing!
Counter the Annual Convention of the Biotech Industry
June 18-21, 2005 in Philadelphia
_www.reclaimthecommons.net *** www.biodev.org
Click on image for a larger version

biodempostcardsm.jpg
Update # 1 (Forward widely)

From June 19 to 22, 2005, the Earth’s largest consortium of biotechnology corporations -- the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) -- is holding its annual international convention in downtown
Philadelphia. Join us to say NO to their agenda of genetically engineered (GE) agriculture, medicine for profit and bioweapons proliferation!

Activists in Philadelphia and throughout the East Coast are hard at work mobilizing a diverse smorgasbord of activities to challenge the biotech industry with our own vision of peaceful, sustainable and GE-free grassroots democracy. In this update, we’ll give you a taste of the mouth-watering menu of events that you can expect to enjoy if you join us in Philadelphia this June ...

(1) BIODEMOCRACY FESTIVAL
(2) BIODEMOCRACY TEACH-IN
(3) SUMMER SOLSTICE DAY OF ACTION
(4) FOOD NOT BOMBS 25th ANNIVERSARY GATHERING
(5) GREEN AND BLACK URBAN GATHERING
(6) ANIMAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE
(7) GET INVOLVED and DONATE!
(8) UPCOMING MEETINGS

But first ... let us tell you how to help us spread the word!
- Go to www.reclaimthecommons.net, download our flyers, print them, and post or wheatpaste them in your community.
- Take our call to action (www.biodev.org) and this update, post it on your local Indymedia Center and send it out on listservs, blogs and progressive newswires, and to your friends and family.
- Organize a film screening or benefit party fundraiser! Excellent films include: "The Future of Food" (www.organicconsumers.org/party.htm) -- "Fed Up! Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and Sustainable Alternatives" (www.wholesomegoodness.com) -- and “Life Running Out of Control? (www.denkmal-film.com/abstracts/Lakengl.html).
- Be a local point person (we’ll send you beautiful postcards) or contact us for more ideas! Contact Philadelphia RAGE (Resistance Against Genetic Engineering): phillyrage(at)riseup.net * 215-222-4711 *
or toll-free at 877-806-2871

And now, on with the update ...

(1) BIODEMOCRACY FESTIVAL

Saturday, June 18th, 10 AM to 3 PM

The BioDemocracy convergence will kick off with an open-air festival to celebrate the diversity of nature and our local communities. In a location to be determined, the Festival will bring together organic
farmers, community gardeners, alternative health practitioners, artists, musicians, families, and activists from near and far to share knowledge, give-aways, food, fun and skills!

The Festival is likely to include the following specific elements ... and much more!

Green Circus (www.greencircus.org) ::: Saving the planet one clown at a time, the Green Circus is a collective of multi-disciplined artists who
perform THE CLEANEST SHOW ON EARTH! This free show is performed in a magical, multi-sensory circus tent which offers the audience a glimpse into a world that is ecologically sustainable. Through multimedia,
audience interaction, acrobatics, trapeze, and live music, the circus, which is for audiences of all ages, will illustrate easy, simple solutions to creating cleaner air, water, and land.

Really REALLY Free Bazaar ::: The biotech industry buys, sells and patents our genetic and natural resources in the name of "free trade". However, it is clear to us that their so-called "free trade" is
a code-word for a war on democracy, people, and the planet. In response, we proclaim that a REAL free market is possible. A market in which we are truly free to give, receive, and to work on our own terms. A market in which we can fulfill our needs by working together in communities. A market that values both cultural and ecological diversity.

