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E-M:/ Unusual Arrests made at McPherson/Dow/Kellogg linked World Ag Forum

[Please excuse the possible double-post. . .I am unsure if the first one went through.
-- Brian]

What follows is a letter from Glenn Davis Stone, Washington University.  It
concerns police repression of environmental activists and events surrounding the
World Agricultural Forum in St. Louis. See:

For a list of the WAF Board of Advisors (including those named in the subject title) see the end of this message. . .


The World Agricultural Forum is meeting in St. Louis today and there has been a
small "counter conference" called Biodevastation taking place for the last two
days, designed to coincide with the WAF (at which some of the biodevastation
people also plan to demonstrate).

I have attended the past 2 WAFs and have gotten to know some of the organizers
and presenters (including some who have appeared in my course on biotech and
society).  This year I wanted to see what the bioodevastation people had to say
and so attended one of their workshops on a subject of concern to many of us
these days: corporate - university relationships.  It had 5 scheduled presenters
(a mixture of academics, researchers, and activists) and a roomful of
professors, students, and interested citizens.

However 1 of the 5 presenters was absent because she had been arrested.  The
police have refused to provide specifics on who has been arrested for what, but
there have been at least two and possibly three group arrests of conference
organizers and participants.  One occurred at a house owned and occupied by
Daniel Green, where some biodevastation organizers were meeting.  The police
raided the house on the pretext of searching for building code violations and
removed a long list of personal property including ceramic cones for a kiln and
a "box of nails" which were noted as a weapon.  Another arrest was made as when
a group of people were bicycling through Forest Park towards the community
College where the conference was being held.  These people were arrested and
handcuffed for riding without a bicycle license.

Bicycle licenses are not available in St. Louis.

Apparently Sarah Bantz, the presenter who was kept from the workshop, had her
car stopped on the pretext of a seatbelt violation and was then arrested for
carrying vitamin C tablets.

Many of these events have been reported in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (e.g.,
"Protests are feared today at agriculgture meeting" [sic] in today's online
paper, esp. the section on "Mysterious Arrests.").  The Biodev.org website
contains further information, as does the St Louis Indy Media site at

I do not know if you are a fan of industrial agriculture or of its critics, but
I would hope that we are all fans of the 1st and 4th amendments which, last time
I checked, had not been repealed on account of the demonstrations in Seattle
(which are being cited as justifications for police repression).

I had not planned on attending the anti-WAF demonstration but now do plan on
attending out of support for the American right to dissent.  As important as
biotechnology, the food system, and corporate-academic relations are, there are
actually much larger issues at stake.   If you are interested in further
information, see http://worldagforum.com/action/
or http://www.biodev.org/

Glenn Davis Stone
Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Washington Univ., St. Louis

Board of Advisors

The Advisory Board provides direction and is a principal strength of the WAF. These leaders of global stature represent government, academia, industry, and advocacy organizations, providing a balanced perspective on the issues to be addressed by the WAF. Members of the Advisory Board include:

Rt. Hon James B. Bolger, ONZ
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
Former Ambassador of New Zealand

John C. Danforth
Chairman Emeritus
Former U.S. Senator

Prof. Ango Abdullahi
Special Advisor to the President on Food Security

Roger N. Beachy, Ph.D.
Donald Danforth Plant Sciences Center

Richard E. Bell
President & CEO
Riceland Foods, Inc.

Mr. Gary Blumenthal
President & COO
World Perspectives, Inc.

The Honorable Christopher S. Bond
U.S. Senator

Mr. Jorge H. Cazenave
Cazenave y Asociados

Mr. Ray Cesca
President & CEO
Global Alliance for Economic Advancement

Mr. Noel Devisch
President of the Belgian Boerenbond
President of COPA

Mr. A. Charles Fischer
President & CEO
Dow AgroSciences LLC

Mr. Richard M. Foster
Vice President for Programs
Food Systems, Rural Development and Leadership
W. K. Kellogg Foundation

The Honorable Richard A. Gephardt
U.S. Congressman,
House Minority Leader

Mr. Ben N. Gill, CBE
National Farmers Union, United Kingdom

C. Boyden Gray
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Stuart I. Greenbaum, Ph.D.
Dean and Bank of America Professor
Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Thomas S. Haggai
Chairman and CEO
IGA, Inc.

Peter H. H. Hung
Chairman, Pearl River Distributing, Ltd.

Hans Jöhr
Assistant Vice President
Nestle Limited, Switzerland

Mr. Sharad Joshi
Shetkari Sanghatana
Angarmala Village, Ambethan, India

Datuk Khor Chin Poey
Retired Chairman and Chief Executive
PPB Oil Palms Berhad

Dr. David Kipnis
Distinguished University Professor of Medicine,
Washington University School of Medicine

Mr. John E. Klein
President and CEO
Bunge North America, Inc.

Dr. Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti
Minister of Finance, Indonesia

Dr. Victor L. Lechtenberg
Dean of Agriculture,
Purdue University

James L. McDonald, Ph.D.
Vice President, Policy and Programs,
Bread for the World

Dr. M. Peter McPherson
Michigan State University

Mr. Ernest S. Micek
Chairman of the Board, Retired
Cargill, Inc.

Dr. Thomas L. Payne
Dean of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Director of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Missouri

Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen
Director General
International Food Policy Research Institute

Ms. Bonnie E. Raquet
Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs
Cargill, Inc.

Ms. Marta Lucia Ramirez de Rincon
Minister of Foreign Trade
Republic of Colombia

Charles H. Riemenschneider
Director, Liaison Office for North America,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Mr. Bob Stallman
American Farm Bureau Association

Hendrik A. Verfaillie
Monsanto Company

Gerard Viatte
Retired, Director for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Dr. Kazuo N. Watanabe
Honorary Fellow and Liaison
International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)