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Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Grandmothers Make Headlines
Kroger Kops Threaten More Arrests


Date sent: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 19:25:35 EST
Subject: Your "Courtwatchers & Picketers" plea made headlines

News from the Tennessee Valley TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2003
Court watchers, picketers to join women for trial
By Scott Parrott DAILY Staff Writer � 340-2441

Two women arrested while collecting petition signatures
outside a Decatur supermarket will appear in court for trial
Thursday, possibly joined by picketers and court watchers.

Gerry Coffey, 62, and Jean Tune, 79, were each charged with
misdemeanor third-degree trespassing after they refused to leave the
Kroger parking lot on Beltline Road Southwest on Oct. 26.

The natural-food advocates said they hope picketers and court watchers
will join them when they appear before Judge Billy Cook in D
ecatur Municipal Court at 7 a.m. Thursday.

"Maybe if grandmothers unite, people will realize we have experience
and wisdom, and know what we're talking about," Coffey said.

Collecting signatures
The women said they were collecting petition signatures and
distributing leaflets to shoppers about the risks of genetically
engineered food when police arrested them. Their arrest garnered
national attention, including spots on radio talk shows and support
from the environmental organization Greenpeace. The women pleaded
innocent to the charges.

Supporters have issued a nationwide call for picketers to bring signs
and leftover New Year's noisemakers, and for court watchers to bring
notepads, pens, tape recorders and cameras to the trial. Following the trial,
the picketers will march around City Hall and the Kroger
parking lot.

Officer Mike Cowart, a police spokesman, said people can march at
City Hall as long as the situation remains under control.
"But Kroger is private property and they can have them put in jail," Cowart said.
The women want supermarket chains to remove genetically engineered
ingredients from store-brand products and ultimately the entire chain.

They also want the federal government to require labeling on
genetically engineered food products, or "Frankenstein Foods."

Genetically engineered food is created by inserting genes from other
organisms into crops such as corn, canola, soy and cotton to make the
crops resistant to herbicides and pests. Opponents argue that the
altered food can cause novel food toxins, allergies, increased toxic
pesticide and environmental pollution. Coffey of Decatur and Tune of
Priceville were participating in a national supermarket campaign led
by GE-Free Markets Coalition and Greenpeace.

201 1st Ave. SE
P.O. Box 2213
Decatur, Ala. 35609
(256) 353-4612

posted by Vetzine


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