To celebrate this vision, we invite everyone to join in the creation of a people's market: the “Really REALLY Free Bazaar.? We will strengthen our opposition to the biotech industry by celebrating the alternatives
that already exist. Our vision is a positive, non-confrontational festival of generosity, healing, and mutual care. We call for individuals and groups to organize bazaar "booths? that contain performances, creative events, items to barter and give away, and other activities that express our visions of a better world. Some things we hope to see are natural healing (massage, yoga, capoiera, etc.), stories, music, dances, arts, crafts, ideas, goods and services. Contact Desi: desiburnette19(at)hotmail.com

Farmers Speak-Out and Market ::: In our fast-paced, post-modern age of fast food and packaged produce, the voice of local organic and family farmers is overrun by the high-priced spin of corporate agribusiness and biotech profiteers. Yet small farmers continue to struggle and survive! This farmers speak-out and market will create a forum in which independent, sustainable and non-corporate farmers can give voice to their experiences, and market their produce, to a supportive public! Contact Edmund: somesanite(at)yahoo.com

This is just a sampling ... Stay tuned for more details about the Festival! www.reclaimthecommons.net

(2) BIODEMOCRACY TEACH-IN

Saturday & Sunday, June 18 & 19, 2 to 10 pm
and Monday, June 20 (all day) Locations TBA

Designed to educate and inform the general public as well as dedicated activists about the hazards of corporate biotech and the possibility of ecological alternatives, this 3-day teach-in will offer something for everyone!

Saturday and Sunday will feature panel discussions on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals and Human Genetics, Biowarfare and Bioweapons, Sustainable Alternatives, and Scientific Integrity, plus workshops and a special screening of the film “The Future of Food? introduced by its producer and many of the experts interviewed in it. Confirmed speakers include Medea Benjamin, Ignacio Chapela, Percy Schmeiser, Anuradha Mittal, Deborah Koons Garcia, Carmelo Ruiz, Sheldon Krimsky, Judy Wicks, Brian Tokar, Ramona Africa and many more!

Monday will feature workshops, trainings and skillshares oriented for activists and anyone who desires a deeper look at the problems with biotech and ecological solutions. Topics will include: local victories against GE agriculture in Vermont and California; campaigns against GE trees; nanotechnology; lawsuits vs. Monsanto; the dangers of “Terminator? technology; the biotech ties of the Carlyle Group; the
patenting of life; biofuels; the politics of alternative medicine; the corporate theft of the fisheries commons; non-violence and anti-oppression trainings; and radical urban sustainability skillshares
with the Black and Green Urban Gathering (see below)!

Stay tuned for more teach-in details! www.biodev.org

And read our BioDemocracy 2005 Statement of Unity:
www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php
Get your organization(s) to endorse it!

(3) SUMMER SOLSTICE DAY OF ACTION

Tuesday, June 21

On the Summer Solstice, rise up in Philadelphia's streets and gardens for the "Longest Day (of Action) of the Year"! Shine a light on biotech and pharmaceutical hotspots in central Philadelphia and spark non-violent resistance to business as usual at BIO 2005. Help us
mobilize: come to action spokescouncils June 18th to 20th!

On June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice is the first day of Summer. It’s also the longest day of the year, with more hours of sunlight than any other day. Since ancient days, the Summer Solstice has been a time for tribal gatherings, rituals of renewal and transformation, and celebrations of natural fertility. Activists from the Pagan Cluster will be present in Philly to facilitate a spirit of
connection with these primal roots and natural rhythms, as we act for a future without corporate greed, environmental destruction, genetic pollution, and biotech patents on the DNA essence of life!

As always, stay tuned for details --- and contact
PhillyRAGE(at)riseup.net with action proposals and ideas.

You can also join our list to help plan the action scenario: june21philly(at)lists.riseup.net

(4) FOOD NOT BOMBS 25TH ANNIVERSARY GATHERING

1980—2005 ::: Celebrate Food Not Bombs!
June 16-21, Philadelphia

Food Not Bombs is one of the fastest growing revolutionary movements active today and is gaining momentum. There are hundreds of autonomous chapters sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Founded in 1980, Food Not Bombs is now celebrating its 25th Anniversary! Philadelphia’s 2 chapters of Food Not Bombs are joining this celebration by hosting a 25th Anniversary Food Not Bombs Gathering in Philadelphia during the BioDemocracy counter-convention. This
Gathering will begin on Thursday and Friday, June 16th and 17th, with workshops, discussions and skillshares. We'll also brew scrumptious foods for everyone who attends BioDemocracy! We're excited to open our
warm, early summer, sweaty food-filled arms to all sorts of visitors who believe that access to healthy & tasty food is a right that all deserve!

