I decided to check out the Occupy Monsanto protest in Washington, DC during Memorial Day weekend because I had hoped to run into a friend of mine who was also going to be at the march with his young daughter (but I was ultimately unsuccessful because there were so many people around). It was a nice warm and sunny day to be outside, as the following pictures show. In addition, members of both Occupy DC and Occupy Baltimore had been hyping this particular march (which was one of many such marches scheduled in cities all across the United States that day) on Facebook for weeks and I felt that it had the potential to be a very big deal.

Another reason why I wanted to check out the protest is because I’ve been kind of concerned about Monsanto convincing lawmakers to not require any kind of labelling on genetically modified crops (or GMOs) so that tomato or ear of corn you pick up at the grocery store may or may not be a GMO. There are all kinds of issues about the potential health risks of GMOs.

I think of labelling food products as basically a consumer rights issue. If a person doesn’t want to eat anything that even reeks of GMO, that person should have the right to be informed about whether a particular food product comes from a GMO crop. Likewise, if someone is a firm believer in eating as much GMO products as possible, labelling would help that person select only GMO products to put into his/her own body.

Ironically my late mother-in-law’s older brother worked as a Monsanto researcher until he retired sometime in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s. (My mother-in-law was the one who told me he worked at Monsanto.) I have no idea what kind of research he did. I only met that particular uncle of my ex-husband twice (one of the times was at our wedding) and he never brought up his Monsanto days when we socialized. (I tried a Google search under his name AND Monsanto but I turned up empty.) This person was the oldest of six children and he was 20 years older than my mother-in-law so he died many years before she did in 2010.

I passed by the fountain in Lafayette Square on the way to the protest.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

The Occupy Monsanto protesters gathered in Lafayette Square outside the White House (which is visible in the background of the photo below).

Occupy Monsanto

Some of the Occupy Monsanto protesters checked out the long-running White House Peace Vigil against nuclear weapons.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

White House Peace Vigil volunteer Concepcion Picciotto (wearing a blue vest on the right) spoke with some of the Occupy Monsanto protesters.

Occupy Monsanto

I saw protesters wear the Guy Fawkes V is for Vendetta masks as well as wearing costumes where they were either dressed as flowers or bees. It added to the festive atmophere of this protest.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

After a while the protesters left Lafayette Square.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

The march wended its way down K Street, N.W. (where many lobby firms are located). At one point it even passed McPhereson Square, the former home of the Occupy DC movement (which vacated the park last year).

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

The march ended outside the building at 1300 I Street, N.W. that houses Monsanto’s Washington, DC office.

Occupy Monsanto

You know you’re at Monsanto’s office when a bus depot around the corner has this giant Monsanto ad posted.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

The protesters had their own parody of the Monsanto logo.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

With the next few photos I attempted to provide an idea as to how large this protest was. Since the DC protest was one of many that were being held in many cities nationwide, the crowd was relatively small compared to something like the 2011 Tax Day protest against corporate greed and environmental degredation but it still drew a sizable crowd if you consider the fact that this protest was scheduled on the Saturday of the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto
Occupy Monsanto

After rallying outside Monsanto’s office for a while, the protesters announced that they were marching back to Lafayette Square, where the protest would officially end. I was kind of lazy and I opted to catch the McPherson Square Metro station instead because it was closer than if I had opted to march further to the White House then double back to the same station.

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