Anti-Globalization Activist Jose Bove Denied Entry to Speak in U.S.

Jose Bove, who spoke here at Grassroots International about the campaign to protect the European food system and environment from the dangers of genetically modified crops, has been denied entry to the United States as he was en route to speak at a meeting with farmers, labor activists, students and others in Ithaca, New York.

Immigration authorities accused Bove of lying on his entry form about a history of prosecution for "moral crimes." Bove admitted he had been jailed in France for "political crimes," including protests against Monsanto and McDonald's.

In addition to his trip to Boston last year, Bove was in Seattle in 1999 for anti-globalization protests in and also has visited Yale University.

"I didn't understand why they were stopping me this time," Bove told reporters.

The Ithaca meeting was organized by the National Family Farm coalition (NFFC). NFFC president George Naylor, said in a statement, "The National Family Farm Coalition denounces the deportation of French farmer Jose Bove of Union Paysanne from the U.S.A. The residents of New York, trade unionists, family farmers, students, and others who planned to attend his four public speaking events have been denied the opportunity to hear Jose speak the truth about genetically modified organisms and multinational corporations. Our first amendment right of free speech includes the right to hear somebody else's speech. We are losers, too, not just Jose.

"Jose has appeared at Yale and Massachussets Institute of Technology in recent years. I personally attended his speech at MIT, and I'm sure no one felt Jose was a threat to anyone, except politically to Monsanto and other giant agribusiness corporations. What is the U.S. government afraid of?"