We Marched Against Monsanto, Sort Of


Saturday was a world-wide day to March Against Monsanto. I’ve written posts regarding my feelings about RoundUp-ready seeds, GMOs and the like, so I’ll skip straight to the March recap.

Saturday’s crowd was small in comparison to our first effort. Only 250 showed up compared to the 600 who marched in May. In Nashville’s defense, there was a lot going on in town including the Southern Festival of Books, a Heart Walk and a Zombie Walk. It’s hard to compete with a Zombie Walk.

My friend, Becky was in town from Memphis and she decided to join me for the demonstration/march. We met at Riverfront park for the pre-march rally. My favorite story from the rally involved this sign:

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Someone in the crowd approached another friend of mine inquiring about the “counter protest.” My friend tried to explain that the sign’s owners are saying they are gays who oppose GMOs, not straight people making derogatory comments about the other protesters. “Are you sure?” he asked. “They’re men wearing hats with flowers, sir,” my friend responded.

Multi-tasking: this marcher told me she was going to the Zombie Walk later.

Multi-tasking: this marcher told me she was later going to the Zombie Walk.

Becky and I were on the fence about whether to march or just leave after the rally. I had a million things to do at home and felt a little pushed for time. We laughed that we were yuppie marchers on tight schedules. We decided the cause was more important than task lists so we joined the crowd…for a while.

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Believe it or not, Becky and I managed to get separated from the rest of the herd. We stopped at traffic signals while others marched on. I slowed my pace to take a phone call (again, yuppie marcher) and we stopped to help this guy:

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He’d bolted shoes onto the bottom of his stilts. One of his shoes had a blowout and was flopping around like crazy. He asked me if I could pull it off. I tried, but that shoe wasn’t going anywhere.

As we approached the Bicentennial Mall, our destination point, we noticed quite a few protestors getting in their cars and leaving. Unlike us, they knew the destination point in advance and parked there. Smart protestors!

Once we arrived at the Bicentennial Mall, we could find no sign of the herd. I’m not familiar with the mall and I didn’t realize there was an amphitheater divided from the rest of the area by tall shrubbery. We finally discovered the demonstrators…what was left of them…hidden in that area. We surveyed the situation for about 60 seconds and decided to walk back to our cars. Once back at the parking garage we decided to have lunch. Yet again, yuppie marchers.

While it didn’t have the zing of May’s March Against Monsanto, I’m grateful someone cared enough to organize it and that 250 people took time out of their schedules to participate. It was great to spend time with an out-of-town friend and she and I have a fun story about getting lost during a protest march.

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