Family farmers are traveling from across North America to Washington, DC, to participate in the January 10, 2013 Oral Argument in the appeal of dismissal for Organic Seed Growers and Trade Asscociation et al. vs. Monsanto to be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This landmark court case was originally filed in March 2011 to protect farmers from genetic trespass by Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) seed, which can contaminate organic and non-GE farmers’ crops.
The case was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald who ruled that the farmers lacked standing. The farmers’ Appeal brief, filed last summer, cites legal and factual errors to this ruling.
Plaintiff-farmers continue to demand the right to farm and we ask you to take a stand in solidarity.
A Citizen’s Assembly in support of family farmers is scheduled for 10am EST in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, on Thursday, January 10. Family farmers, their lawyers, and supporters will join after the hearing to explain why they traveled thousands of miles to protect their farms and communities.
OSGATA ally Food Democracy Now! is organizing a free and peaceful assembly of citizens in an effort to present the important message to family farmers that millions of Americans stand behind them as they seek their day in court.
Due to limited space, only a small number of individuals will be able to enter the courtroom and listen to the proceedings. We are asking that farmers and plaintiffs in the case be given priority- as each plaintiff has travelled many miles and put a great deal on the line to be involved in this case.
In the spirit of peaceful assembly and respect for the courts, we ask everyone adhere to the following principles:
Principles for Citizen’s Assembly
1. Assemble in Lafayette Square in a show of support for family farmers and their right to grow food without the threat of intimidation, harassment or loss of income.
2. Assemble peacefully to present a positive message that America’s citizens stand behind family farmers and support their rights of legal protection under the Constitution.
3. Bring signs that portray messages of:
b. The positive impacts of sustainable and organic agriculture.
c. Solutions to our current crisis in food, agriculture and society.
d. Support for farmers who seek justice in the courts.
4. Be respectful of the court, our government institutions and maintain a respectful distance from the court entry and federal buildings, making sure not to block access for foot traffic or vehicles.
Click here to RSVP for the Citizen’s Assembly.
Read the full press release here.