Dijon: Engrenage Gardens under threat. Vegetables and trees are rooted, they will not leave.

The decision of the Dijon court has confirmed the eviction of the land occupied by the Engrenage Gardens as of November 20. The house is not affected by this decision. Despite the headlines in the local press suggesting that the case is closed, the vegetables are growing, the gardeners are gardening and the walkers are wandering around!

After the October hearing, the court handed down its verdict on November 4. According to the local press (le Bien Public). “The court noted the occupation without right or title of the land located between 45 and 65 avenue de Langres and ordered their eviction within fifteen days if necessary with the help of the police force. The court, however, declared itself incompetent with respect to the occupation of the small house. » [Read More]

Dijon: attempt to evict the Engrenage Gardens

Early this Friday morning, the occupants of the Engrenage Gardens were woken up by municipal police officers and three backhoe loaders that had been sent to ravage the vegetable gardens. The rapid arrival of supporters allowed them to stop the advance of the machines. The protagonists’ account of the events.

Waking up this morning, to the sound of the “beep-beep” of the bulldozers. Astonishment to discover the Jardins de l’Engrenage, surrounded by the barriers and the police. The beans, the tomatoes (already red!): crushed, the branches of the trees: torn off, the hedges: crushed. The brutality of the machines, facing the thorns of the brambles.

Sponsored by whom? Why was it ordered? The city? The property developer? Nobody on the spot wants to answer our questions. No one to dialogue except the police force and the steel of the machines.

So we’re holding. Together. We hang on, we climb, we watch. We call friends and neighbors. Yesterday they were there for the market, and since June 17, 2020, to share around these gardens a moment of music or petanque… Today we saw tears in their eyes. Since the taking of this land how many gardening tips, crafts and small services have been exchanged; how many stories around this neighborhood and the lives of its inhabitants! So we resist, again. [Read More]

Dijon: Land occupation on Avenue de Langres

Statement from the June 17 Collective – Land occupation in Dijon as part of the June 17 appeal against the repeated intoxication of the world!

Today wednesday June 17th 2020, despite the rain, we were nearly four hundred people to demonstrate from the Place de la République to the abandoned plot located at 63 avenue de Langres. Armed with spades and pitchforks, the participants were able to clear the land to make gardens, set up new meeting and breathing spaces in the heart of the neighbourhood, plant vegetables, debate the common future on this land and beyond, or share a meal.

This land is threatened by a real estate project carried by the council which, with a great deal of “greenwashing” communication, is trying to impose yet another useless urban plan. According to the INSEE, there are more than 6000 vacant homes in the commune of Dijon alone. Except for the municipality – which wants to grow at all costs to establish its status as a “metropolis” – for whom is it a priority to have more new housing? [Read More]

Ljubljana: Zadruga Urbana, little urban-agrarian platform

Zadruga Urbana (Urban Cooperative in English) embodies the idea of an urban-agrarian platform that aims to connect collectives and individuals in order to improve self-sufficiency through direct action. It is based on shared principles of horizontality, autonomy and self-organization. Our vision is to bring together individuals and collectives regardless of previous experience, in a non-hierarchical way, to promote autonomy in local food production and freer access to public land.

We are not satisfied with the current system of food production and therefore try to raise people’s awareness of options for producing their own food, consuming locally and being autonomous – all through collective gardening. Our venture enables individuals with no land of their own to produce food. It gives them a better overview of some of the possible ways to self-organize, coupled with sensitivity for their local environment. Furthermore we believe it is necessary for a collective movement to take that process into their own hands. [Read More]

Catalonia: Can Piella threaten, demonstration October 13th

Can Piella is a rural-urban squat, in Montcada i Reixac, near Barcelona, that laid ignored for ten years or more. The ruinous land and dilapidated farmhouse of Can Piella was replenished and renovated by local people, in solidarity, who grew their own food sustainably and autonomously. Can Piella might be evicted on October 14. I claim, this eviction should stop because people have ‘right to their spaces’, ‘right to grow their own food’ and ‘right to nature’, at the interface of faulty neoliberal knowledge and policies and forced inclusion of capital-intensive farming.

Stop the eviction of autonomous spaces

This article asks Mr. Claudio Fernández Alejandro Montero (Judge of the Court of First Instance No. 3 Cerdanyola) for the withdrawal of the interim eviction order issued against Can Piella and its associated members who were connected with the conservation, preservation and effective use of the rural-urban spaces of Can Piella. [Read More]

Ljubljana: What is Zadruga Urbana?

Zadruga Urbana” is a group of people who came together with the shared dissatisfaction for the current system of food production, who believe in the necessity for a collective movement to take the process into their own hands. We believe that collective gardens raise people’s awareness of producing their own food, consuming locally and being autonomous/productive, enabling individuals without land of their own to produce food with a sensitivity for their local natural environment.

Our group wants to bring people together to learn and promote the ideas to find solutions for change towards a more sustainable life regardless of previous experience. Everyone is welcome to participate in our gardens and network, to learn and share the skills of producing our own food. We aim to use local seeds and to fertilize our crop naturally.

Our vision is to connect individuals and collectives in a horizontal, non-hierarchical way, to promote autonomy in local food production and freer access to public land. We also plan to reclaim/collectivize more locations in urban spaces and organise guerilla gardening. We hold regular lectures and talks on a range of permacultural and environmental topics such as beekeeping, composting and germination which are free to attend. We have a plans to create vegetable and seed bank/market as well as social kitchen with produce which is in line our aims. [Read More]

Slovenia: Ljubljana Community Gardens & Seed Swap

On the second day of our stay in Ljubljana PEDAL jumped on bikes with spades and forks and trowels for a working tour of four community gardens in the city. The group organising and looking after these gardens ‘Zadruga Urbana Collective Vrt’ have just started another garden in the autonomous free space Metelkova where together we built a bike fence and a compost system, and began work on a permaculture design for the land.

As we went in the sunshine to build more beds on an community allotment, our new friends explained that the growing spaces are on land set to be developed in to park space. The people who grow here have not gone through a council to gain a small plot but effectively have squatted the land- choosing an area and simply starting to work the land with little or no problem from authorities. This contrasts our restricted growing spaces in the UK where in some parts of London you are put on a 20-30 year waiting list. [Read More]