Planting Protest

There are so many ways to protest and initiate change. Since there is no greener thing than plants, let us have a look at how rebellious gardening can be.

The motto of Guerilla Gardening is “Let’s fight the filth with forks and flowers.” It is an active way of protesting against – but also changing – the grey and bleak environments our cities have become. People planting flowers, vegetables and greens in public places overnight is a common happening in the movement. The reasons for guerilla gardening are many. We learn from Wikipedia:

Guerilla Gardens are everything “from the enthusiastic gardener who spills over their legal boundaries to the highly political gardener who seeks to provoke change through direct action. … The land that is guerrilla gardened is usually abandoned or neglected by its legal owner and the guerrilla gardeners take it over (“squat”) to grow plants. Guerrilla gardeners believe in re-considering land ownership in order to reclaim land from perceived neglect or misuse and assign a new purpose to it.” 

Highly used within Guerilla Gardening are Seed Bombs. Those little balls “are designed to enable seeds in a hard to reach place”. They are also used in arid land rehabilitation, reforestation and agriculture. This is maybe the only type of bomb which makes this world a better place. Visit guerillagardening.org to find out more.

The results of Guerilla Gardening are astounding people all over the world. Al Jazeera recently reported very brave Guerilla Gardeners in their article Resistence is fertile: Palestine’s eco-war. In the Palestine territories, Israeli settlements are destroying plantations of olive trees and other plants. Al Jazeera writes about the acts of Guerilla Gardening: “Here, it isn’t merely a symbolic attempt to reclaim pockets of neglected or misused terrain. Here, farmers and their band of globalist shovel-toting supporters are locked into what they see as a life-or-death struggle to resist an illegal land grab.” Their resistance consists in nothing more than gardening: “We’ve planted 8,600 trees this season, a total of 69,300 since this programme began in 2001.”

If you are curious in the topic of Guerilla Gardening, you can find some stories of gardeners without boundaries from all over the world on guerillagardening.org. There you also find instructions on how to join the movement.

If you like the idea of gardening as a way of protest, you should check out George McKay’s new book Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism, and Rebellion in the Garden”. He collects ways in which activists have used green spots to support their causes and how they have politicized their gardens. Civil eats writes about it: His book leaves no doubt that radical gardens have, as he puts it, a “rich and challenging tradition, a significance, as well as a trajectory of energy and import that makes them matter for our future.”

Check out also the environment health clinic. They use the idea of “pharmacy” which relates in many ways to Guerilla Gardening.

We live in a time where planting a tree is a statement, a rebellious act and a attempt to change the world, one seed bomb after the other.

Picture by liquidnight, powered by creative commons, thank you!


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