The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly blown open the destructive veins of neo-liberalism, capitalism, racism, fascism and patriarchy, revealing violent and broken systems that have been forced upon us for far too long. With each day, we see that the majority of people who are dying are those who have been historically exploited, oppressed, marginalized and discriminated against because of race, gender, class, caste.
Additionally, the sacred connection that Indigenous communities hold with the land has been violated through colonization, broken treaties, and the continuous human rights violations made against Indigenous people.
Across the planet, the majority of front line workers, health care workers, home care workers, domestic workers, and farmworkers are women. Like the Earth, they are the least valued and protected.
We must RISE to value, protect and uplift those who are doing essential work. We must RISE for the Earth, which is the most essential to all life.
We call on everyone around the world to RISE in honor and celebration of our women workers, and to create and grow RISING GARDENS.
Why RISING GARDENS?
Gardens remind us of our enduring connection to life, to each other and to Earth, which compels us to do everything in our power to protect and nurture life and all that is sacred without doing harm. The cultivation of plant life is also a means for survival. Growing food in a garden organically – be it your own indoor garden or a community garden – allows you to feed yourself and your community. It provides autonomy and underscores the need for food security in a world where so many are denied these essential resources. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) reported in April that the coronavirus pandemic could double the number of people suffering from acute food insecurity this year to around 265 million globally.
Maintaining a garden is an act of resistance because it does the opposite of what the capitalist machinery does – it connects people and communities with the Earth. To grow one’s own food, to grow beauty and life – is revolutionary in this age of ecological, environmental, societal, spiritual collapse. To put our energies, our creativity, our hearts into everything that can grow and sustain all forms of life when the current world order is bent on destruction is a radical political act. The existence and persistence of community gardens in food deserts and low-income neighborhoods is a testament to the resilience of the Black and Brown communities who cultivate them.
Tending to a garden, like nurturing our own communities, requires patience, creativity, love, care, attentiveness, presence, diligence, mindfulness and commitment. Gardening centralizes growing and giving, it is not about taking or acquiring.
To care for a garden – to nurture it to bloom and grow – deepens our relationship to Mother Earth.
Gardens place us firmly and deeply in the art of honoring life, becoming artistic beds of Creative Resistance.
Gardens are sacred spaces that engage and awaken our senses, make us believe in wonder, beauty and connection to all living beings. Like theatre, they are a place of play and of transformation – where we can celebrate and contribute to life.
Rising Gardens are a defiant creative call for revival, restoration and transformation. They are, in many ways, a compassionate call for justice – because one of the greatest injustices of our time has been the destruction and eradication of Mother Earth, parallel to the ongoing and escalating gender-based violence. We cannot keep the ongoing extraction of women’s labour and earth’s produce, with no gratitude to both. We must honor and protect the Earth and women in order for any future life to exist.
To make a garden grow is to love.
To keep a community alive is to love.
Create and grow gardens.
Dance in them.
Raise the Vibration with your hands and bodies.
RISE FOR WOMEN AND MOTHER EARTH
READ about the 2020 Campaign “RAISE THE VIBRATION. RISE FOR REVOLUTION.”
& the 2019 Campaign “RISING: FROM A CAMPAIGN, TO A WAY OF LIFE” and the OBR Manifesta
 “Soul Fire Farm’s Leah Penniman Explains Why Food Sovereignty Is Central in the Fight for Racial Justice” (Vogue, 3 July 2020, Stephen Heyman)
 “The Freedom Garden Initiative is Giving New Meaning to Victory Gardens” (Refinery 29, 18 June 2020, Olivia Harrison)