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nyc bans roundup in parks!

Posted: May 5 2021
Thanks to years of organizing, NYC bans the use of "RoundUp" in public parks!

The Black Institute and The Church of Stop Shopping celebrate the end of Spraying Bayer-Monsanto’s pesticide “RoundUp” in NYC Parks —The New Law will go into effect May 22, 2021

Longtime Community Leader and founder of The Black Institute Bertha Lewis and artist/activists Rev. Billy Talen and Savitri D from The Church of Stop Shopping worked with a diverse coalition of New Yorkers to encourage NY City Council to pass The Poison Parks Bill, which at long last bans the use of well-known cancer-causing pesticide Glyphosate in Public Parks citywide.

The bill was carried by Council Member Ben Kallos and passed unanimously on Earth Day April 22, after 7 years of activism, advocacy, detailed mapping, and the critical filing of Freedom of Information requests by the Church of Stop Shopping, which revealed racist patterns in applications of the toxin and increased exposure in low-income neighborhoods already burdened by environmental injustices. The Black Institute created the annual Poison Parks Report , instrumental in bringing council members on board. Other members of this coalition include Kindergarten Teacher Paula Rorgevich, Doug and Patti Woods, the Richman Law Group and Beyond Pesticides.  It has yet to be signed by Mayor DeBlasio but will go into effect May 22nd.

Environmental Justice advocates believe that the Poison Parks Bill, which is the most robust in the country, can be duplicated in many other communities throughout the US, increasing pressure on the Federal government to enact a national ban as exists in Germany, France, Australia, and many other nations and regions. At the public announcement Director of the Church of Stop Shopping Savitri D said,”Let this work be a beginning, an alarm, a symbol, a salvo —- let’s learn how to exist on earth without killing the earth.” Watch HERE

The success of the bill is testament to collaborative strategies developed by Earth Justice movements around the world. Activists create visibility and pressure while advocates lobby effectively and build constituent support.  To that end, The Church of Stop Shopping created dozens of public events, performances, and interventions against the use of glyphosate (commercially known as Monsanto’s RoundUp) in NYC’s public spaces, and publicized the issue in communities throughout the US and beyond. They led the annual “March Against Monsanto” parades in Miami, Chicago and New York and, in 2016 opened for Neil Young on his “Monsanto Years” tour. They have also “visited” the largest glyphosate factory in the world in Luling, Louisiana and laboratories in Davis, CA; St. Louis MO; Boston, MA; and Chicago IL.

“You put your blanket down, maybe you’re laying with the love of your life, And while you’re kissing and smooching you’re getting poison all over you. That’s nasty.” Bertha Lewis, The Black Institute