On our website you find articles examining closer the action of Movimento Verde Eufemia and the results it produced. We also elaborate on the question of civil disobedience and terrorism, and provide information about the shape of resistance against GM in Europe. We invite everyone, both portuguese citizens and members of the international community to participate in our discussion. Our website has portuguese and english translation.
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One year ago, the Portuguese Movimento Verde Eufemia (MVE) went into an action of civil disobedience. In a symbolic but determined act they destroyed less than 1 hectare of the first field of genetically modified corn in the region of the Algarve, previously declared GMO Free Zone by local authorities.
In the days following the action, the wide media attention MVE received instigated a large polemic, resonating into layers of the general public, the environmental movement itself, academics and even the government. Never did any environmental action achieve so much attention in the recent history of Portugal.
The initial media highlights were not so much on the subject of the action, the presence of GMO in Portugal, but rather on the spectacular nature and the illegal aspect of it. However in a second phase attention shifted as well to the debate on GMO, and its dangers. For that reason alone, the action of MVE was considered by many people with environmental concerns as a great success.
Because of that success, the current Portuguese government responsible for a policy in favour of GMO has responded strongly in an attempt to isolate the activists of MVE and other environmental organizations struggling against GMO, through a strategy of criminalization. This strategy came to the point of even labeling the action as a terrorist act (Europol EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2008). Some people that have been brought in relation to the case by the police are therefore facing the risk of being prosecuted within this context of terrorism. In general, it became harder to act against GMO in Portugal. Individuals or organizations who attempt, run a high risk of being under suspicion and surveillance by authorities.
One year later, the opportunity of the anniversary of this controversial but influential action is used to launch SoliMoVE, Grupo de Solidariedad com o Movimento Verde Eufemia. The objectives of Solimove are:
* To show all actors involved in the debate that the action of MVE is not an isolated case in the Portuguese historical context, and certainly not in the current international context, where these types of actions are common, particularly against the cultivation of GMOs.
* To build understanding of the term civil disobedience, its value as an active and engaged form of civil society participation, and its necessity in safeguarding the people and the environment from the threat of genetic contamination.
* To provide an international platform for any individual or organization, wishing to express its moral support towards MVE and its action.
* To defend the freedom of expression of all citizens against GMOs.