Reno and Las Vegas activists unite against GMOs
GMO Free Vegas has recently become part of the non-profit organization Label GMO Nevada/Grassroots Action Network. They will be working together to build the Corn and Currency Revolt.
The idea for this came from Cesar Chavez’s protest of grapes back in the ’60s. The groups are encouraging people to boycott corn as one part of this revolt, and for the “currency” portion, they’re encouraging people to write letters protesting GMOs to their legislators with a dollar bill attached. The cash is to buy the politicians’ votes because Angie Morelli, one of the main organizers of GMO Free Vegas, said that politicians “only understand money.”
“They can ignore petitions. They can ignore form letters,” Morelli says in a Youtube video about the revolt. “But they cannot ignore thousands of dollar bills being sent to their offices.”
Morelli believes that tying the protest to one food, one letter and one dollar will make it easier to get more people involved.
“We got a little bit of flak from some people that are already not eating corn and GMOs, but this isn’t necessarily meant for them,” Morelli said. “It’s for the people who can’t do much to protest or haven’t yet. We’re trying to get all people to be able to participate, even if it’s at the lowest level of participation.”
The Reno group believes that they can take it farther in Reno than just visible kernels of corn and will be encouraging a boycott of all corn in food from the visible kernels to corn tortillas and corn in dog food.
“[Las Vegas is] a whole different society than we are,” Kiki Corbin, director of Label GMO Nevada. “Reno has thousands of people who shop at the co-op and at Whole Foods and grow their own gardens. Most of the organic farmers in the state are up here, so we’re a whole different environment. We’re not a big city like they are.”
Both groups have received very few responses from legislators to their letters at this time. The responses they have received have been form letters written to address all letters about GMOs in general. Many of them have received the same letter more than once, so their approach now is to overload these legislators and make them pay attention.
“It needs to just be more,” Morelli said. “We thought that if we sent in at least 100 letters, they would start paying attention. … We’ve sent in over 100 letters—and that’s just from our group—and we’re still getting the same form letter that we were getting before. So we’re going to step it up.”
She said that they will have paper ready for people to write their own letters at the next March Against Monsanto on Oct. 12.
Las Vegas had a turnout of some 3,000 for the March Against Monsanto in May, and Morelli challenged the city (in the video) to double that number for October’s march. Reno had a turnout of about 350 in May and wants that number to increase significantly for October’s march.
“If we can break 1,000 that would be pretty incredible,” Corbin said. “I would be very pleased.”