MINNEAPOLIS – A colorful crowd of 40 Occupy activists, food justice advocates, farmers, and anti-corporate-personhood protestors braved below freezing temperatures today to gather with Rainforest Action Network to voice their grievances and stage a mock citizen’s arrest of Cargill Inc. in downtown Minneapolis. Bolstered by mass demonstrations nationwide on the second anniversary of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, over forty people marched on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange to post an arrest warrant for Cargill. This citizens’ arrest of Cargill, Inc. demonstrates a growing awareness of local and global solidarity with peoples worldwide who are resisting the impacts of corporate-dominated agricultural systems by corporations like Cargill. From Wall Street to rural Minnesota, from Argentina to India, the collective call-to-action is growing: it is time to Occupy Our Food Supply.
Citing multiple corporate crimes ranging from slave labor, driving climate change and monopolizing the food chain to putting profits before food safety, the 99% took moral law into their own hands to perform a “Citizens’ Arrest” of Cargill, Inc. An Occupy Cargill protestor at the rally explained it this way: “Corporations aren’t people, but if they have the same rights as a person, shouldn’t they have the same responsibilities? So, can’t we arrest them for their criminal behavior?”
Cargill, Inc. is the largest privately held corporation in the world. The corporation’s annual revenue of $119 billion is higher than 70% of the world’s countries GDPs and the family that controls it is the richest in America. Cargill, Inc. is plagued with worldwide controversy around many of its commodities, including palm oil, salt, cotton, chocolate and grain as well as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and carbon trading. Agricultural free trade policies that benefit Cargill come at a high price for family farmers, food sovereignty, human rights, and the climate.
Departing from the former Occupy Minneapolis encampment site known as People’s Plaza, citizens marched in a “search party” to find this fugitive suspect, Cargill, Inc., to bring this corporate “person” to justice. Multiple speakers at the rally railed against Cargill’s corporate personhood and its extensive lobbying of governments for free trade policies that benefit its profits at the expense of people and planet.
Unable to find this corporate “person,” activists posted the arrest warrant at the last-seen location of Cargill, Inc.: The Minneapolis Grain Exchange. If I were this criminal, I would turn myself in to the 99% and beg for mercy.