Learn more and download our flyer at:
_www.foodnotbombs.net/philly_gathering.html

Philly Food Not Bombs needs your help and COMMITMENT to make this Gathering happen! We are looking for help acquiring these items on our “Grocery List?: massive quantities of food (especially DRY GOODS!! -beans, rice, grains, spices, oils etc. Please be conscious of
common allergen foods like wheat, soy etc.), coolers, big pots/pans, utensils, bowls and serving devices, hand-cleaning ooze, and bicycles! We also want help fundraising, finding a friendly lawyer, making and
fixing bike carts, transporting food, and obtaining large-scale cooking equipment for our still-in-the-works kitchen (which we hope will be up
and running by June). We are open to all kinds of input, so feel free to contact us by e-mailing phillyfnbgathering(at)lists.riseup.net.

Please visit lists.riseup.net/www/info/phillyfnbgathering to sign up
for our organizing e-mail list, to get involved, and to send us your ideas about holding this 25th Anniversary Gathering.

(5) GREEN AND BLACK URBAN GATHERING

sous les pavés, la plage!
philadelphia, june 16-21, 2005

As part of this counter-biotech mobilization, we -- the Under the Pavement Collective -- intend to facilitate the presence of a strong radical caucus with the perspective to critique biotechnology in the context of our resistance to all forms of domination. As such, our
enemies are not just GMOs but global capitalism, neo-colonialism, patriarchy, the industrial ethos, & anthropocentric western science itself, which aim to reduce all people and nature to orders of coercion
and control.

The Green and Black Urban Gathering will include a day for veggie-lovin’ radicals from far and wide to help out a neighborhood garden: get your hands dirty supporting community food sovereignty and sustainable local growing! Monday the 20th will be a day of skillshares for sustainable, post-capitalist urban living. Themes will include gardening and growing, squatting, bicycle technology and alternatives to car culture, composting and greywater, d.i.y. physical and mental health, nutrition, anti-oppression community dynamics, d.i.y. sustainable energy, post-consumer resource reclamation, urban foraging & more. We are still actively soliciting ideas for workshops & events.

We are also planning a project called Bikes Against Biotech which will include a workspace to provide refurbished bicycles for out-of-towners and at least one Critical Mass-style protest ride against the BIO convention. The rest of the week will include block parties, music, marches, and maybe even a few surprises on June 21, the Summer Solstice -- the longest Day (of Action) of the year! Come to Philly to oppose biotech and sow the seeds of widespread resistance to industrial capitalism. We can and will destroy this machine from within – let’s get busy!

Under the Pavement Organizing Collective, Philadelphia
underthepavement(at)riseup.net – www.gbug.org

(6) ANIMAL RIGHTS CONFERENCE

On June 18th, HUGS FOR PUPPIES will host an anti-vivisection conference in response to BIO 2005. Not only do animals suffer needlessly from inhumane experiments --- these experiments are harmful to humans as well. After all, can we really learn about human anatomy by studying a cat? For every toxin, there is an animal that is immune to it -- and corporations are constantly searching for an animal immune to their
toxins to protect themselves from legal liability when their products make people sick. The conference will take place from noon until 7:30 at the Philadelphia Ethical Society (1906 S. Rittenhouse Square). Speakers include Kevin Jonas, an animal rights activist currently charged with “animal enterprise terrorism? and facing 23 years in prison for operating a web site. Other speakers include Dr. Ray Greek, Michelle Rokke, and Alka Chandna. Contact for more info:
hugsforpuppies(at)riseup.net

(7) GET INVOLVED and DONATE!

We can’t stop the earth-eating insanity perpetuated by greedy biotechnology corporations by ourselves. We need your help!

Want to join a working group? Check out the list of working groups at this link -- www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php?id=34 -- and contact the point person of the group(s) you want to be involved in, become a point person for a group that has none, or create your own working group. Your own unique talents, experiences, and thoughts are welcome,
encouraged, and vitally important.

