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Food not lawns PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:47


Food not lawns

- Resistance is fertile and alive at UVic… keep updated and informed!

March 31st: students, faculty and community members converged on the remains of last week’s garden and rebuilt it! There was music, speakers, free food, and everyone was invited to participate. Hundreds more people came out for the event, and the new garden is even bigger and more fertile than last time! At 7pm there will be a potluck dinner and discussion–everyone is welcome! If you haven’t participated before, or you want to learn more, this is a great opportunity to get involved. Come join the fun! Come to the space (UVic, in front of MacPherson Library) and join Resistance is Fertile in discussing the problems and challenges we face in terms of food security, politics, bureaucracy, colonialism, and the way we relate to the places where we live and work. Bring your kids, your families, your friends and your communities! If you can: bring food, bowls, cups and plates. Resistance is fertile!

Tonight there will be a camp erected for anyone who wants to stay and make sure all of our hard work isn’t destroyed again: sleep over at UVic to protect the garden! Everyone welcome! Bring what you can: food, warm clothes, sleeping bags, tents, and flashlights!

UVic has issued a press release in an attempt to salvage its reputation and diminish the actions of Resistance is Fertile.  UVic looked pretty silly when it was revealed that the University’s own goals for food security suggest the need for more gardens and grassroots activity.  It should be made clear that Resistance is Fertile is not associated with the Campus Community Gardens (CCG), the University of Victoria Sustainability Project (UVSP), or Campus Urban Agriculture (CUAC).

UVic has reacted to the events of March 24th by trying to seek out the groups responsible for planting what participants, onlookers, and even mainstream media outlets “considered to be a garden” (though apparently UVic does not share this view).  It is important to make it clear that CCG, CUAC, and UVSP are not part of Resistance is Fertile or Food Not Lawns so that UVic administrators cannot subject these groups to intimidation tactics or punitive measures.

UVic hopes to contain the problems raised by Resistance is Fertile, making it seem like a few irresponsible students are asking for a few more gardens without doing any research or using “the existing consultative processes”.  Perhaps University officials hope to slander RIF because they have begun to recognize that RIF raises problems that run much deeper than a request for gardens, problems related to the way everyone relates to the space and place at UVic, and its hierarchical, bureaucratic control of this space.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps they simply continue to see RIF as a management problem that they can either dismiss or institutionalize.

Unfortunately for UVic administrators, momentum is growing, struggles are proliferating, and creative political experiments are alive and well at UVic.  There is a growing willingness to take collective action rather than (or in addition to) wading through bureaucratic processes.  No one, including participants, can contain the problems raised by RIF or make them go away through bureaucratic solutions.  No one can predict what will happen tomorrow… Resistance is fertile!

Extend the network!

Resistance is fertile at UVic, and we want to reach out to other universities and communities and build the network of resistance.  What would it take to sow some fertile resistance in your community?  Now is the time to dig up some lawn, reclaim some space, and develop different relationships to the place you’re in.  This is about more than gardens: it’s about reclaiming the capacity to make collective decisions about the issues, spaces, and processes that affect us all.  This means that your resistance might look very different: strength in diversity!  Feel free to use and alter our zine and duplicate or modify our tactics.  Email us ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) your own blog or website related to these struggles and we’ll link to it.  Adapt our tools to your own context, your own struggles, and your own everyday lives at the university and beyond.  Fertilize organic resistance!

This action, described through the words of the UVic Sustainability Policy:

“University Activities shall strive to embody approaches that enhance community well­being; further diversity and equity; restore or maintain the functioning of natural systems; and are fiscally responsible.”

“Sustainability is a commitment to future generations. It requires the collective action of the University Community through long term planning, shared learning, grassroots activities, and institutional leadership.”

…and from the UVic Sustainability Action Plan:

“UVic views its landscape as a “living Laboratory” -a place of academic study and community learning.”

“Increase accessibility to healthy and diverse food options.”

“Create edible landscapes throughout the campus.”

“Convert lawn space (and other areas, such as roofs where possible) into “naturescapes.”

Turnip’ the lawns!

Thanks for the post, this has been copied and pasted from the Resistance is Fertile Facebook page.

Resistance is Fertile Zine

Included in these pages is the what, why’s and how’s of the Resistance is Fertile movement. There is no one voice, indeed there are many voices within these pages. People that have realized a need to reclaim our food, support local farmers, strengthen alternative foodways, deepen our responsibilities to local Indigenous peoples and build solidarity with Indigenous struggles. The need for action is here, Resistance is Fertile!

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Beautiful  footage of Wednesday’s wonderful event!

Let our Voices be heard! Each and every one!

MEDIA ADVISORY: For Immediate Release

UVic Administration Bulldozes Students’ Garden Plots, Students Pledge to Continue Resistance

Friday March 26, 2010 – Coast Salish Territories – Victoria, B.C. At midnight March 26th campus administration and Saanich police at the University of Victoria used bulldozers to destroy the ten garden plots created by approximately 400 UVic students the day before. UVic student Mike-Jo was handcuffed and arrested for “assault by trespass” for standing by the garden plots to block their destruction. He was later released.

