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Fw: seed balls as weapons?

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  • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2003
      >
      >
      > Begin forwarded message:
      > > The following first person account of the events in Sacramento is from
      > > Erik
      > > Ohlson, erikpea@.... Erik works with a group here in Sonoma
      > > County
      > > called the Green Bloc and with Planting Earth Activation (PEA). He is
      > > a
      > > gardener who has studied permaculture at La'Akea on the Hawai'i Island.
      > > PLEASE FORWARD
      > >
      > > Shepherd
      > >
      > > Sacremento Mobilization, Ag Expo
      > > The Fight for Food Sovereignty
      > > 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 laser 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 peaceful 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
      > > garden.
      > >
      > > 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 us
      > > 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 County.
      > >
      > > 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
      > > it.
      > > That night the cops held a Press demo where they fired seedballs into
      > > styrifoam using wrist rockets. 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 structures 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
      > > life.
      > >
      > > For Global Justice and Solidarity,
      > > Erik
      > >
      > > Please forward
      > >
      > >
      > >
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