25 March: Special "sight"-seeing
The GE-bus driving through the European countryside
You could think we were collecting signatures, photos and videos all the time and had no possibility at all to get to the must-see parts of the city. That is not at all true; the must-see part we have seen. Maurice showed us some important places of the capital: the most famous rock of Luxembourg, where they have projected the film The World Accoring to Monsanto last autumn; the monumental building in which on 22th March 2009, the safeguard clause (the ban) on MON810 was made, but we had seen viaducts, castles, rivers and valleys as well. All amazing, I have to say!
Being a teacher by profession, I was really glad to visit Lycée Technique Agricole, a secondary school educating the farmers of the future. Luckily Maurice translated the conversation he had with the director of the school, who told us that she finds the GE question really important, so the students have a year-long subject dedicated to the doubts and possible dangers of genetically modified seeds. This way they do not believe in everything what they hear from some GMO producer agrochemical giants about growing yields stopping world’s hunger and pest-killing heavenly plants, etc..
After visiting the farmer school our crew had some time finally to eat something. Our local campaigner took us to a local restaurant serving regional and organic food – we walked the talk! It was really tasty, but not very big portion,so I could have eaten 3 times more, but had to depart far up to Belgium, to Wallonia. Even the bus got tired by the evening when it had to climb some hills to get there. The minister of agriculture of Wallonia came to meet a local group of conservative party members to a tiny little town, but our well-informed campaigner got to know about it and organized a meeting with him.
Mr. Lutgen arrived, jumped to the bus and made the interview with Maurice. I heard later from our luxemburgish campaigner, that Mr. Lutgen had an important role last March. Then the council had to vote whether they support my country and Austria to keep our bans on the only GE corn authorized in the EU. Luckily most of the member states followed his example, so we could stay GE-Free. Memorable moment again; I shaked his hands well.
Bob Tomori Balazs - our Hungarian campaigner and blogger, and Jean-Jaques Schweinzfeier - the driver and logistics man, of the GE-bus crew converse into the evening
Sitting together while having a very late ’choco su’ (hot chocolate) we concluded the we are better and better at every stop, but identified minor things to change. Tomorrow will be even more important, Greenpeace Luxemburg is organizing a press conference together with national environmental, agricultural and health ministers! By night we could answer the main question of the day: How to travel 11 hours a day within Luxemburg? we knew that the only possible answer was: Give Maurice a two-day long opportunity to host the bus and You will see! Although, the day with an exceptionally short night before was really exhausting, but we were convinced that all the meetings were important and contributed to the GE-Free Future of Luxemburg and motivated other countries to keep their plates and fields gmo-free as well!
Bob Tomori Balazs
Did YOU sign our petition to Barroso already? You do not need the bus, it can be done online as well!
Picture credit: © Emma Stoner / Greenpeace, 26/03/2010, The Netherlands