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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dying in Abundance – text version

Dying in Abundance – text version (Script/Direction: Giorgos Avgeropoulos)
(showing people yelling in the stock market)
Brecht and the incomprehensible Grain Stock Market of Chicago.
“I had to describe the Chicago Grain Stock Market in a play. I thought I could acquire the necessary knowledge, by asking some experts.
But things turned to be different. Nobody of the people I asked could explain me the laws that rule the market.
I started to believe that the whole deal was unexplainable. Inconceivable and thus insane. The way of the global grain production was distributed didn’t” make any sense. This situation was unbearable to everybody, except a few speculators”. –Bertolt Brecht, “Philosophy and Marxism”.
(Man explaining the signs used at the stock market).
“This is buying, with your hands this way. This is selling, this is a quarter of a cent, your bidding a quarter of a cent…”

Mr. Victor Lespinage is a player at the Chicago Grain Stock Exchange Market. This market is different from those you know, because whats traded over here is food. Grain, corn, rice, soy, olive oil, milk, casings, even hog bellies.
(honorary member talking)
You might be at the desk and you flash an order into the pit and tell your broker “Ill buy 200 at the market”. And you’ll buy the 200 and then he’ll flash you back “want 200 at 7.5”. Or you could tell him “cancel the order”.
(showing stock market again)
The Chicago Grain Exchange Market is the biggest of its kind in the world. It defines the prices of the products we put on our tables every day.
It was founded in 1848 as an outdoor, noisy auction, where farmers could sell their harvest to the merchants. This practice hasn’t changed much since then. But the morals of the economy have changed a lot.
(showing stock market combined with the images of millions starving, poverty, lack of food. Showing the duality between the decisions people make on the market, and the real life impact on people around the world. Those people yelling in the market, all wealthy people that have houses and cars and food and clothing. Do they truly realize the impact their choices have on people across the globe? It is so crazy if you compare the stock market, to the real situation in the world. For that I suggest to see the video (this part starts at 03:40))
(woman speaking, Bette Sheeran)
This is what I call a silent tsunami. It is not 1 storm hitting in 1 place. This is something that knows no borders.
The routine meeting of the heads of UN agencies turned into a crisis summit, as the world counts the costs of not acting on earlier warnings.
(showing an area of poverty)
Many patients have come to rely on a traditional remedy for hunger pains – made from the dry yellow dirt of the countries essential plateau, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular source of sustenance.
(showing riots, killings, unrest because of rising food prices . They took a mans son and beat him severely breaking both his legs, which made him unable to walk or speak and is dying.)
Climate change and bio-fuels have been accused for lowering the food production and increasing the prices. Of course ,they had a role in that. Unexpected droughts destroyed vintages of wheat and corn. Large amounts of the US corn production are used as car fuels and not to feed people.
However, supply and demand is only a partial explanation to why in 2 years the rice’s price increased for 217 , the wheat price increased for 136, the corn price was increased for 125 and the soy price for 107.
(Pat Mooney, ETC group (against patents))
“There are theoretical ways to describe it, saying its greed, and there is practical ways to describe it saying its capitalism. Certainly the food system, which is always been somewhat corrupt and is now perhaps more in crisis and more corrupt then it ever been before in human history.”

(honorary member from earlier)
“I don’t know, I don’t think about that – I am trying to figure out what the market is going to do. Whether it is logical or not, to me is beside the points. Because what counts to me is: what is the markets reaction going to be. Because I am a speculator, I am trying to make money of the movement in the price of grain.”

9 children die because of malnutrition every minute.

(Dennis Gartman – Investor - Economic Analyst)
“Prices may have become a little, may have become too extended on the upside. But … and for a couple of weeks it appeared that : my lord this will never stop. But it did, prices do. So they have moderated rather dramatically since then. As we talk here in early November of 2008 I think prices have probably have gotten about as cheap as they’re going to get and may well start moving higher again. But the market acts really quite rationally. It just takes some time for that rationality to come to flourish and to correct.”

Until the prices were corrected, 75 million people were added to the figures of the starving people globally, thus increasing the population to 923 millions. Even if there is enough food for the whole planet and the production is the highest ever.

(Pat Mooney, ETC group (against patents))
“People have argued that it is because increased demand for meat and dairy products in India and China – that’s simply not true, it’s a negligible consideration. It is because the speculation, because it’s a commodity, like silver or gold that can be negotiated and horded to some degree. And we are seeing that taking place.”
(Vandana Shiva – Pro-farmers activist)
The high rise of food is because food has been put on the global casino, and this will lead to MASSIVE starvation, massive of famines. We have to bring food out of the international trading system, we have to bring food back into national and local food stocks (cant properly hear the last word)