“You’ve empowered many victims that shall build on this Tribunal’s work in their local struggles.” – Olivier De Schutter, chair of the Monsanto Tribunal legal team and former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, October 17, 2016
One by one, they stepped up to the podium. Reading from documents they’d spent months, in some cases years, researching and preparing, they stood before a panel of judges to tell their stories.
Farmers who had taken a stand against, and in some cases lost to, Monsanto in court, after their fields were contaminated by GMO seeds. Mothers whose children were born with birth defects caused by Monsanto’s poisons. Journalists and scientists whose work was viciously attacked and discredited by Monsanto.
They were prepared. Dignified. Determined.
Across town, hundreds of activists, young and old, listened to speakers, participated in workshops, viewed films and broke bread at the People’s Assembly. And they planned for a better future.
It will be awhile before the International Monsanto Tribunal judges issue their advisory opinions on the six frames of reference. We will bring you that news when it happens.
As soon as they can, the Tribunal organizers will post written and video testimony from the witnesses, and video of the People’s Assembly workshops on the official Monsanto Tribunal website.
For now, we can tell you that by any measure, the Monsanto Tribunal was a success. And as Vandana Shiva said in her closing speech at the People’s Assembly—a sentiment echoed by many over the three days of planning and discussion—“This does not end here.”