Excitement outside fgc

The offices of Friends Gen­er­al Con­fer­ence are across the street from the Penn­syl­va­nia Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, which is this week host­ing a biotech con­ven­tion. The streets out­side are host­ing a bit of a counter-convention led by a group named “BioDemoc­ra­cy 2005”:http://www.biodev.org/. Here are some shots from a mêlée out­side our front door a few min­utes ago.
*Update:* appar­ent­ly one of the police offi­cers at the cen­ter of this scuf­fle “suf­fered a heart attack and has since died”:http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/business/special_packages/bio2005/11949070.htm. I’m not even sure how to com­ment on that. From my van­tage point it cer­tain­ly seemed like the police offi­cers were using undue vio­lence. But while I was ten feet away I don’t know who threw the first punch and what exact­ly hap­pened in that sea of bod­ies. What­ev­er hap­pened, it’s quite appro­pri­ate to hold him and his fam­i­ly in our prayers.

  • Any idea what the pro­test­ers were so up in arms about? I liked the pic­ture of the pro­tes­tors lin­ing up face-to-face with the cops. My bet is that the pro­tes­tors were con­cerned about keep­ing things nat­ur­al and green, env­ior­men­tal, etc. And right across the way is a gag­gle of cops on BIKES. Talk about envi­ron­men­tal­ly friendly! 😉
    Hope no one was hurt. Why things get to push and shove is always a curios­i­ty to me.

  • Hi Joe,
    Sor­ry I for­got the link to the Bio-Democracy site. I was post­ing simul­tanous­ly to Non​vi​o​lence​.org, Quak­er Ranter, Flickr and the Philly Indy­media site. The link is up.
    The main points of the protesters:
    The cor­po­ra­tions gath­er­ing in Philadel­phia this June are con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing the world with genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered crops at the expense of our health, pop­u­lar food sov­er­eign­ty and bio­di­ver­si­ty. They are prof­it­ing from unsafe and cost­ly design­er drugs, whose side effects can be worse than the con­di­tions they’re aimed to treat, while rais­ing the false hope that biotech­nol­o­gy car­ries the solu­tion to all human ills. In the name of “biode­fense,” they are prof­it­ing from the costli­est expan­sion of research into high-tech weapon­ry since the Man­hat­tan Project, devel­op­ing new bioweapons and res­ur­rect­ing old ones, and expos­ing our com­mu­ni­ties to the haz­ard of uncon­trol­lable bio­log­i­cal agents. To reclaim our nutri­tion, health and secu­ri­ty … we must resist their biotech!
    One of the police offi­cers in the mid­dle of the mêlée suf­fered a heart attack and “the Philadel­phia Inquir­er is report­ing he has since died”:an appar­ent heart attack”:http://​www​.philly​.com/​m​l​d​/​p​h​i​l​l​y​/​b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s​/​s​p​e​c​i​a​l​_​p​a​c​k​a​g​e​s​/​b​i​o​2​0​0​5​/​1​1​9​4​9​0​7​0​.​htm.