BLM community dream park BULLDOZED

Seattle authorities stepped in and turned a Black Lives Matter garden into a patch of dirt citing drug use, rampant homelessness, vandalism, and the fact that the garden had never produced a thing but crime.

“Members of Seattle, Washington’s Parks and Recreation department, along with city police, removed a community garden planted in Cal Anderson Park as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 on Wednesday,” the New York Post reported.

“City officials said in a statement that the ‘makeshift,’ temporary garden was being removed because of public health and safety concerns, as well as for maintenance reasons including reseeding and turf restoration,” the news outlet added.

Tent encampments were ostensibly removed from the area in an effort to clean up the space and restore safety to residents who frequent the nearby park.

(Video Credit: King 5 Seattle)

“So far this year, the City’s Unified Care Team has cleaned up encampments at Cal Anderson Park 76 times, making the park one of the most frequently addressed areas in the city for repopulated encampments,” the New York Post wrote.

There were incidents of vandalism in the park’s bathrooms, open-air public drug use, a rat infestation, and tent encampments plaguing the site.

According to the Seattle Times, the garden was going to be removed in October but the group that started the garden, the Black Star Farmers, threw a fit over it.

“In fact, the group petitioned over 5,000 signatures from people against the park’s removal, citing the garden honors Black and Indigenous people killed by police,” the New York Post noted.

The BLM group also asserted that the park “provided community members a place for joy and healing, as plants like amaranth, tobacco, corn, currants, strawberries and more grow there.”

Seattle Parks stood fast and countered that the garden had to go so the park could be used for other reasons. The park serves as a place for gatherings and events of residents. It’s also located near electrical and water hookups.

As the bulldozers moved in, the radical founders of the garden watched it get demolished as park rangers and police guarded construction vehicles, according to the Seattle Times. One of the discontents claimed that no notice was given that the garden would be plowed under.

The city “has claimed that they were removing the garden because of public health and safety, but the garden did not create the conditions for the unhoused crisis and drug epidemic,” Black Star Farmers asserted on Wednesday evening while calling the garden a place for poor and working-class people to organize against the root causes of injustices. “Removing the garden is a theatrical and reactionary response to systemic issues, designed to placate the landlords, bosses, and politicians intent on extracting labor from poor and working-class people.”

Authorities seem to have gone out of their way to solve the problem but Black Star Farmers refused to cooperate.

“Seattle Parks said it has conducted community engagement with park visitors, neighbors, and adjacent businesses near the garden since 2020 and received ‘significant’ feedback showing a desire to relocate the garden elsewhere in the park,” the New York Post stated.

“The department also said it has been in communication with community activists since 2020, offering alternative locations for the garden, though none of the locations were acceptable by the organizers of the garden,” the outlet said highlighting the fact that notice was sufficiently given and that eventually the garden would be removed from that location.

“Cal Anderson Park is the living room of Capitol Hill and a focal point of our city,” Council Member-elect Joy Hollingsworth said. “It’s important that we prioritize sanitary conditions within shared public spaces so that our neighborhoods can continue to flourish.”

Darrell Powell, president of the Seattle, King County NAACP pointed out that the garden was supposed to be a memorial to the black lives lost to alleged police violence. He claimed that it turned into something altogether different from what was intended.

“The black community is unaware of the existence of the garden, and the garden does not represent any meaningful sense, the vast number of black lives extinguished by police violence,” Powell proclaimed, according to the New York Post. “The Seattle-King County NAACP stands with Mayor Bruce Harrell and his administration in establishing a true representation memorializing the black Lives lost due to police violence.”

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