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Anti-GM bike pilgrimage comes through Sheffield

Sheff IMC | 03.10.2003 15:34 | Bio-technology | Ecology | Cambridge | London | Sheffield

Anti-GM activists cycle through to Sheffield en-route for London event.

Anti GM pilgrims journeys
Anti GM pilgrims journeys

On the 1st October a lone Scottish cyclist started a two week journey from Inverness to London for the Friends of the Earth Tractor and Trolley parade. The tractors and trollies will symbolize the unity of resistance to GM crops by both farmers and consumers. The parade intends to pass DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), 10 Downing Street and the National Farmers Union on Monday 13th October.

Jonny Barton will be towing a 5 foot coffin behind him on the 600+ miles journey. This is to symbolise the death of organic farming, and the death of the democratic right to choose safe food, and the death of more British biodiversity.

On Thursday 9th October another cyclist, Mary Keynes, will set off on the same green pilgrimage from Leeds. Both will be arriving in Sheffield that afternoon and there will be an opportunity for anyone to support them on their journey.

If you have a bike you can join the cyclists for the last few miles of their journey into Sheffield. Meet either at Sheffield railway station at 3pm or outside the Fox and Duck pub on Sheffield Road, A6178 at 4pm. The pub is about a quarter of a mile from the Tinsley M1 roundabout on the RH side when travelling towards Rotheram.

For those on foot assemble at outside the Town Hall at 4.30 ish to welcome Jonny and Mary. Jonny and others will talk about GM food and the Greengloves pledge.


My name is Jonny Barton, age 31, organic farmworker, teacher of English as a foreign language, living and working on an organic farm in Nairnshire, Highland region of Scotland.

My reasons for doing this green pilgrimage are several:
I am publicly showing my support for a sustainable and GM-Free Britain along with many in Scotland and the rest of the British Isles who want the same, whether or not they are travelling to London like me;

I am joining in the national mass rally in London on the 13th of October but on the way am visiting communities and public places to raise awareness of the Green Gloves Pledge to take direct action if the GM crops are legalised this year in the UK;

Thirdly this journey is a celebration of the success of the anti-GM campaign by ordinary people in Britain.

I have been involved in the campaign for a GM-Free Britain since Spring last year. It was then that I joined the Munlochy GM Vigil which was set up to watch the GM oilseed rape crop at Munlochy, near Inverness. The people involved had set up a yurt by the field. I visited this and then got more involved. I have written letters to MSPs, MPs, newspapers. Also I have handed out information in the streets, joined the Government's own 'GM Nation?' National debate in Glasgow and locally. I have taken part in public protests at the Munlochy field and other parts of the UK and once been arrested for it although the court acquitted me.

Most people in Britain would join me in urging this government to back off from legalising GM crops and food, and in doing this protect the environment from further damage, protect the people’s right to choose safe food.

I will be cycling from Inverness on 1st October, to London, not walking and I will be pulling a coffin behind me. This is a symbol of the seriousness of the Genetically Modified farming:- the death of organic farming, and the death of the democratic right to choose safe food, death of more British biodiversity, the risk of environmental biohazards, the risk of public health hazards from eating GM foods. The British government should resist the propaganda from US state officials and US multinational companies which say this technology will feed the starving. It is purely for the purpose of making money, greed. Every year massive food surpluses are dumped by both countries, not because everyone is fed but because the starving cannot afford to buy it. Ask any aid agency what they think of GM food aid!!

Jonny's full schedule (October):

Weds 1st Inverness to Keith (Aberdeenshire)
Thur 2nd Keith to Aberdeen/Stonehaven
Fri 3rd Aberdeen/Stonehave to Dundee
Sat 4th Dundee to Edinburgh
Sun 5th Edinburgh (Rally tbc) to Jedburgh/border
Mon 6th Jedburgh to Newcastle
Tues 7th Newcastle to Darlington (Hutton Magna FST)
Weds 8th Darlington to York ('GM Free zone')
Thurs 9th York to Sheffield (Rally + bike ride)
Fri 10th Sheffield to Leicester
Sat 11th Leicester to Cambridge (Bayer HQ)
Sun 12th Cambridge to London
Mon 13th Rally in London

* Take up the Green Gloves Pledge to decontaminate GM crops: or write to Green Gloves, 16B Cherwell Street, Oxford, OX4 1BG.

* Tractors and Trolleys against GM in London, October 13th. Demo against GM crops - drive a tractor or push a trolley through the streets of London. Info: 0808 800 1111

* The latest Schnews (425) which also has a good article about GM

* For more on the campaign against Bayer see or phone 07092 036576 - Publicity day against Bayer - October 11th.

* Electronic Blockade of Bayer - October 13th - contact Bayer to tell them what you think of GM food, phone: 01223 870312, fax: 01223 872142 or email:

* Big Noise Demo. 13th November from 10am outside Bayer's Newbury office, Strawberry Hill, Newbury. Bring whistles, horns, drums, etc. For transport details contact the Stop Bayer campaign. Transport from Leeds email:

* Corporate Watch have detailed briefings on the three companies involved in GM crops: Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta -

* To read the results of the GM Nation debate see

Sheff IMC


Display the following 2 comments

  1. Sore arse — ram
  2. Jonny in Edinburgh — Sheff IMC