3 Arrested Protesting World Food Prize
An Iowa State Patrol trooper places handcuffs on Jessica Resnick of Des Moines during an Occupy World Food Prize rally at the State Capitol grounds on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave, The Register)
Three activists protesting the World Food Prize were arrested Thursday night in front of the Iowa Capitol building, just as attendees to the 2014 Laureate Award Ceremony gathered inside.
The three protesters, part of the Occupy World Food Prize movement, were arrested after a march up the Capitols’ west steps, during which a crowd of about 40 people chanted “No, no, GMO.”
The arrest came after an hourlong rally with speakers from Iowa and around the country, who criticized the World Food Prize’s recognition of genetically modified organisms as the solution to feed a growing world population. The prize, they say, honors corporate and large-scale industrial agriculture, rather than farmers who grow their own food.
“Even though a lot of people in that building over there are very powerful and rich, we represent a lot of people who can’t get here — the majority of the human race,” said Frank Cordaro, founder of the Iowa Catholic Worker and one of the protesters who was arrested, in his opening remarks.
Speakers were flanked by banners that read: “End corporate control of our food system,” and “GMO crops breed a new form of slavery,” and protestors held homemade signs criticizing biotechnology companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Cargill.
“The most important thing we can do is resist these corporations,” said Keith McHenry, the co-founder of Food Not Bombs, a national collective that shares vegetarian food as a protest to war.
As an alternative, McHenry suggested that people plant their own organic food, buy food directly from small farmers, and “turn our backs on the poison that is being promoted out of this institution, the World Food Prize.”