BRUTAL EVICTION OF ROSA ROSE - GARDENING FOR LIFE

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juju

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BRUTAL EVICTION OF ROSA ROSE - GARDENING FOR LIFE
« on: March 17, 2008, 08:24:45 AM »
   "If you go behind the puppet stage, you will see the wires."

   Yesterday the "Rosa Rose" garden got a good dressing down. At 7 o'clock in the morning, sheepish looking construction workers appeared, keeping their distance in the face of the numerously gathering "Rosa Rose" gardeners and their sympathizers.

   The helpers only regain their cowboy stances with the support of a large contingency of Kreuzberg police who - with no knowledge of the place - enforce their orders with violence, brutally breaking the human chain of demonstrators in front of the garden, and arrest two people.

   The first symbolic acts of ownership are demonstrated. Mr. Kreutzer measures his new stage, strutting across the property, cell phone to his ear - meanwhile a worker with a chainsaw destroys the bar where we used to sell homemade cake and drinks at our garden parties.

   The small, colourfully painted wooden gate of the "Garden From Everyone For Everyone" is, despite protest, replaced by a construction fence. In the furthest corner the first garden bed is devastated by a skid loader - one square on the game board - who wants to play a round of "Battleships - Battledreams"?

   The garden appears for a split second,  stamped in the air in all its contours ? a collapsing silhouette - negative foreshadowing. A grinning construction worker proclaims "Oh, wasnt that a nice oven, I didnt even see it" as the clay oven, built in the summer of  2005 by an international youth group during their two week stay in Berlin to learn about community projects, crumbles and collapses under the force of his lurching machine.

   Police Officer 1: "If we found something valuable now, you'd be in luck. We would have to immediately stop the bulldozers and the Historical Preservation Society would have to come examine it." Is he really looking for ancient pottery in the remains of the demolished raised flowerbed, built specifically for a woman in a wheel chair and meant as a valuable goal in her daily life, otherwise affected by malady and isolation?

   Police Officer 2: "You might find this a lame suggestion, but have you ever thought about an allotment garden?"
Yes, I have thought about it, but "Rosa Rose" is something different. And since I already have to commute to work, I dont want to also commute to a garden on the weekends. If a few more people had their gardens in the city, they wouldnt have to pollute Frankfurter Allee by driving out there all the time. Will our cities in the future solely be assessed by the criteria of their "driving distance to a green place"? I live in the city and I would like to experience more quality of life right here in Freidrichshain - and continue to do so without a car.

   "What will happen to the plants?", I ask the police squad leader. Its not their fault that people cant find a solution. The squad leader answers "The plants are really the very least of my interest right now." Vegetables are to be bought after work, at the supermarket, often flown in from far away places. The garden represented an alternative concept - local self organized food production, independence from supermarket chains, growing Bantam corn instead of GMOs.

   The previous day I had attended a lecture on plants at the University in Potsdam entitled "How plants tick". I reflect on gigantic carnivorous jungle plants that are also interested in only one thing...

   Some time later the squad leader agrees to allow some gardeners to save the young trees and some plants from the property. The construction fence is up, the demonstrators are peaceful. A lot of them have to go to work, but it wont be a regular work day because today everything that was put into this special place  with the energy of the little spare time they had is being destroyed in a dubious eviction. And because not only a green space is being destroyed, but also the communication hub in the neighborhood.

   Everyone is their own life's gardender - not everyone is gifted with the imagination and creativity to reach beyond the immediate or short term vision. Would the real estate broker who can apparently only carry out his design impulse on this exact lot also want to live there? Would the policeman who carries out the eviction also destroy his children's playground if he gets the order?

   The same day the lot across the Frankfurter Allee from Kinzig Street is put to meaningful and sensible use - another "Strauss Innovation" chain store is inaugurated (very important, since the next one is 500 m up the street...)
Where will the lawn chairs sit, that are advertised there? Why do building permits get issued for comfort outfitters that take away our sun? Why does a permit get granted for "family friendly housing" that takes away an important meeting point from the families that live in this area?

   We veto 600 fold with our signature collection from the neighborhood. We will try to assert our right of use retroactively.

   The following day we replanted the early flowers, bulbs, and herbs from the "Rosa Rose" garden on a 2 m wide strip of the garden that Mr. Kreutzer doesnt own yet. Neil, a 4 year old, learned that a tulip can only be transplanted with the bulb still connected. At the end of his gardening work he announced proudly "Those are my two flowerbeds now, right?" Well, this issue about exclusive possession and ownership remains to be discussed with some...

   In closing a quote from Wilhelm Busch, who would have most certainly smiled at some of the characters in yesterdays picture book:

If you really want to understand life,
Don't just examine it from the front.
From the front, a house usually looks
Better than from the back.


Helga

15.03.2008
« Last Edit: March 17, 2008, 08:27:47 AM by juju »

Re: BRUTAL EVICTION OF ROSA ROSE - GARDENING FOR LIFE
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2008, 08:33:18 PM »
Sorry to hear of the loss, comrade. And I know I might be more aggressive than some, but don't give up! If they can claim the land, there is always a way to reclaim it, and thats preferable than forever moving on to new places.