Temecula, CA – On October 24, 2012, on the second annual FOOD DAY LA, the Los Angeles City Council, voted to endorse Item 25, YES ON 37 – LABEL GMOs in California. The motion had been tabled when it first came up on the council agenda in September. Orange County GMO activist area leader John Diaz and Iowa farm activist ‘Big’ Dave Murphy (see Food Science vs Food Safety) rolled into town [LA] to show a presence at the city council meeting decision and also stage the latest protest demonstration to highlight the importance of YES On 37 to label GMOs. It was my first trip back to City Hall, the Daily Planet building made famous graphically through Superman films, comic books, and the 50’s TV series starring the late George Reeves. Before the night was over, I would be speaking to the LA Chapter of NORML about Prop 37. It played out like this…
As the election enters the home stretch of just eleven days, a small band of grassroots warriors made up of foodies, graphic artists, bloggers, small organic businesspeople, and grandparents all filled with the wanton passion of The Light Brigade, marched on the Daily Planet led by a 99% bandana-ed OccupyLA alum bearing an Adbusters corporate American Flag. The message: Occupy didn’t vanish, we assimilated!
Soon the small band was joined by more Label GMO-YES ON 37 activists and petition gatherers. Chants and cheered erupted as buses and cars showed support or knowledge of the imperative voter based proposition placed on the ballot in ten months with close to 1,000,000 individual live (not like dead ones registered to vote by the Republicans) signatures.
But this is LA and it is FOOD Day. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting another protest group. Across the street in direct competition is the Airport Workers [WSWU] branch of the SEIU and on a distant corner close to the site of the Michael Jackson doctor trial, another group stood in protest of and support for elimination of California’s death penalty. Meanwhile a solitary suited individual marched back and forth through our ranks carrying a sign claiming “Bell Cab Co. and the DOT robbed” him. Everybody’s got a beef except me and my monkey.
As our numbers grew, we ‘occupied’ corners at the Main and Temple intersection proudly displaying our YES On 37 for major traffic observation. The opposition has been pouring money into belittling the prop sometimes without ever mentioning what the prop is about [Lew Uhler mailer]. The control for the American mind on this prop is so pervasive as to invade the ‘Geritol for lunch bunch’ through free community paper writers like the Foothill Sentry’s Richard Callahan (Labeling genetically altered food – “More nanny state over-reacting that will cost consumers, vote NO.” 10/9 edition) to opin pieces in the LA Times.
Endorsement for YES On 37 – Label GMOs from Mayor AnVil and crew was paramount to keeping our political momentum and morale peeking in the face of insurmountable evil. The council chamber was filled
so all the Label/Yes On 37 crew were quartered in the outside enclave plaza at the top of the west city hall stairs [Spring Street],
opposite the public entrance on the east side of city hall [Main Street], a block’s walking distance apart. By now old faces from the petition turn-in rally were present in the crowd that had John talking to a small group, Big Dave’s black suit crew circling in the crowd, and fellow writer Lien Ayurveda who gets credit for all photos except "All That Is Necessary..."
At around 2:39 in the mild afternoon atop the stair plaza, it was apparent to the milling, now cheering crowd, that LA’s City Council stood with the almost one million Californians who knew the truth about this ground-breaking initiative. LA City Council endorses Prop 37 – Yes on 37 – to Label GMOs in California (and USA) food. For John Diaz, it was just the next stop in the ever maddening November 6 finish line decision and he was to appear on an internet radio show among other PR events that evening before the Caring For Creation full day conference from Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment scheduled from 9AM – 2:30PM on Saturday.
Speaking during the ‘break-out session’ portion in the fireside room, topic Responsible Technology: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) & Your Right To Know is John Diaz and farmer Howard Vlieger, with photos showing proof that organic crops fare much better than GMO crops, further indicating that GMO crops will contribute to food shortages instead of eliminating them as advertised.
It being a LLWAP adventure and close to Halloween, I knew the night would be different as I copped a quick shower before Jeff (from Occupy LA) and I boarded the 420 express to the Wednesday night meeting of the LA chapter of NORML (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws). I was right. See - Yes On 37 A Hit, Not a Toke/Eastman, Unlike Eastwood, Is No Empty Chair
EXCLUSIVE to Temcal readers- watch Genetic Roulette now for free until November 6th!