Resistance is Fertile! The Blog of the Tempe Community G(A)rden

We believe that food, water, and shelter are a right, not a privilege for those with money. We refuse to beg for permission to help provide these necessities of life to our community. We encourage that direct action and community building happen concurrently. We see providing a safe space for people to have their needs met as essential to building a strong movement able to resist a societal structure which oppresses us every moment we breathe.

Monday, May 7, 2012

In Capitalist America, state smash you!

Activists Build Community Garden and Provide Food and Water to Anyone in Need.

The Tempe Police Harass and Arrest People. 

The City Orders the Garden Destroyed...


Five Days Pass...


Activists Build Community Garden and Provide Food and Water to Anyone in Need. 


The Tempe Police Harass and Detain People.. 


The City Orders the Garden Destroyed...    


Tempe's Citizens and Businesses are  Collectively Confused...

Details Below!

     On Sunday, police in Tempe, Arizona destroyed a non-city-approved community garden and park for the second time in a week. The garden, built twice by a non-hierarchical collective, was first leveled under city orders during the early morning hours of May Day, and destroyed again this Sunday where a citation was issued for Criminal Littering after one protester refused to remove a memorial for the first garden.

     The location, a vacant strip of public land, was chosen after activists were threatened with arrest for trespassing at the empty lot next door owned by Brookfield Asset Management, the same company which owns Zuccotti Park. 

Left: Before...   Right: After...   I can't convey how much I wish these pictures were reversed.

     A number of other community members have been arrested, cited, frisked, or otherwise harassed by the Tempe Police Department. The crackdown came shortly after Derek Pittam, a detective with the Homeland Defense Unit of the Tempe Police Department, released an explicitly anti-anarchist memo regarding organizers of the community garden. It reads, in part:

“After all, staging events that force the police to take enforcement action police [sic] is how anarchists hope to erode community support for local police departments. Anarchists want to place police in a position so they can say in a clever sound bite, “See we told you so… the cops are here to protect the interests of the wealthy!” In actuality, police would provide the exact same enforcement action to assist any person exercising lawful standing regardless of their of socio-economic status. These are well known anarchist tactics that I am all too familiar with.”

    Potentially Pictured: Officer Roesch about to give the secret Anarchist handshake,   another Anarchist tactic Homeland Security is all too familiar with.
     After accusing Anarchists of tactically tricking police officers into using “enforcement action” in order to make them look like the bad guys, Detective Pittnam uses the old stand-by that police serve the law, and the law protects rich and poor alike. While that may be intended to inspire a warm and fuzzy feeling in people, its sincerity rings hollow after the Tempe Police permitted the city to destroy our private property on not one but two occasions. 

     “Between the donations in-kind, materials people bought, plants, soil, building materials, we've received nearly $2500 worth of materials, between $500 and $1000 of which have been destroyed, stolen, bulldozed, broken, and taken,” stated one member of the collective. “Fortunately, we were able to save a lot of materials for the next build.”

     However, if the protesters have vowed to rebuild, and they are not alone in their vision. Perhaps the most optimistic outlook came from one passerby. There, with his partner, as their young son licked a vanilla ice cream cone dripping from the heat that the ground still radiated hours after the sun had gone down, he prophesied; “A couple of years from now, there will be a concrete bathroom where those cops are standing, and a plaque next to it telling the history of how this garden started.”

 ...and we wont ask permission to help create that world. 
Direct Action Gets The Goods
On the Job, At the School, In the Streets... and in the gardens...

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