BREAKING: Protestors arrested at genetically engineered trees conference

May 26, 2013.  Source: Global Justice Ecology Project

Photo: Langelle/ for GJEP

Photo: Langelle/ for GJEP

(Asheville, NC) As the Tree Biotechnology 2013 conference kicked off early Monday, two Asheville residents were arrested after disrupting a major presentation by Belgian tree engineer Wout Boerjan entitled, “Engineering trees for the biorefinery.”

The protestors said that if legalized, GE trees would lead to the destruction of native forests and biodiversity in the US South, and be economically devastating to rural communities.

The talk was disrupted for 20 minutes.

Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Photo: Petermann/GJEP

Farmer and professor Steve Norris said, “We took dignified action today to directly confront the growing corporate control over our seeds, forests, and communities. We are sending a crystal clear message to the GE tree industry and its investors – expect resistance.”

The bi-annual Tree Biotechnology conference, convened by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), is the premier industry and research conference on GE trees. This year’s conference is being held from 26 May 26-1 June at the Asheville Marriott Renaissance hotel.

Anti-GE tree demonstrators from across the region have converged on Asheville for a week of action to protest the conference proceedings. They are calling attention to South Carolina-based ArborGen’s pending request with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to sell millions of GE eucalyptus trees across the US South.

“We know that GE trees are a disaster for forests and biodiversity,” said Laura Sorensen, one of the demonstrators arrested on Monday.  “With predictions of worsening extreme weather in our region, the last thing we need are highly flammable and invasive plantations of water-hungry eucalyptus trees.”

“As a grandmother, I see no future in this for my grandchildren,” she added.

Last month, the USDA public comment period for ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus was flooded with 37,580 comments opposing its legalization, with only four comments in favor – a difference of almost 99.99% to .01%.

Visit for more info on the week of actions

Campaign to STOP GE Trees groups participating included: Global Justice Ecology Project, Katuah Earth First!, Everglades Earth First!, Real Cooperative, Biofuelwatch, Global Forest Coalition and Dogwood Alliance.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Land Grabs

0 Responses to BREAKING: Protestors arrested at genetically engineered trees conference

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  4. So it appears that they entered and disrupted what someone else was saying. Isn’t that interfering with someone’s free speech? Why not listen to what the other side has to say, and present your perspective? By doing this, you don’t learn anything, the people you criticize dismiss your perspective, and the courts get gummed up with handling arrests that didn’t need to happen, all for making a media splash can can easily backfire.

  5. Thanks for sharing. God bless them for standing up! Grandmas know what’s up. You know what time it is when the government is no longer by the people or for the people. It’s Big GIANT ZOMBIE time. Who’s running the big zombie? A bunch of little ones, and that’s big trouble, that’s who we have to reach. YUCK! There is a saying going around, “It’s a loyal goyim that makes a happy golum.” If you don’t know what these words mean you need to. Ok little stupid goyims it’s time to wake up.!!

  6. Pingback: BREAKING: Protestors Arrested at Genetically Engineered Tree Conference | Earth First! Newswire

  7. Croatan Earth First!

    Reblogged this on Croatan Earth First! and commented:
    At the protests in Asheville…updating from convergence space … Teach-ins start around 3 p.m. at 101 Fairview Rd.

  8. Pingback: Protesters arrested at Tree Biotechnology Conference | LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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