New Zealanders in Auckland supported the successful Monsanto Tribunal held over the weekend.
“It was important to get out on the street and show solidarity with the Tribunal and also for World Food Day,” said Lisa Er, from Auckland GE Free Coalition. “It is time people became aware of the damage to health and the environment caused by profit motivated industrial agricultural companies.”
Hundreds of New Zealanders stayed up to watch the live stream Monsanto Tribunal, held on 14 -16 October. The Tribunal is the first international civil society - initiated legal proceeding holding corporations accountable for their human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide.
The hearing room was filled to capacity with participants and interested community representing 30 nationalities. Many thousands also watched it lived streamed all over the world.
Nigerian Nnimmo Bassey’s powerful opening statement set the stage for the proceedings
“Being an ambassador to this Tribunal is like being an ambassador to Mother Earth. Food is a celebration, it is culture, it is life. This is a struggle not against one multinational corporation, it is a struggle for life, it is a struggle for liberty. A struggle to stop big companies from colonizing our food systems, colonizing our agriculture, holding mother Earth as a slave for their profits.”
The Tribunal heard evidence and testimony from lawyers and witnesses who suffered from the devastating effects of Monsanto’s and other corporations’ pesticides and agricultural biotechnology over the past decades.
The chairwoman of the five judge Tribunal, Judge Tulkens stated “The questions of the access to water and to healthy food are old… It is our duty to set legal tools to face those issues. The Monsanto Tribunal is a step and a tool within this dynamic.“
“The evidence presented over the weekend shows that ecocide is one of the biggest crimes and threats to society and existence we have ever faced,” said Claire Bleakley, President of GE Free NZ.
The successful Monsanto Tribunal has reserved its decision until 10th of December, the International Day of Human Rights.
The International Monsanto Tribunal in the Hague http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/main.php?obj_id=281601562
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842
Lisa Er 09 817 7789