Action against the Third Round Table on Responsible Soy
[img_assist|nid=149|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=150|height=113]Wednesday April 23, 2008, Buenos Aires:During a plenary session of the 3rd conference of the Round Table on Responsible Soy, a group of representatives of organisations signing the declaration denouncing the RTRS, made an intervention expressing their rejection of the greenwash caused by the RTRS. "Responsible soy is an unresolvable contradiction and in no way a viable option". Watch video clip from protest below.
We arrived at the Hilton Hotel during one of the plenary session where corporations, NGOs and business representatives were participating of the event, and where there would also be a space for Q&A. Our intention was to expose to those present the reasons why we repudiate this soy model and specially to denounce the greenwash strategy that such participants hold in common. We understand from our experiences that responsible soy is a total contradiction and is under no circumstance a viable option.
We waited for over two hours at the reception to be able to enter and read our statement. We were received with very bad manners by security at the Hilton Hotel who were continuously demanding that we put away our video cameras and not take pictures because it was private property. First, a representative from FUNDAPAZ, one of the NGOs participating of the RTRS came to meet us. Then came Miguel Hernandez, executive director at the RTR. Finally, came Jean Marteen Dross, who heard our position, told us it was a valid one, and invited us to wait for him to consult with others and make it possible for us to enter during the plenary.
[img_assist|nid=147|title=Protestors at the Hilton|desc=|link=node|align=right|width=200|height=150]This never happened and, on the contrary, the harassment we experienced to make us leave the hall of the hotel and the absence of an answer that left us waiting, led us to read our statement and display our banners. This happened at a moment when the plenary was coming to an end and one of the participants informed us that the door where we were gathering had been blocked from participants to use, and instead, they were leaving to leave through another door.
[img_assist|nid=148|title=Protestors show what soy is really responsible for|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=200|height=150]We mobilized quickly to the other door where the Argentina police and the Hilton's security hurried to barricade the hotel and prohibited us from displaying our banners and shocking photos that showed the impacts of this "responsible soy" model on the communities affected, which was evidently not appropriate for the participants of the Round Table to see, according to the criteria of the hotel security and the administration of the event. In a climate of growing violence and intimidation we were obliged to leave for our own safety.
What happened clearly reflects the lack of understanding and sensitivity on behalf of the participants and organizers of the Round Table who not only blocked our entrance and prohibited us from the right to express ourselves, but they had no respect whatsoever for the long hours that some of us had spent traveling, especially three Paraguayan campesinos who came with the only hope to state their position and raise awareness about their urgent realities. What occurred during the conference confirms the fallacy behind "responsible soy" which we repeat once again that is indeed RESPONSIBLE, but for POVERTY, DEATH and DESTRUCTION.