Saturday, September 29, 2012

My problem with some activists out there.

There was a posting on the Occupy Canada Facebook page with this photo:

BREAKING NEWS : City of Toronto Workers Destroy Free Community Food Garden Amid Growing Food Crisis

This morning workers from the City of Toronto were ordered by City of Toronto Parks Director Richard Ubbens to remove all live plants and food from the People's Peas Garden in Queens Park. They were ordered to take the plants and food to the dump and lay sod overtop of this most beautiful free community food garden, without warning, without a chance to remove the rare heirloom plant species or harvest the food. The garden was planted by Occupy Gardens and allies on May 1st, in defense of local and global food security. While the garden has been growing undisturbed for nearly 5 months, with the help of hundreds in the community, the city deliberately decided to have it removed upon the eve of the Autumn Jam: A Harvest Party and celebration of sharing, community and free local food, which is happening tomorrow from
12-6pm at the garden in Queens Park (northwest section).

The reason? The people did not have permission to grow free food on public land. I come from a city and country where one does not need permission to do the right thing. We are experiencing a "glocal" food crisis, where more and more people are lining up at food banks for kraft dinner and peanut butter, waiting lists for community gardens are growing, food prices rising, and our leaders are nowhere to be seen. Rather they are hiding behind their desk ordering the workers to destroy whatever hope we have left.

We need help sharing this story far and wide.

We will be having our Autumn Jam harvest party/vigil tomorrow as scheduled from 12noon-6pm in the northwest section of Queens Park.

As a side note - last Monday Sept 17th gardeners travelled to Ottawa on a Peas Keeping mission for national, global food security, where we planted a free heart-shaped food garden on Parliament Hill, at which point the RCMP stomped on the plants and threatened arresting people, we removed the plants and relayed the sod.

Thanks so much for your time and help,

In Peas, Lovage & SOILidarity!

Jacob Kearey-Moreland- Occupy Gardens Toronto

RCMP Stop Occupy Toronto From Planting Garden On Parliament Hill

Monday, October 1st- Right to Food Rally - NO GARDEN IS ILLEGAL
we are bringing the garden to them and are going to plant a free food garden at city hall

Now I seriously think that community gardens are a good idea. A way for those in need to get some fresh veggies. However the fact that they decided to plant in Queen's Park without permission was a huge mistake. What they ended up doing was wasting everyone's time, energy, and having their crop destroyed.

Yes it was a douche move to pull up the garden after months of having it grow there, and to destroy all the veggies, I agree. What should have happened is these people go out and ask permission first. Who knows, maybe they would have gotten it? At worse they'd have been told no, and would have then been able to find a different place to plant.

I've been reading people's reaction to this and it seems some miss the point of activism. The point is not to break the law as some have said, but to make the world a better place. Sometimes you might be left with no choice. Some laws are wrong. This does not mean you decided to break any law you want to try to do something good. When you do that it is not heroic, and it is not activism. It is being entitled and lazy.

Let's not forget what matters here... those who are hungry. If you want to help them, then make a full effort to help them, not a half ass lazy one where you get to cry victim because you didn't bother to find out if you were allowed to do something at all.

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