issue no.3, 15 June 1999Also have a look at these Pages:
Towards the end...
Right at this moment, most buses are on their way to Cologne: the final stop of the ICC!
We hope to make a 4th news bulletin afterwards, with all the happenings in Cologne; this is some more news we received.
Demonstration at Cargill in Geneva
By: Neeru Shrestha
Coming to Europe for the first time and having participated in so many street protests and demonstrations have been full of joy, hope and excitement. Demonstration in front of Cargill company, one of the most destructive and richest companies in destroying traditional seeds and promoting biologically modified seeds, was also unique. I was very impressed with different forms of actions such as chanting multilingual slogans, singing songs, teasing through laughing and speeches. Representatives of different countries made very powerful statements of criticism and opposition to the crimes committed by multinationals - such as Cargill – against the people, their livelihoods and environment worldwide.
Gopal Siwataki ‚Chintan‘ of Nepal said that multinational companies are the worst form of criminals of this century and they act beyond national and international legal and environment standards. He emphasized that multinational companies and their crimes must be brought before trial and that we all work together for the 0 It was interesting for me to see so many police at the main gate of Cargill and no officials from that 30 story building could show their face and discuss with the international demonstrators. It shows that they are defensive and they are not doing the right thing. I am sure it will make a good impact in our resistance for justice.
Bus no. 1 in Turino
Giorio wrote: Hello to everybody,
The next day in the morning we had a very well media reported meeting with producers ( conventional and organic farming producers) in a relatively prestigious conference room in the Modern Art Gallery of Turin (200 seats were all taken). In the afternoon an action in the main square of Turin: local people attendance did not turn out to be very satisfactory (around 100 people plus our friends from Karnataka and two from Nepal).
A small procession shouting "Monsanto down down" went to the building of the Regional
Government where we compromised to enter the building with all the people, leaving
outside all our banners but one flag of KRRS. The meeting with the Chairman of the
Regional Council gave the opportunity to voice the Indian farmers grievances as well as to
present the Turin Support Committee to the ICC99 and its work that will continue.
Requests for a more active role of the Regional Administration in norming the genetic
modified seeds and supporting labeling of transgenic food was received with
reassurances that the Committee will be asked to present the technical proposals in a
later meeting. Also we voiced our concerns for the way funds, that the Regional
Government ( together with a large Bank and the Transnational FIAT) gives to the
Biotecnology Foundation, are spent. In the evening we had a successful joint dinner
dinner at Centro Sociale Gabrio and etnic music and danses. Too bad that our Indian
friends had to leave.....
The ICC (Bus 9 and 10) toured the South West of France, during the period from 30th of Mai till the 6th of June. Here is a report from the local welcoming committee.
The first day in Montauban Forum Planète: I did expect some proof of the bourgeois provincial quietude over there with a lot of home-made southern France produce, with beer, Coca Cola and some poor musical or dance show inspired by a lifeless Occitan culture. It was the case, but it was quite crowed and the Indians presence spiced this forum. There was a debate between French and Indian farmers. They exchanged informations about their crop and economical realities.
The next day there was a theatre demonstration/manifestation at Novartis (Agen
region). (no more infos on this yet!!)
Indian representatives went to visit illegal Algerians in hunger strike for more than 20 days in order to get their residence permit. They affirm their solidarity with this struggle. The next day in the morning, a theatre demonstration took place in the city centre of Toulouse. Activists from had build up some car representing the future food. The Indians had a lot of fun, especially in front of Mc Donalds. One has been surprised but the message has been mainly understood.
In the afternoon, 4 Indians stay in Toulouse for the illegal persons demonstration. They
make a speech in front of the police office.
Ariège / Pyrenees
Accommodation by the inhabitants, in some farms. Farmers activists, squatters, the Confédération Paysanne belong to a movement without legal status so called "droit paysans". In the evening there was a strong debate with 350 people. Polemic about the perpetual moving European miserabilism, which is making the Indians seriously nervous. The party ends with Occitan dances, very enjoyable for everyone. Waltz, round and one changes of partner. Indians are dancing and they are happy.
The participants of bus 9, which was in Langon (next to Bordeaux) on the 29th of Mai, also joint in destroying a transgenic cereal field (more precise informations to come? Red).
Resistance movement in France
No problem in the Southern France between the Confédération Paysanne and the other small autonomous groups contrarily to Nantes where the Paris Confédération Paysanne has turned away the bus 10 to Paris at the cost of autonomous actions of Nantes. Manipulation and Propaganda are definitively the uses of big groups centralised. Resistance movements in France are sustained by 1% of the population. They are very diversified and divided in sectors. Farmers are aware of the agricultural point but they are dependent of the banks and of the state subventions. The French civil society is mostly quite happy about its live level and its democratic system.
