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On Anarchism, Community Gardens & Real Life

  • Subject: [cg] On Anarchism, Community Gardens & Real Life
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 11:19:36 EST


While some of my comrades in the community gardening movement romantically 
call themselves, "anarchists," it's only by working with neighborhood, civic 
and government power in our  areas that our gardens become at all sustainable 
in the real world. If the civic land use powers that be are Democratic, 
Republican, Liberal, Socialist whatever, it is with that civic power that 
land use deals have to be made.  

And the only way that you deal, is by being united as community gardeners on 
a local and national basis.  It is only by being involved in the process, by 
being able to horsetrade, support, advocate, oppose in groups large enough to 
be politically substantial that we can manage to make our gardens more than 
ephemeral space holders - nice things until something "real" like a building 
goes up on that land. 

As a member of a strong local garden, the Manhattan Parks and Greenspace 
Coalition, Citywide Coalitions, Manhattan Community Board 4, I have worked to 
build and participate local organizations. 

However, I can tell you how valuable the ACGA was to our struggles to get 
many NYC community gardens saved, and how important having the national 
convention last year in NYC was to that process.  When representatives of the 
Bloomberg administration showed up, the major open space organizations showed 
up, and the NYC Parks Commissioner showed up at the convention, they saw the 
international basis of our membership.  

The very presence ACGA helped saved many NYC gardens, without question!

Could the ACGA be better - absolutely!

 But it needs active community gardener support, more dues paying members and 
people willing to be actively involved.  Is it imperfect?  Sure...most groups 
of people are, but it takes all of our active work to improve it. However, I 
have a great deal of respect for the hundreds of volunteer hours that our 
unpaid - let me repeat that - unpaid board puts in every year on US and 
Canadian ACGA business.  And nobody on this board has a trust fund. And...we 
dues paying members elected them. 

But like the lotto, "you have to be in it to win it." Have you sent in your 
ACGA membership dues yet? 

In solidarity,
Adam Honigman


The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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