“Gezi Gardens” -San Francisco

Traffic is hurrying by on all sides of me. Within the fences, though, there is a very different hustle.

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It is now day 4 of the direct action that successfully liberated what is now known as “Gezi Gardens”. This precious permaculture farm is still (technically) slated for demolition June 17th to make way for “affordable” housing and “luxury” condos and by affordable they mean if you make less than $60,000 a year.

The space has been given a second chance, an alternative to its’ fate of concrete and glass. Now, just a few days in, the place resembles an ant hill. There is synchronistic, autonomous work happening everywhere. In the tree canopies there are already platforms and a banner that reads: “SF COMMUNE”.

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The platforms are our crows nests three already perched high above the ant hill. Back on the ground a yurt is going up beneath them. On the hill side is now an urban oasis of new growth. There is a kitchen and a free store. Dogs and children play in the dirt. And all the while I am reminded of Istanbul and the unrest that continues to burn. We all love and need the trees.

Here in this space, for now, we are free to explore, free to plant, free to cook, to nap, to build. But around the world, in turkey, people are being arrested for using facebook and twitter and being charged with terrorism for providing people with escape routes from clashes, locations of medical supplies and food. The country is performing a general strike to fight back, and over a quarter of a million workers have joined. Now the uprising is happening over 67 cities. People are fighting and losing their lives to have spaces like this. Beautiful parks, dams, streams, rivers, mountains, and trees are being destroyed because of peak industry greed.

Our farms and gardens are being sacrificed for the privileged, our resources gambled to feed the money machine and it is all being decided without the consent of the community it affects. Often it is the community that has contributed to this space. And they are just another target.

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Tonight neighbors and activists are meeting and discussing where we go from here. How do we successfully hold this space? What is our long term strategy for preserving and protecting these sacred spaces? There are options, like raising enough money to negotiate a buy back with the city from the developer. There is direct action, which has peacefully worked so far, to occupy and physically remain present in the soil and engaged with this quiet neighborhood.

Infrastructure is forming organically and neighbors have great ideas. There are all sorts of things to consider, from legalities to logistics. All options are useful, and with some sincere outreach this week we can have our second saturday as a brave introduction to what is truly possible and worth saving in this space. If the community rallies with us, we can affectively argue
the importance of preserving the commons. We may even be able to overcome the money machine in favor of fertile earth’s abundance. That, in the spirit of no commerce, would be priceless.

There is no state

Uprising is inevitable

All we need is each other

Reach out lean in

In solidarity with Turkey,

Lauren

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