Here, in Toulouse a few people will carry on with the Caravan because they have their own occupations. Nevertheless, the West France autonomous network has been strengthened.
Beware: this is a demonstration report
He and she are looking out of the window. He in a suit, she in secretary-look. At first nothing happens. Then suddenly her face lights up. She throws her head back, laughs, clicks her fingers to the left, to the right, her hips sway along. Now he can’t stay still anymore either. He laughs with her and sways in the same rhythm. Behind a windowbox appears the head of a young woman, and a little way below one can see the bright eyes of a little boy. The woman watches happily, and before long, a small hand waves above all the flowers – waves to everybody dancing and partying to the throbbing beat coming from the colourful bus. Looking through the open windows into the offices and living rooms of all these different people was an unforgetable experience. What an unusual demonstration! Old couples, housewives and black families – we made them all move and laugh. Indeed we were irresistable, as I could see from our reflections in the facades of the buildings we passed. Obviously an international mix - with participants not only from Europe, but also for example some Indian men and Nepalese women. The people on the streets were also affected by us; there was hardly anyone who refused to take our leaflets. All this under a slogan of „ Squat the world!„
Only the employees inside the building of the WTO could not participate in the fun. Not because they were not allowed to look out of the window, like the Cargill people the day before (who missed a good laugh at the sponteneous laugh parade, which was even shared by the cops). No, the WTO workforce was given a full day off work. So in the end, even they got something out of it!
However, they missed the impressive statements made by representatives of all movements participating in the Caravan. The representatives knew how to talk about their struggles in a interesting and hard-hitting way, instead of giving long and boring speeches. They knew how to convince people that their struggle is our struggle. We don’t know of course, what the WTO employees did with their free day (hopefully they did not try to leave town by car, which would have taken them hours because of the road closures). Maybe they enjoyed it - anyway they missed a lot: cause when do you hear hundreds of Indian voices chanting „El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido?„ Friederike
Green scarves on green trains to Rome
The ICC arrived to Stazione Termini in Rome at 6.30. As you should know the buses stayed in Milan for two days. Actually it has been not easy to get the free train from government becouse of several problems of "public order" ... but at the end... we won !!! 280 people from India, Colombia, Mexico, Nepal, europe and others countries moved by underground to CIRCO MASSIMO where we have eaten and talked with journalists (not really a lot!! ).
Police presence was aggressive and really too much. They were waiting for us in the train
station and were following the ICC as very dengers "Hooligans soccer supporters": no
problems fortunately, probably becouse just 200-250 camerates from Rome came to the
demonstration in front of FAO... and also becouse the way of acting of the people of ICC
was perfectly no-violent and not aggressive as the police one...
At 12.00 we moved down (300 mts) in the direccion of FAO building but police stopped us
at about 200 m far away from the entrance. Started the speaches, everyone spoke against
FAO policies. In the mean time some people tried to give some document to the curious
people around us, but police didn't allow us. We were litterally closed
in the street between police, carabinieri, and others "order forces"....
At about 2.00 pm we moved to Centro Sociale LA TORRE were food, water, and space to
sleep were organized by the Roman commitee.
Report of the ICC Station Karlsruhe (South-Germany)
Saturday 5 pm: Welcoming of the caravan in the innercity of Karlsruhe with short speeches and some music. About 50 people were there to see the ICC and although it was bad weather and the shops were closed, there were some people, that stopped to hear the speeches. With our experience in actions like this in Karlsruhe, it was quite o.k.. In the evening, we had common meal and a spontaneous party with djing by our bus driver, singing and dancing. It was very nice because people were gathering and discussing very well.
At Sunday the central event was the public information assembly in the evening. It took 3 hours with 6 speakers from the ICC and about 100 people in the audience (even plenty „normal bourgeois“). On the one hand it was a little pitty that, with these 3 hours of speeches, there wasn´t enough time to have real discussions. On the other hand the podium with 6 speakers showed very well the different interests and aspects of the ICC and their importence. At Sunday afternoon we had a leisure trip to a biological farming place and to the Black Forest, which seemed to be very interesting and relaxing for the participants of ICC bus no.1.
In general we are very very glad to have met these wonderful people. Although we didn´t have any huge demonstrations or public actions, for us it was a great experience to have the ICC in Karlsruhe. And we´re sure that there will be some effects for all of us.
Thank you very much.
This update is a compilation of the reports and press releases that we have been receiving from different places. For more information on the ICC events, you can contact the local groups, or the Cologne press office:
European Press office: tel: +49 173/ 419 74 64 or +49 221 9816711