Yesterday hundreds of students who walked by the pits of mud that were plots of vegetables and native plants the day before expressed grief and anger at the gardens’ destruction. “Yesterday we proved that we as students can build a sustainable and positive relationship with the land,” said UVic student Joyce Lyell, “after fifteen years of having UVic administration turn down every one of our campus agriculture and garden proposals, we took action on our own. With the bulldozing of our gardens, it is now more obvious than ever that UVic values lawns over sustainable food, and values control of students over student choice and ingenuity”.

Yesterday students turned the former garden plots into a memorial site, erecting tombstones marked R.I.P Food Security and R.I.P. Student Voice, and a flag reading “Shame on UVic”. Approximately forty students then marched to the campus administrative building to demand an apology for the destruction of the gardens, but found that Campus Security and Saanich police had locked them out of the building. “I find it disgusting, and indicative of the administration’s cowardice, that they refuse concerned students entry into the building whose administrators claim to represent them,” said UVic student Erin Davis.

Several students attempted to gain access to the administrative building when Tom Smith, Executive Director of Facilities Management, said by UVic to have authorized the bulldozing of the gardens, was seen trying to sneak into the building via a back door. When these students held the door open to access the building after Smith unlocked the door, Smith violently shoved the student standing in the doorway. The student says she will bring this encounter into the public so that students will suffer no illusions that UVic administration exists to help students. “To deny students an opportunity to bring food security to our campus, to openly destroy our efforts, and to actually physically assault concerned students, sends a crystal clear message – that UVic opposes creativity, dialogue, and solutions, and that administrators have nothing but disrespect  for the land, community, and student voices,” she said.

Yesterday afternoon at a large, public meeting students decided to start rebuilding the gardens at the same location in front of the UVic library, at noon on Wednesday, March 31. They encourage students and community members to bring shovels and seedlings to the event.

Media Contact

Matt Christie: 250-588-7924 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bureaucrats Bulldoze, Resistance Grows!

Resistance is Fertile!

Bureaucrats Bulldoze, Resistance Grows!

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Wednesday March 31st, 2010

12 NOON

Petch Fountain at the University of Victoria (in front of MacPherson Library)

Come one, come all!  Bring your selves, your friends, your communities, and your creative energy!  Shovels, fencing, stakes, soil, compost, mulch, seedlings, plants, watering cans, and other supplies are welcome and will be put to good use!

On March 24th hundreds of students, faculty and community members converged at UVic for a Food Democracy Teach-out, featuring music, free tea, literature, food, and speakers on the problems we face concerning our relationships to food and land.  People came together to reclaim space and began tearing up the lawn and creating a garden in front of MacPherson Library.

Within a couple of hours, a beautiful garden had been created, including raised beds with vegetables and native plants.  The event showed that gardening and food security could be possible, inspiring, and fun at UVic.  No leaders, political doctrines, or organizing structures: each person digging and gardening for their own reasons.

The UVic administration was terrified and outraged at this ‘destruction of private property’ and called the police.  Police arrived, but eventually left after the crowds of people ignored their warnings about criminal charges and arrests.  Late that night, at approximately midnight, the UVic administration came with bulldozers, Campus Security, and Saanich Police and destroyed the entire garden.  Two brave people did their best to defend the gardens but were helpless in such small numbers.  One was charged with “assault by trespass” for standing in front of a bulldozer.

UVic’s destructive strategy has backfired.  Since then, momentum has been building towards the creation of a new convergence on March 31st.  This will be an opportunity to reclaim this space from UVic and its corporate interests.  There will be more people, more food, more tactics and more creativity!

Resistance is Fertile is committed to creating spaces to gather, build community, and find opportunities for engaging in immediate action to confront agribusiness and develop alternative foodways here on campus and in our broader communities.

We must reclaim our food, support local farmers, strengthen alternative foodways, respect the rights of the local Indigenous peoples and build solidarity with Indigenous struggles.  It’s time to stop asking for permission from bureaucrats and administrators.

It’s time to act!

RESISTANCE IS FERTILE!


"Food Not Lawns Student Autonomous Action"

Attached or linked on to the site are a number of media pieces on yesterday’s ‘Resistance is Fertile’ action. Please check them out, tell your friends and keep posted there is more to come!

Resistance is Fertile: A Food Democracy Teach-Out

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Wednesday March 24th, 2010

12 NOON

Petch Fountain at the University of Victoria (in front of MacPherson Library)

On Coast Salish Territory, like much of the globe, corporations dominate our globalized industrial agricultural foodway, creating alienation, toxic emissions, export domination, environmental degradation, and continuing colonial occupation.

We hope this workshop can help create a network of groups and communities committed to challenging the capitalist, colonial food system, and build on existing alternatives.

The teach-out will feature music, free tea, literature, food, and speakers on the problems we face concerning our relationships to food and land.

Be sure to stay for the final event: an exciting, hands-on workshop surprise about direct action and the reclamation of space.

Resistance is Fertile is committed to creating spaces to gather, build community, and find opportunities for engaging in immediate action to confront agribusiness and develop alternative foodways here on campus and in our broader communities.

We must reclaim our food, support local farmers, strengthen alternative foodways, deepen our responsibilities to local Indigenous peoples and build solidarity with Indigenous struggles against colonialism.  It’s time to stop asking for permission from bureaucrats and administrators.  It’s time to act.

 

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