Each year, around 35,000 people gather to enjoy the incredible MayDay parade and festival in Minneapolis. This year Rainforest Action Network’s Twin Cities chapter was happy to contribute to this year’s theme – UPROAR- in a load and powerful way! Those same persistent orangutans that have been bothering Cargill about the company’s destruction of their endangered rainforest habitat marched in the parade with palm trees and activists. We just couldn’t miss a chance to let thousands of Minneapolis and St. Paul citizens know what Cargill is really up to.
We were even joined by an un-named, cardboard-and-egg-carton-chainsaw-wielding Cargill executive who (in a ferocious frenzy) proceeded to attempt to cut down every tree along the parade route. When the orangutans in the march proceeded to tell this Cargill tree-chopper, “Don’t cut down these trees, we live there!” the executive let out a devilish laugh and replied, “NO, it’s mine! It’s all mine!” and chased them off with his saw.
The real UPROAR is that this street theater conveys a deep, if distant, truth: this is EXACTLY how Cargill is behaving in Southeast Asia. Cargill is destroying huge swaths of the world’s remaining 20% of tropical riainforests to plant industrial palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia. The way Cargill behaves towards people, rainforests, and animals in this region is not unlike the cardboard chainsaw wielding madman in the parade.
Fortunately, we have the proximity to do something about it.
Cargill can’t hide behind their good local neighbor image in the Twin Cities forever. Now, over 35,000 people have cheered on this campaign, literally chanting “CARGILL: DON’T KILL” with us as we passed through the streets. This only the beginning. Employees of Cargill and General Mills even approached us after the parade and said (anonymously, of course) that they support our campaign and hope that we keep up the pressure for these companies to do the right thing and stop destroying rainforests… wow. Well, you bet we will, especially for those who believe in our goals but are worried to speak out because they are worried for their jobs!
If you have the liberty of speaking out, check out Rainforest Action Network’s new report: Cargill’s Problems With Palm Oil: A Burning Threat in Borneo and add your name to the petition telling Cargill: Mayday! Mayday! Emergency threats to people, forests, and climate! STOP destroying rainforests.
Check out YouTube footage of the MayDay parade… our plea for help is about 5:18 into the video.
Join Rainforest Action Network’s Twin Cities chapter to make global change locally!