A Garden of Resistance

 

A LOT has happened this week.  My Women’s and Gender Studies professor sent me tweet this morning encouraging me to write about a Transgender Prepper Resistance Garden due to the recent news that there will be a 20% import tax from Mexico.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been tweeting her updates on The Transgender Prepper blog.

Trump is going through with building the East Berlin Wall….er….I’m sorry, this is the United States in 2017. Trump is going through with his promise (more like half promise, Mexico is not paying for that fucking wall) to build the hate wall on the boarder of Mexico and the U.S.  Guess who is footing the bill? That’s right. Us United States Tax payers.

Here’s why a wall is a ludicrous idea and why it won’t work and is a huge waste of money:
Why a Wall won’t work

Also, a 20% tax hike on all imports from Mexico?  Do you know what we import from Mexico?

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that Mexico by far is the most important supplier of fresh produce to the U.S., accounting for 69% of U.S. fresh vegetable import value and 37% of U.S. fresh fruit import value in 2012.

PRODUCT OF MEXICO | Day 1 | Labor camps

Almost 70% of our fresh produce comes from Mexico.

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This is a tax we are all going to be paying for because we need food to live.

If you’re thinking it’s not a big deal because we have plenty of huge farms here to compensate, think again.  Back in 2011-2012, Georgia enacted a bill to crack down on undocumented workers. They didn’t realize how many millions of dollars they would lose and food gone to waste.

After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia…
Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields.
Before that the same thing happened in Alabama after enacting harsh crackdowns on undocumented workers.
It’s not only Southern states; farmers all across America are dependent on migrant labor. For example, immigrants make up 40% of Wisconsin’s dairy industry workers and almost one in three U.S. farming and fishing workers is from Mexico.
Many farmers want to hire local workers, but it is increasingly difficult to find U.S. natives with the proper skills. Few are willing or able to perform the physically taxing and low paying labor which requires them to move with the crops, even with wages of $15-$20 an hour.
Immigration is so much more complicated than just crossing an invisible line. Many migrant workers are brought to the United States legally by U.S corporations through guest worker visas or they are exploited through undetected labor recruitment techniques.
Migrant workers are especially targets of human trafficking and forced labor, which have at their core, worker rights violations and a lack of labor standards and worker protections. One of the biggest factors underlying the vulnerability of migrant workers are the actions of unscrupulous labor brokers. Many labor brokers charge such exorbitant fees for securing work that migrant workers cannot repay them even after years on the job, essentially rendering them indentured workers. Some labor brokers also lie about the wages and working conditions workers should expect in a destination country. Migrant workers often are forced to remain in dangerous working conditions because their debt is too great. – See more at: http://www.solidaritycenter.org/what-we-do/migration-and-human-trafficking/#sthash.otRFUTbr.dpuf
Trafficked people are men and women from all over the world whose plans to migrate for work go terribly wrong. Promised a livelihood abroad, many instead find themselves earning less than minimum wage (Sangeeta reportedly worked over 100 hours a week for some $1.42 an hour), living in cramped conditions, and facing physical threats from their employers. Working under conditions of “force, fraud or coercion” technically qualifies them for trafficking visas (T visas) to stay in the United States.
By creating a punitive deportation regime, the Obama administration has made it harder to locate trafficked persons and to assist them. The U.S. government undoes one set of policies as it enforces another; it holds out assistance to an exceptional few and handcuffs to the many.
 “Trafficking into forced labor exists on a continuum of exploitative labor practices. For many undocumented workers—and some workers with temporary work visas—low pay, no pay, unsafe work conditions, job insecurity, and the absence of clear channels for redress are routine. “
“…regardless of their particular circumstances of exploitation, they share a compromised ability to walk away. Having no passport, money, contacts in the United States, or even seasonally appropriate clothes make it hard for them to envision leaving safely, if at all.”
During the Obama administration, a congressional mandate requires a quota for detainees:
” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to fill a daily average of 34,000 beds in detention facilities. Through policies such as the ironically titled “Secure Communities Programs,” local police function as immigration enforcement agents.”
“The Obama administration ramped up a longstanding practice of ICE raids at worksites where undocumented workers were presumed to labor. These raids sent clear messages to exploited workers to not report abuse. They also have torn apart families and communities.”
So as you can see, the narrative of Mexicans crossing the boarder ‘take’ American jobs is blatantly false.
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Nope.  They did not.
All of this is going to get worse under the Trump administration.  Not just for our food systems but for human beings.
It’s extremely overwhelming what’s been happening this week. What is it that one can do?
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During World War II, it was encouraged that Americans grow what they call Victory Gardens.  These gardens were grown to prevent a food shortage.
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During that time there were so many propaganda posters pushing the notion of growing a garden so that Soldiers over seas fighting would have enough to eat.
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  • At their peak there were more than 20,000,000 Victory Gardens planted across the United States.
  • By 1944 Victory Gardens were responsible for producing 40% of all vegetables grown in the United States. More than one million tons of vegetables were grown in Victory Gardens during the war.

