On Saturday 20 July, a group of 100 local people, farmers, gardeners and activists gathered at Lymm Village Hall to protest against a GM maize test site which had been planted at Woolstencroft Farm near Lymm as part of the latest round of the governments' farm scale trials.
The day began with speeches at the village hall from anti-GM campaigners, a local organic farmer and people from the local campaign group after which there was a chance for people to ask questions, find out more, discuss the issues and make plans for the day.
Organic food was provided for lunch after which protesters gathered outside the hall armed with banners, giant bees and butterflies and a seven foot scarecrow in a business suit signifying business entering the farms and fields. Lead by a samba band the colourful procession, many of whom were dressed in protective white suits and masks, marched through the centre of Lymm before heading off to the test site.
On arrival at the site some of the group began to assemble on the canal towpath whilst others entered the field and began trashing crops using their feet and banners. The scarecrow was planted in the middle of the field and the samba band assembled around him. Several people took plants into the field and some of the pollutant crop was replaced by sunflowers!
A number of local people continued the march to the farmhouse to present petitions to the farmer and banners were hung outside the field.
After a matter of minutes police began to enter the field, filming the actions of protesters and arresting 9 of them. One group made a dash for it across to the other side of the field whilst a member of the samba band was arrested for allegedly "inciting people to do damage by playing music".
A successful days "gardening" completed, the campaigners had managed to raise awareness of the existence of the test site in Lymm and its possible consequences locally as well as strengthening the national campaign of direct action against GM in Britain and the international struggle against the biotech multinationals.
The campaign doesn't stop here, as a summer of campaigning ends, the autumn round of trials are already planned and prepared. To find out more watch this space or see the web sites below.
GM Free Cheshire Campaign (07759 031 931)