Saturday — 10.04.14 — First Meeting of the Garden Solidarity Network, El Jardin del Paraiso

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Saturday — 10.04.14 — First Meeting of the Garden Solidarity Network, El Jardin del Paraiso


0. About Saturday
1. Link to El Jardin del Paraiso and Directions


0. About Saturday

What: First Meeting of the Garden Solidarity Network
When: Saturday, October 4th, 4:00 p.m.
Where: El Jardin del Paraiso, East 4th and 5th between C and D
Who: Free and Open to All

This Saturday we’ll continue an ongoing conversation about how we can channel some of the momentum from the recent People’s Climate Mobilization into a movement toward material autonomy in New York City and surrounding regions, at the juncture of food sovereignty, housing activism,
opposition to ecocidal infrastructure, opposition to gentrification and development according to the interests of capital, and practices of reclaiming urban spaces. The capacity to grow food locally is essential to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and to counterbalancing the effects of fossil fuel
consumption. Urban gardening and farming are already practiced extensively in New York City, with over 600 active gardens and hundreds more acres of vacant public and private land accessible for community use. Community gardens provide both meaningful economic activity and a direct means of subsistence for residents of neighborhoods with chronic poverty, unemployment, and scant access to affordable, locally-grown, non-toxic food. Not surprisingly, the preservation of community gardens is often directly opposed to the economic interests of developers attempting to capitalize on economic and ecological crises to turn communities and their land into pure sources of profit.

The coming weeks will be decisive in the struggles to defend two community gardens in Brooklyn, both lying in New York City’s own front-line communities, areas still recovering from the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

1. Boardwalk Community Garden, in Coney Island, was
bulldozed in the early morning hours of December 28th, 2013. Two weeks before,
a court decision had handed the land off to iStar, a developer that plans to
build a 5,100 seat, $53 million outdoor amphitheater. In 2004, gardeners had
been moved from a previous plot onto city park land, without being told that
the new plot was slated for development. Gardeners and their allies are
currently awaiting a court decision that would hinder the developer’s access to
the land. Members of the New York City Community Gardens Coalition will be
present Saturday to talk about how allies can support the struggle to defend
this space.

2. The garden at Floyd Bennett Field is the largest
community garden on the East Coast, with over 500 plots. Right behind the
garden, Williams Co. is in the process of converting a historic airplane hangar
into a metering and regulating station for the Rockaway Delivery Lateral
(Rockaway Pipeline). The pipeline will increase New York City’s reliance on
natural gas and hydrofracking, endanger residents, gardeners, and park users,
and contribute to global warming–it was the aftermath of warming-induced
Hurricane Sandy that allowed politicians sympathetic to the gas industry to
push legislation through Congress with little opposition to allow the pipeline
to run through a national park. For the last two years, Rockaway residents,
gardeners, and activists have been trying to stop the pipeline through
grassroots organizing, interventions in FERC’s regulatory process, and
demonstrations at the construction site. This summer, a demonstration in Riis
Park temporarily halted construction. Most of the work that remains to be
completed on the project in the next two months is in and around Floyd Bennett
Field, and gardeners widely oppose the project.

On Saturday we’ll talk about establishing a framework and relations of solidarity for gardeners and their allies to defend each others’ land and livelihoods. In the immediate future, this would entail supporting mobilizations and grassroots organizing, but it could also extend to participating in work days at each others’ gardens; skill-sharing and bartering between gardeners in different parts of the city, between urban gardeners and farmers in surrounding regions, and between gardeners/farmers and groups attempting to politicize and collectivize the local sourcing of food (e.g. radical CSA’s); exchanges at the level of goods and services as well as solidarity actions to take on infrastructure and development projects that are opposed to the interests of gardeners/farmers and their communities.

We will be joined by Ray Figueroa-Reyes, President of the New York City Gardens Coalition and Friends of Brook Park in the South Bronx, members of Picture the Homeless and No Rockaway Pipeline, and invite members of community gardens throughout the city and all of those interested in defending the city’s garden spaces to attend.

There will be food, but it will be great if people also bring nice things to share.



1. Link to El Jardin del Paraiso and Directions


El Jardin del Paraiso spans the block of East 4th
and East 5th streets between Avenues C and D in the East Village. Entrances are
at 4th and 5th.

Subway access via F train to 2 Av or Delancey St.
(and then walk north), J, M, Z to Essex St., or L to 1st Av. (with a connection
to the M14D bus to 6th and D).


16 Beaver Group

16 Beaver Street, 4th fl.

New York, NY 10004

for directions/subscriptions/info visit:



4,5 — Bowling Green

2,3 — Wall Street

J,Z — Broad Street

R — Whitehall

1 — South Ferry