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Trouble in Tucson

In a perfect example of how people are organizing locally against corporate power, a growing number of citizens in Tucson, Ariz., are locked in a heated battle with Monsanto and some local elected officials.

In a nutshell, here’s the deal. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry negotiated a back-room deal that allowed Monsanto to buy 155 acres of farmland just outside of Tucson. The deal included the promise of a big tax break for Monsanto, which plans to build a research and development facility on the land. The Biotech Giant will also grow test plots of experimental seeds and GMO crops.

A lot of people in Tucson don’t like the way the deal was handled. And they don’t want more of Monsanto’s dirty, toxic chemicals fouling up the area’s farmlands.

It’s amazing what these on-the-ground activists have accomplished so far, including rallying hundreds to attend public meetings and getting a final vote on the project delayed. But the vote is set for February 21, and there’s still a lot of work to be done.

If you live in Tucson, you can help by attending meetings, writing letters to the editor, calling the Pima County Supervisors and signing petitions. (You can find phone numbers here.) Please don’t contact Pima County Supervisors unless you live there—phone calls from outside their jurisdictions could backfire. 

But you don’t need to live in Tucson, or even in Arizona, to help out in other ways.  Do you know an attorney licensed in Arizona who might provide pro bono legal advice to help stall or defeat Monsanto’s project? Do you have media skills you can share? Want to help call Tucson-area residents to ask them to attend meetings? Email

Meanwhile, you can stay on top of Tucson-Monsanto developments here.

This is what citizen activism looks like. As with Standing Rock, we all need to support people, wherever they are, in their fight against corporate power and corruption.

TAKE ACTION: Sign up to help Tucson keep Monsanto out!

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