The No Border Encuentro took place on August 27-28th at the Sherman Heights Community Center in San Diego/Aztlan. Two days of events including a maquiladora tour, a benefit concert and a day of forums, panels and encounters took place with over 100 people from San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Orange County, Eugene, Portland, Tijuana, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia participating. On the walls hung photos of recent actions to stop the Minutemen, a poster of the PGA Hallmarks, and maps of Calexico, where the No Border Camp will be in September.
[ Image detail from “Biodevastation” poster created by the Beehive Design Collective. ]
Sunday the 25th of June 2001 was the day the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) began a conference to discuss the use of biotechnology in the future. BIO consists of representatives from the world’s largest and most influential multinational agricultural and pharmaceutical corporations, as well as some smaller national corporations. These corporations all share the desire to use biotechnology as a tool to create and patent genetically modified forms of life in their effort to make enormous profits all around the world.
In response to the BIO conference, political and social activists of all ages, well respected authors, dedicated farmers, investigative reporters, university educators, students, parents and workers joined together at a church in the Hillcrest section of San Diego and then at San Diego City College to learn from each other about the harmful repercussions of biotechnology and promote sustainable organic farming methods. The event was called Beyond Biodevastation and 2001 was the fourth year that people came together for this annual teach-in and demonstration. Many in attendance were local to San Diego, while other people traveled from the eastern United States and other countries such as India. It was wonderful to experience all the people gathered together, sharing their ideas with one another in discussions and by distributing written pamphlets, books, newspapers, bumper stickers, and t-shirts. The display of amazingly artistic murals and street theatre performances were inspiring, informative, and entertaining.