Millions of people around the world, including several in Sitka, will take a stand by hosting a local March Against Monsanto. The Sitka march takes place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at Castle Hill. So far, more than 370 marches around the world are planned on May 25.
The Sitka March Against Monsanto is being organized by Brett Wilcox, who has created a Facebook page with more details. Brett and his 14-year-old son, David, will take things a step (OK, many steps) further when they start a transcontinental run across the country in January to raise awareness about some of the ethically challenged practices of the agri-business Monsanto. These include creating GMO (genetically modified) foods that are unlabeled and untested, putting patents on crop seed so farmers have to pay high fees to plant food, and more.
In addition to the march, various Sitka residents will speak on a variety of topics, such as how GMO-food causes health problems, the number of former Monsanto executives who now work for our government, farmer suicides in India due to Monsanto practices, the Monsanto Protection Act slipped into the recently passed US Farm Bill, etc.
This month, Brett hosted free Monsanto Movie Nights at 7 p.m. on Fridays, May 10, 17 and 24, at Harrigan Centennial Hall.
According to a press release about the event:
Sitka’s March Against Monsanto will be held on Castle Hill, the location where Russia sold the vast territory of Alaska—land it did not own—to the U.S.A.
March organizer, Brett Wilcox, chose Castle Hill for Sitka’s March Against Monsanto for its symbolic significance. “There are many similarities between the original ‘Land Grab’ that took place with the first European expansion and Monsanto’s current global ‘Seed Grab,'” Wilcox states. “Both involve the privatization of Nature, a concept that was largely foreign to Native Americans and Alaska Natives. And both have resulted in loss of freedom and loss of life. The difference is that Monsanto’s seed grab not only further disenfranchises Native Americans; it disenfranchises all nations and all people. The citizens of the world are, as it were, sitting in our canoes in Sitka Sound, watching powerful people and corporations claim and repackage life as their own, thereby stealing our seed sovereignty and seed freedom.”
Chuck Miller, a Tlingit “Elder in Training”, will preside at the event. “My grandmother used to teach my family that we need to treat our food with respect or it will not provide for us,” Miller states. “My ancestors’ teachings are still a very big part of my life and I want to be able to pass that on to my children, grandchildren and those yet to come. GMOs are not the way to treat Mother Earth and the generations yet to come. I urge all the Native people of Alaska and our non-Native brothers and sisters to come and support this cause.”
“Sitka’s March Against Monsanto will not be a traditional march,” says Wilcox. “Sitka’s event will be a ceremony to honor nature as well as the indigenous people of Alaska and the Americas. We will stand on Castle Hill united with the people of the world in defense and protection of life and nature.”
For more information about the Sitka March Against Monsanto, contact Brett Wilcox at 747-7437 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Chuck Miller at 752-9955 or email@example.com. KCAW-Raven Radio aired a story on Tuesday, May 21, about Brett’s and David’s plans to run across the country and to host this march. Brett also recorded a commentary for KCAW-Raven Radio.