Activists Are Eating an Organic Thanksgiving Dinner on Monsanto Headquarters’ Lawn Today
Performance activists Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir will have an organic, non-GMO, local Thanksgiving feast in a very unlikely place this year: the lawn of Monsanto—the world’s largest biotechnology seed company.
Starting in New York City on Sunday, the activists, along with 30 others, have travelled by bus to the corporate giant’s headquarters outside St. Louis to bring attention to its role in environmental destruction and damage to our food systems.
“Obviously Monsanto is one of the most powerful corporations in the world,” said Savitri D, director of the Choir. “We don’t have delusions that our action there is going to impact their shareholders or their stock prices or their policies. We’re talking to each other with this action, as much as anything else. We’re trying to open up the ritual of Thanksgiving to discussion about the most important thing in the world: our food supply.”
Savitri D said the group has not asked permission to eat on the lawn, and some activists are prepared to be arrested. She said that the failed GMO-labeling ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon, as well as the legal challenge to the law that passed in Vermont, illustrates the corruption of our democracy. In turn, she said, people must fight back.
“There’s a desperation here to do something, do anything,” Savitri D said. “So we’re asking families across the country to join us in a solidarity dinner and commit to making their own dinner that’s non-GMO, pesticide free, as much as they can. I think it’s about sending signals in the face of these electoral defeats saying democracy is broken but we’re not broken.”
On Sunday, the group premiered their new show Monsanto Is the Devil, which sought to bridge, “two very distant but deeply connected issues: state violence against especially people of color and the rampant and outrageous use of pesticides on basically every surface in the world.”
She added, “Those are hard topics to put into one show. We try to illustrate that the conditions that create both and how similar they are, and that the solution to both is, since democracy doesn’t seem to be responding to our pleas, activism. And these kind of symbolic actions are really what we can do at the moment.”
Savitri D said that Monsanto’s headquarters is seven miles away from Ferguson, and they plan to travel there as well. She said, “We hope we can be of service to the activists who are working so hard there.”