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San Francisco | Environment & Forest Defense | Fault Lines

Sat Jun 23 2007 (Updated 06/24/07) Defending the Land in San Francisco and Beyond
For those of us living in our modern cities land is a foreign concept. Stories of land conjure romantic images of countrysides far from our crowded neighborhoods, images that seem irrelevant to our lives. Even though we inhabit a landscape smothered with buildings and concrete, the struggles for land fought by rural people hold many important lessons for us as we strive for control over our lives and communities. When we consider the landless state of most poor people the world round and how most of us own no land, we realize we are all perpetually inhabiting someone else’s space. Our lives and communities as well as our food supply are controlled by people in far away places whose main motivation is profit. When we start to reclaim some of this space we begin to take back our lives.

Managed by hired agencies and city employees, our streets and parks feel like they belong to no one. In reality this is the common land that we all share and it has the potential to change our lives and the ways that we relate to the space around us. When a group of gardeners in San Francisco turned an abandoned lot near my house into a guerrilla community garden this spring, it transformed our street full of strangers into a community with the common goal of improving the neighborhood. All over the world landless people have made bold stands to control unused land and challenge the very notion of land ownership. Read More

Past coverage: Guerrilla Gardens in San Francisco

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