James W. Macey
Occupy Wall Street Maui, GMO-Free Maui and the March On Maui group joined together Thursday to gather in front of Monsanto’s facility and GMO corn fields in protest of Monsanto Corporation using their islands as their own personal experimental laboratory.
According to the group’s Facebook call to action; “Monsanto is one of the most insidious examples of the 1%, the ruling global elite. They have polluted our soil and groundwater with Roundup and other pesticides, polluted our air with open field testing of their GMO corn crops, and polluted our government and education system with massive campaign contributions and funding of our schools and universities.”
The group brought signs, drums, music and good vibes as they gathered together in solidarity with people all over the world who have been negatively affected by Monsanto and their products. They came together to send a resounding message to Monsanto that Monsanto is not welcome on their island.
The group stated, “We the people demand clean food, clean water, clean air, and a government untainted by corporate lobbyists and influence. We demand immediate labeling of all GMO products and a moratorium on open-air testing across all the islands!”
This protest is particularly important because according to Monsanto’s “Did You Know…” newsletter, Monsanto investment continues in their Maui farms. In April, a purchase and sale agreement was signed by Monsanto with A&B for existing Mokulele farms plus an additional 90 acres.
The purchase of Mokulele is the second land purchase on Maui (the Piilani farm was purchased in 2010). Once the purchase of the Mokulele farm is complete, irrigation infrastructure, fencing and windbreaks will be installed over the next couple of years to bring it into production. In addition to the Mokulele purchase, a $3.5 million capital project will be executed on the Piilani farm to bring the top portion of the farm into production.
The development will also include new irrigation infrastructure, upgrading existing fields by removing rock and improving the soil structure. A conservation plan is also to be installed to improve water flow and decrease erosion on the property.
This is not the first protest this year against Monsanto by activist on Maui and the groups vowed it will not be the last. Other activist on Oahu and the Big Island expressed solidarity on Face Book and vowed to organize protest against Monsanto on their islands.