Please donate! We work for a world in which finances are not the limiting factor in the activities people engage in, but are unfortunately not there quite yet. We need everything we can come up with to transform our collective vision into a reality that can’t be ignored or denied!

Your tax-deductible contribution will help continue our critical work. Please give a Gift today. (See below for "in-kind" items we need.) Please make checks out to ISE Biotech Project and write "BioDemocracy 2005 Project" in the memo area. Then mail your contribution to:

Biotechnology Project, Institute for Social Ecology
1118 Maple Hill Road
Plainfield, Vermont 05667

If every one reading this makes a donation, the BioDemocracy mobilization can afford to fly speakers to our June 18-20 educational forums, print out thousands of postcards and posters, do some serious outreach and get a significant amount of people in the streets &
gardens of Philadelphia. We can stop biotech and corporate power from dominating our government and our lives. We can pay rent for a Welcome Center (possibly $5,000 - 7,000 / month). We can create beautiful
banners that can reach thousands with messages of hope and resistance.

So please be generous, but know that donations of any size are appreciated. What’s authentic democracy worth to you? Take a look at your finances, and then give as much as you can. If you can't afford a personal donation, then organize a benefit party! We need all the help you can deliver: This demonstration will be unlike anything the Philadelphia area has ever seen, and it’s coming up fast.

Donate your talents, your resources, your stuff! Here’s what we need in particular right now:

* Donate housing for speakers and activists
* Donate (or loan) computers, copier, printers and telephones
* Donate cell phones, walkie-talkies and video equipment
* Donate used (or new!) bicycles for the mobilization to use
* Donate vans or large vehicles that we can convert to veggie or
biodiesel
* Donate printing or copying costs for our postcards, posters, fliers and newspapers, recycled print paper and ink cartridges
* Donate art supplies and graphic art skills
* Donate warehouse space for a public Welcome Center
* Donate gardening tools/water hoses/drip lines/soil/mulch/straw-bales
for the greening of the Welcome Center and for the various Garden and Eco Projects we are planning
* Donate plants and seedlings to give away
* Donate goodies for our Really REALLY Free Market
* Donate displays, tables, skills demonstrations, and children's activities for our Saturday, June 18th alternatives festival
* Donate food, both ingredients and prepared (GMO-Free)
* Donate tables, tablecloths, awnings
* Loan a sound system and technical assistance
* Get your organization to co-sponsor the mobilization or
* Endorse the BioDemocracy 2005 Statement of Unity:
http://www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php?id=187

To offer any of the items listed above, please contact Nathaniel Miller at the Student Environmental Action Coalition: 215-222-4711, or nathaniel(at)riseup.net.

(8) UPCOMING MEETINGS

The best way, however, for you to get involved could very well be by coming to a meeting! Here’s when they’re happening ...

On the 4th Wednesday of each month, Reclaim the Commons/BioDemocracy Mobilization has coalition meetings in central Philadelphia from 6 to 9 pm. Join us April 27th and May 25th! Contact phillyRAGE(at)riseup.net for the location.

On the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, Philadelphia RAGE (Resistance Against Genetic Engineering) holds working group meetings at 7:30 pm in West Philly. Join us May 4 + 18 and June 1 + 15. Contact phillyRAGE(at)riseup.net for the location.

Working groups are also holding separate meetings, as needed. Find out about these meetings by visiting our working groups page and contacting the appropriate point person: www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php

Our next National Consulta will be on Saturday, June 4th from 12 to 5 pm in downtown Philly. Join us! Contact phillyRAGE(at)riseup.net for the location.

And if you can’t attend our meetings, don’t despair! We also have bi-monthly national conference calls. To find out about the next scheduled call, contact phillyRAGE(at)riseup.net

Thursday, April 28th ::: PhillyRAGE movie night! Screening "Fed Up! Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and Sustainable Alternatives" at 7:30 pm in the A-Space (4722 Baltimore Ave.)

We can’t wait to see you in Philly this June! Stay tuned ... for our next update in mid-May!

_www.reclaimthecommons.net *** www.biodev.org

BioDemocracy 2005 Statement of Unity:
www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php

“Because disease and starvation will not be solved by corporations!?
 
 


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