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A food & gardening tale

  • Subject: [cg] A food & gardening tale
  • From: aresh aresh@moregardens.org
  • Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 14:05:59 -0400

Sacremento Mobilization, Ag Expo
The Fight for Food Soveirgnty
A Garden Saga

Last weekend's mobilizations in Sac were a succcess.
Many delegates from
around the world were not convinced by the US
corporate vision for
Agriculture.This conference being a stepping stone
to the WTO meetings in
Cancun in September, was called to push global
support for Genetically
Engineered plants, trees, and fish. If the WTO
passes trade policies in
favor of this, most of the food growing in the world
could be controlled by
5 Transnational Corporations.To protect these
interests hundreds of Riot
cops armed with taser guns, rubber bullets, and
pepper spray confronted the
peaceful actions of activists and farmers from
around the country.We took
the streets,we infiltrated the expo with organic
food and we reclaimed a
Community Garden...

On June 22nd the city of Sacremento was alive with
and powerful
actions designed to disrupt the mineterials biotech
movie and reclaim a
community garden in the name of food soviergnty.At
3:00 a cluster of Sonoma
county and Sacramento garden activists went in and
took the community
garden. We brought in plants, mulch, water, food,
compost and resources for
an overnight occupation. We got in without a fuss
and started to restore the
garden that had been destroyed a few months earlier.

This garden is a thirty year old Organic Community
Garden in the heart of
Sac. A 1 acre site with mature cherries, apricots,
plums, and many other
mature trees. Closed to be turned into condos. The
community has been locked
out of this garden and have fought for months in
legal battles to save it.
In the midst of the corporate grab of the worlds
food we re-opened the

By 4:00 thousands of people marched from the
downtown action in support of
the garden. Many
helped restore the garden by
planting, mulching, digging
swales and doing bioremediation with mushrooms.We
re-took the land for
community food growing! After about thirty minutes
cops showed up but left
us alone. Ten of us locked down with lock boxes to
make a stand for saving
the garden.The action was amazing. People supported
us the whole time,
feeding us, giving us water, and keeping watch.

That night around Ten o'clock the police raided the
garden. Many who were
sleeping over got out, and some of us stayed.The
raid was something out of
the movies. 300 "StormTroopers" surrounded the
garden, at least fifty
entered and circled us. We were sitting in a circle
locked around a ripe
Apricot tree. Two others sat with us and one climbed
up in a cherry tree.
The cops were armed with a variety of weapons and in
full body armor head to
toe. Then the Fire department came and cut us out of
our lock boxes.14 of
got arrested that night, one friend for talking
through a Megaphone. We were
cuffed for at least two hours and brought to a jail
45 minutes away from
town. We were finally processed into our cells at
2:30 am.

The jail experience was tough and at times
empowering. The Sherriff's that
held us worked hard to break our wills. They lied
and in somecases, mainly
to the women that first night , used pain compliance
to break solidairty
with each other. The next day most of us got out by
giving them our
information. The decision to give our names was
probably one of the most
difficult of the whole action.4 brave brothers
refused and stayed in another
night participating in a hunger fast to save the
garden. These men were from
different parts of California, one from Sonoma

All people arrested are now out of jail and safe. No
one has any major
injuries except maybe emotional ones. We still

encourage people to cal the
DA of Sacremento to demand that all those arrested
in these actions have
their charges, fines and probations dropped! Our
court dates are for July
21st, come show your support if you can.

Other interesting things that happened at the
actions was the arresting of
our seedballs. We had made these seedballs in a
Permaculture workshop we
gave the Fri before the actions began. We used clay,
oyster shell, a little
compost and Organic Heirloom seeds. The seeds we
used were varieties that
can restore the compacted and desturbed soils of the
urban environment. The
next morning the cops came and arrested the seed
balls saying they were
weapons. The people who were there attempted to
educate the cops on soil
building techniques and what these seedballs are
used for, they didn't buy
That night the cops held a Press demo where they
fired seedballs into
styrifoam using wrist rock
ets. Leave it to the cops
to use seedballs in this
way. We laughed at the irony of it all, as they
protect coporate
agribusiness wreaking havoc on poeple and earth
around the world, they
arrest our non-violent heirloom seeds!

To all you gardeners, farmers, and Permaculturists
out there, be careful for
now gardening has truly become a subversive act. These actons in Sac mark a
turning point in our movement, where we have sent
the message that creating
the world we want and growing our own food is a
vital part of Global
Justice. Yet at the same time the message is coupled
with the notion that
resistance is what protects our right to soviergnty
of basic life needs.

The Global instituions of oppression are crumbling,
we will see there last
breath in our life times. The challenge for us all
is to act now in
solidarity with the peoples movements around the
world to see the
transformation of these st
ructures through to the
end, or maybe to the
begining of a world where people and the earth are
cared for foremost and
all surplus is used to care for them.

A chant from the actions..

We are the rising of the moon
We are the shifting of the ground
We are the seeds that take root
When we bring the Fortress down!

Many thanks to all the incredible organizers and all
the amzing support
affinity groups that made this action a success. Its
the collective
consensus mind that makes these actions possible.
Its that process which
allows diverse people to work for a common vision.
Its this democracy we
practice which feeds this global uprising of all
people in the name of all

For Global Justice and Solidarity,

Please forward

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