Posts Tagged ‘Göteborg

09
May
10

Guerilla gardening on a Sunday afternoon

The biggest problem I’ve found about starting a blog is not having anything to write about. Just now I have a spare hour before a dozen local activists turn up at my house to learn how to reclaim urban wasteland and I feel that I should try and write something, but what? Nothing interesting ever happens around me. Ok I’m helping to run a training camp for radical horticulturists in my spare time but I have to do something. I don’t have a telly.

Gardening, guerilla or otherwise has never been one of my big things. Its one of those blind spots in my patchy education. That is one of my main motives for getting involved with a gardening course, whatever comes up I’m sure of learning something. And what knowledge could be more valuable nowadays than knowing how to grow my own food?

Gardening can be seen possibly as a natural reaction to what happened at COP15 in Copenhagen back in December. That last sentence could be interpreted as a bit gloomy and in some ways it is very gloomy but that is not the whole picture, on the whole I think I’m more optimistic now after the Copenhagen disaster than I was before. Before Copenhagen I was hoping for an international agreement and a great deal of my time last year was spent in the build up to the Copenhagen summit. This hope was to be honest, conscious self delusion. I knew there was no hope of those men in grey suits ever reaching a consensus for the common good over their short term interests. It was pretty obvious.

All the while I was concentrating on Copenhagen I felt that I was neglecting my home patch. I think most of us environmentalists did that. We all focused our attention on the United Nations while at home we did less than we could have done. After Copenhagen I think many people, myself included, realised two important facts. One that we need to focus on a climate cleansing of our own cities. And two that people with that shared attitude were going home to cities all around the world. Stopping global warming is a global struggle but the real battle ground is here on our doorsteps.

This brings us back to guerilla gardening, it’s about more than just the food. Locally sourced food from, what is today, urban wasteland is clearly an important part of the way forward but that is not best bit. The best bit is that twelve people who previously didn’t know each other are getting together on a hillside in Sweden with the shared dream of wanting to make their city a better place. Isn’t this how powerful grass roots social movements are formed?

Gothenburg 9 may 2010




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