Activists protest at World Biofuels Market

On March 14, activist group “Agrofools” closed down the World Biofuels Market meeting in Brussels by sealing four sets of double doors with padlocks and chains and barring access with their bodies just before the official opening. A battle ensued between protesters and security at the fifth set of doors. Outside the conference center the gates were also locked by a chain and blocked by activist group Rhythms of Resistance, who kept up a samba beat at their action for nearly two hours before being given an ultimatum by police. Banners read “Agrofuels are a Scam” and “No Solution to Oil Addiction.” (Press release via Indymedia UK, March 14)

In a related action March 7, some 300 Brazilian women occupied a Monsanto research unit, uprooting a tree nursery and an experimental field of genetically modified corn. The action was undertaken to protest the Brazilian government’s decision last month to approve two varieties of GMO corn for commercial use—MON 810, produced by Monsanto, and Liberty Link, made by Germany’s Bayer CropScience. (Reuters, March 7)

On March 4, hundreds of women invaded Swedish-Finnish timber multinational Stora Enso’s Fazenda Tarumã plantation in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The group Via Campesina claims Stora Enso is breaking Brazilian laws forbidding foreign companies from owning land in border areas. “To plant in this green desert near the [Uruguayan] border is a crime against our country and against the pampa ecosystem,” said the group in statement released to the Brazilian media. (The Local, Sweden, March 5)

See our last posts on Brazil and “biofuels.”

  1. Nice story but not true
    I’m afraid this just isn’t true. While there were indeed protesters they didn’t manage to shut the event down. People were wandering in and out freely.

      1. I was there
        They managed to lock 3 of the doors, but one double door remained open. It made no difference at all to the event apart from some mild amusement for the delegates. The point of the conference was to debate the issues they were raising, so not sure what they expected to achieve by try to shut it?! But they failed anyway.

        1. One would think…
          …the point of the World Biofuels Market was to promote, not “debate,” biofuels. Even if you are correct that they “failed,” I say—good try!