The main issue that radicalized me when I first became a student activist in the 1960s was war, the actual bloody war going on in Viet-Nam, and the always pending war, permanently etched into the back of my mind, the threat of nuclear war between Russia and the United States. I became a draft resister in 1967, like hundreds of thousands of others, and refused to go to Viet-Nam, opting to become a non-violent warrior for peace and justice instead.
The nuclear standoff that traumatized me and a whole generation of anti-war and civil rights activists arose during the Cuban missile crisis of October 16-28, 1962—60 years ago.
Years later I learned that a global catastrophe in October 1962 was averted only because a Soviet submarine commander, off the coast of Cuba, disobeyed orders to fire his nuclear missiles, after a U.S. naval vessel dropped explosive depth-charges, trying to force the Russian submarine to the surface. The 1962 nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, eerily reminiscent of the current nuclear standoff in Ukraine, was precipitated by American deployment of nuclear missiles in Turkey, adjacent to the borders of the USSR, prompting Soviet deployment of intermediate atomic missiles in Cuba.
This was the second time this world event was held - a major 24-hour event on World Food day on Oct 16, featuring speakers from every region of our planet. Last year was a spectacularly successful event, with over 522,000 people from all regions of our world tuning in to watch and listen to our numerous topics.
Because we reached so many people, this event had a very high impact.
This year’s event was a 24-hour global, participatory, virtual summit starting in Oceania and moving westwards through the time zones of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each region was self-organized, so they were empowered to present the messages and issues that are their priorities.
The People’s Food Summit is a truly participatory summit that empowers the majority of the world's food producers: the small-holder family farmers, pastoralists, and foresters who produce 70% of the food we eat.
Over the past 30 years OCA and our allies across the world have fought hard against gene-spliced GMO foods and crops and the toxic pesticides and chemicals that always accompany them, exposing their dangers, limiting their market share, and in some countries bringing about mandatory bans (Mexico) and/or labeling and safety-testing. (USA and Europe)
But now Bill Gates, the gene-engineers, the World Economic Forum, and the Davos “Great Reset” technocrats and authoritarians, the folks who anticipated and profited off of COVID and the lockdowns, have a bold new plan to shove down our throats: get rid of animal agriculture, ranching, and small farms entirely. Make lab-engineered fake meat, fake milk, and fake cheese the new normal. Pretend they’re not genetically engineered and therefore they don’t have to be properly safety-tested and labeled. Divide and conquer vegans and carnivores, urban consumers and rural communities. Drive into bankruptcy and off the land the billion ranchers, small farmers, and herdsmen/women around the world, who depend on raising animals and livestock for their survival.
In addition to highlighting positive solutions, it is important to keep in mind that people’s situations and perspectives are different. We all have different passions or priorities. One size or one approach does not fit all. Therefore, we need to integrate our green justice and Regeneration messages with the specific issues and concerns that are most important to grassroots constituencies, and then lay out, in everyday language, a strategy that makes people understand that we can actually solve the problems they care about the most, while also solving a host of other pressing problems at the same time. Only by starting from where people are at, and then connecting the dots, can we capture the attention and imagination of a critical mass of the global grassroots and get them to start thinking about how they can participate in our new Movement and new economy.
Objective and subjective conditions for change are different in every country in the world, and to some extent differ as well in the sub-regions and local communities of these 195 countries. Everyday people everywhere, including the most impoverished and vulnerable communities, have their burning issues as well as their secondary issues, and an inherent desire to alleviate and, if possible, solve the problems that are pressing down on them, in many cases threatening their very survival. In the activist community, major focus areas, in most cases reflecting the concerns of everyday people, include inflation and the high cost of living, freedom of choice and Constitutional liberties, climate change, environmental pollution, health, social justice, jobs and economic justice, peace, and democracy. Unfortunately, campaigners, both on the local and national/international levels, often work in isolation from other sectors, each in their own separate silos. This perpetuates tunnel vision in the body politic, parochial or sectarian attitudes, political polarization, and an overall weakness in global civil society.
Regenerators, young and old, given our current situation, need to operate on the old adage that “the darkest hour is right before the dawn.” Instead of just dwelling on the negative, on the things that divide or frighten us, we need to search out and highlight today’s positive trends, best practices, and solutions. For the OCA and Regeneration International community this means not just focusing on the latest corruption and criminality of the ruling class and the technocrats, not just the delusions and self-destructive behavior of those brainwashed by the Establishment narrative, but on finding, highlighting, and scaling up real life regenerative alternatives.
As we inform ourselves and resist the Great Reset, the Big Pharma power grab, Silicon Valley programming and censorship, the Ukraine war and endless conflict, the reckless science, the pollution of our food, the destruction of the environment and climate, and the mass confusion, fear, and psychosis that has debilitated much of the body politic; we must also search out and highlight the positive trends in grassroots insurgency and creativity. We must seek out, highlight, and participate in the best practices of organic and regenerative food, farming, and land use, as well as the holistic natural health practices, food and dietary changes, and lifestyle transformations that are regenerating people’s health, mental and physical. For a full dose of positive information, go to the internal search engine on the upper right hand side of the OCA homepage and type in the words Regenerative Food and Farming.
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.