- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Anti-GMO protesters threw a wad of dollar bills from the viewing galleries onto the Senate floor Wednesday to protest a bill that wouldn’t go as far as they wanted in clamping down on genetically modified crops.

“Stop taking Monsanto’s money,” Alexis Baden-Mayer, one of the protesters, yelled after the cash was splashed across the back corner of the Senate. Monsanto Company is a major agricultural corporation closely associated with the move to pioneer genetically modified organisms.

The money lay on the ground as senators and staffers dutifully avoided that area, not wanting to be seen near the money. Eventually the chamber staff cleaned it off the rug.

The protest came as the Senate was voting on a bipartisan deal on GMOs and how they should be labeled.

Police tried to restore order, with one officer in plain clothes clapping his hand over one protester’s mouth, but she shook free and continued to shout, saying, “This is not what democracy looks like.”

Organizers said Ms. Baden-Mayer, Adam Eidinger and perhaps two others were detained by police.

In a press release ahead of time Ms. Baden Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumer Association, said Monsanto and other agribusiness companies have showered GMO supporters with campaign contributions to try to get their preferred bill through.

The protests did not succeed: Senators voted to advance the bill through the legislative process.

Organizers said they believed it was the first time anyone had tried a money-drop protest in the Senate. It was an homage to 60s-era figure Abbie Hoffman’s protest at the New York Stock Exchange, when he and fellow activists tossed cash down at the traders on the floor.

Wednesday’s protest came just minutes after two contentious votes on immigration, which saw Democrats filibuster to block a crackdown on sanctuary cities and a bill that would have imposed a mandatory minimum sentence on repeat illegal immigrants who are deported but sneak back into the U.S.

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