Navdanya, the organization founded and led by Vandana Shiva, is co-organizing, along with multiple civil society organizations, the Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly to take place at The Hague from 14 to 16 October 2016. The Monsanto Tribunal will hold Monsanto accountable for their crimes against humanity, human rights violations and ecocide, in tandem with the People’s Assembly, a gathering of leading movements and activists working to defend our ecosystem and food sovereignty, to lay out the effects of industrial agrochemicals on our lives, our soils, our atmosphere and climate. Over 800 organizations from around the world are supporting and participating in this process while over 100 people’s assemblies and tribunals are being held across the world.
In the last century, giant agribusiness interests which came out of the war industry, have poisoned life and our ecosystem, are destroying our biodiversity and the lives of small farmers, appropriating their land, in an attempt to control and profit from these essentials for life on earth. The risks keep increasing as these multinationals diminish in number as a result of aggressive takeovers and mega-mergers – such is the case with the recent 66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger. A merger which serves to further extend the control of these multinationals over agricultural and food production systems. There is only one way to translate this process: maximum focus on potential profit, and a minimal concern towards the environment, to the quality of our food, to consumers and to workers in the sector.
Large multinationals are lobbying democratically elected governments to take on neoliberal policies and international ‘free’ trade agreements such a TTIP and TTP: the race towards deregulation is an unprecedented attack on biodiversity and to life itself on Earth. Multinationals like Monsanto have already expanded their control over our seeds, our food and our freedom, depriving us of our basic human rights and our right to democracy. With patents and international property rights (IPRs) as their tools, they have established monopolies and threatened the rights of farmers and consumers.
Participating at the People’s Assembly will be leading representatives of movements and associations, seed custodians, farmers and journalists from all over the world. The aim of the Assembly is to shine the light on crimes against nature and humanity of mega chemical and biotechnological industrial corporations which through patents on seed have opened the doors to the invasion of GMOs. Based on the ecocide and genocide of the past century, the Assembly will lay out the necessary actions for a future based on the rights of small farmers to save and exchange seed, on self determination of food, on agroecology, the rights of consumers and workers in the sector, on the commons and a sharing economy, as well as on the rights of nature and a true Earth Democracy.
Speakers include: Vandana Shiva, Nnimmo Bassey, Andre Leu, Ronnie Cummins, Hans Herren, Dr. Eric Seralini, Percy Schmeiser, and others.
The People’s Assembly will take place, 14 to 16 October in The Hague, Bazaar of Ideas (next to the Student Hotel) – Hoefkade 9, 2526 BN Den Haag