garden

City of Toronto destroys free community food garden, replaces it with useless grass

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: Toronto, community garden, destruction

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(NaturalNews) Less than a day before it was set to be fully harvested, a community food garden planted by "Occupy Gardens" volunteers in Queens Park, Toronto, back in May was forcibly destroyed and removed by City of Toronto workers in what appears to have been an act of spiteful, "Big Brother" oppression. Toronto Media Co-op (TMC) reports that Toronto officials timed the destruction of the garden to occur the night before a planned event known as "Autumn Jam: A Harvest Party," which was advertised as an act of civil disobedience in support of food sovereignty.

Back on May 1, Occupy Gardens and its allies reportedly planted the garden, which they dubbed "People's Peas Garden," with the intent of creating a massive public demonstration in support of food freedom and sovereignty. With both unemployment and food costs on the rise, and more people than ever reliant on the government for food assistance in order to survive, Occupy Gardens had hoped to create a place where anyone could come and harvest food for free from public land.

But Toronto officials, presumably behind closed doors, conspired to eliminate People's Peas Garden before the culmination of its harvest could be fully realized. On the evening of September 28, workers were observed uprooting scores of fresh produce and dumping it into taxpayer-funded city vehicles to be hauled off to the landfill. And in its place, workers laid over fresh sod, which serves absolutely no purpose, especially during tough economic times such as these.

"We are experiencing a 'glocal' food crisis, where more and more people are lining up at food banks for kraft (sic) dinner and peanut butter, waiting lists for community gardens are growing, food prices rising, and our leaders are nowhere to be seen," writes Jacob Kearey-Moreland for TMC. "Rather, they are hiding behind their desks ordering the workers to destroy whatever hope we have left."

You can view images of the destruction of People's Peas Garden as it was taking place here:
http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/13169

The Autumn Jam reportedly went on as planned, but without the garden that had been carefully cultivated for nearly five months as its focal point. And just a week earlier, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) reportedly stomped out and destroyed another community garden planted at Ottawa's Parliament Hill. During this occasion, police actually threatened to arrest garden volunteers that were onsite, before finally overlaying the edible plot with sod.

You can view photos of the Occupy Gardens Autumn Jam: A Harvest Party here: http://www.flickr.com

Sources for this article include:

http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/13169

http://www.facebook.com/events/414496608609039/

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