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News ::
25 Mar 2000
Biodev.2000 is up and running as the street piks up heat. Last night's presentation by Vandana Shiva held to a packed house. Day 2 in Genetown. A commentary.
Biodevastation 2000 is up and running in the wake of the mainstream Boston media’s contrivances and the not-so-arcane machinations of Genetown’s ruling elite. As the police barricades and storefront window protection goes up on Boylston Street, the word goes down the line on "Main Street": no more business as usual.
It’s lousy with security out there. The guy next to you with the cellphone stuck to his head could just as easily work for the FBI or the Boston PD as he could for Those kids dressed in black with all that metal on their face could just be local street heat or they could be the black bloc taking in the sights. There is something in the air, besides too much particulate matter, in and around Copley Square as preparations get under way for Sunday’s mass rally and march against genetic engineering and the corporate domination of life on Earth. Excitement or apprehension, whatever it may be, life in the USA is not the same since last November in Seattle. The next rotation of the planet will reveal if such expectant energies on the streets of Boston were warranted.
Last night, Indian activist Vandana Shiva spoke to a packed house at Northeastern University where the Biodevastation 2000 Conference is taking place. The message that "life is not a commodity" to be traded and manipulated by faceless global corporation was lost on no one. A once-nascent movement in the US for the democratic control of our resources and the security of our biosphere has come of age. The kind of resistance to unbridled corporate hegemony we have witnessed being waged in Europe for the past few years has moved here to the New World. It’s a Brave New World out of order though, and attendants at last night’s Conference gave every indication they intend to fix it, one way or another.

Meanwhile, over at the opulent Hynes Convention Center on Boylston, the biotech industry continues preparations for their gathering of the world’s would-be techno-aristocrats. Make no mistake about it, the technicians and marketers of most corporate genetic engineering schemes are engaged in the manipulation of life on Earth in the pursuit of profit first and foremost. Altruistic concepts of feeding the starving masses or curing human ailments take a back seat to the so-called dictates of market capitalism. In more than a few cases such sentiments emanating from the boardroom are flat-out bullshit. To rule the food chain, or gene pool, is to rule the world - our world. The place where we once grew our own food or knew for the most part who did and how they did it. The place where local autonomy meant influence over ones own destiny in all its many forms. Where, in some cases, a degree of democracy prevailed, where corporations were controlled by governments rather than governments being controlled by corporations.

This is what the Battle in Seattle was all about, but you know that. And, I venture to guess that you also have figured out that the players at the Hynes Center are not all that different than the players at the Seattle Convention Center (except that in Boston they’ll actually be allowed to GET to the Center). It’s the usual suspects but, as noted, no business as usual.

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