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  • People with no yards planted small Victory Gardens in window boxes and watered them through their windows. Some city dwellers who lived in tall apartment buildings planted rooftop gardens and the whole building pitched in and helped.

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Back in 2013 I planted my first garden. I called myself a Rogue gardener.

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I planted tomatoes and peppers (which I started from seed in the spring and nurtured them for a few months) among many other vegetables.

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I’m not a professional farmer but I do have some skills.

This week I picked up a couple of books to learn more about medicinal herbs and making my own remedies. On top of planning my own garden this year I will be starting my own mini FARMacy inside.

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I’m not really a fan of the notion of “going back” to something. You know how some people will say that we should “go back to” such and such. While it’s very tempting for me to say that we should “Go back to making Victory gardens,”  it just wouldn’t fit for the context of 2017.  I don’t want to grow a garden so the Imperialist Military Industrial Complex can go kill people in other countries.  It’s not Victory that I’m after. It’s resistance. I want to make a Resistance garden. A garden to grow and learn how to preserve and share with our neighbors.  Not a garden to hoard.  We are so much stronger together as a community.  Not just as Citizens of the United States.  But as humans on a planet as a whole. It’s important to educate yourself and listen to the voices of those who are most devastatingly effected by all of these new executive orders.

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“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root'”

-Angela Davis

 

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16 thoughts on “A Garden of Resistance”

  1. Be careful not to support any ideal excessively. While I certainly agree that our military actions are often extremely excessive, the fact of the matter is, that a large percentage of the world is still rampagingly savage. While we are still only beginning to become a mature culture in America, there are far darker places in the world, filled with people whom cannot be reasoned with – hell, most of -us- cannot be reasoned with.

    Regrettably, generosity and kindness, even if fueled by love, cannot fix everything: often, love must take the form of subjugation, and even execution: there are people in the world, individuals and groups, whom in their insanity, would burn everything then salt the earth – that must be stopped. And that methodology, like the application of generosity and kindness, must be applied to only appropriate degrees. Nevertheless, they are both necessary methods in addressing social disorder – a concept that is often forgotten by either party.

    All that aside, gardening is wonderful. One of the most useful techniques I’ve found for preparing soil is this: take hardware cloth, which is a deceptively named wire mesh, and place it on a legged frame, then filter all your soil through it by force – you can also, while filtering, mix in compost. This will accomplish a variety of effects: you will severely aerate the soil, which will also make it very easy for plants to take root and water to disperse exceptionally; you will filter out trash, unnecessary rocks, and other debris; you will evenly disperse nutrients in the process [especially if you mix in a little bit of the clay-layer]. It sounds like a minor action, but I assure you that it is among the most important.

    Keep in mind that hardware cloth comes in various sizes: you can pick and choose how large you want the holes to be, and thus determine the size of what you want filtered as well as how aerated the soil will be. You can usually find it at any good hardware store. Oh, and use gloves for the process – here is a link to my describing ideal gloves https://mentallurgy.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/pigskin-driver-gloves/

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      1. A simple google of “human atrocities” will immediately reveal the exact types of people whom I claim need to be stopped at any cost. Spend a few days going through the data and you may find, along with an existential crisis, that disagreeing with my perspective is extremely immoral: for those whom can choose otherwise, being unprepared for savagery is not merely allowing it to happen, but encouraging it – for those whom harm others also take from them, and are spurred on by easy pickings.

        I genuinely hope you never meet these people, never suffer living in the horror they spread – I assure you, your current motivation for prepping will seem relatively inconsequential. But my apologizes for the dark tone – these are merely ideas which I find it immoral not to mention.

        I hope your continued tinkerings and learning practical skills goes well – such things are dear to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey Louis,
        I have done research and I certainly know how to use a google search engine as well as several data bases and libraries. I know all about human atrocities. Why do you think I started writing this blog to begin with or feel such a need to prep? Heh=)
        Furthermore, I never intended or encouraged not protecting myself from those that wish to harm me. I wrote a post about protection awhile back on here. I’m not a sitting duck by any means. However, I do think that having a close community enhances the chances of survival and thriving. As a lone wolf you can survive, sure, but I’m wanting more. In Jim Cobbs book, Prepping For The Long Term, he encourages finding or creating some form of community. (And I’m not just thinking of letting everyone and anyone in my circles. I’m very vigilant and have no problem turning someone away who will harm me or my friends or if we simply have no room–in that case I’d send a care package and wish them well on their way). Gardening and community gardening is one way to engage with others and build a sense of community with other like minded folks. I’m not encouraging being ill prepared nor am I insinuating that just loving people will fix the worlds problems. I’m also not writing this blog as a way to fix the worlds problems, but am writing this blog as a mode of self care and exploration into my own interests of self-reliance.
        I think maybe we’ve had a miscommunication but perhaps if disagreeing with you makes me immoral, well, I enjoy being a heathen. (and I mean this all in good fun, no hard feelings).
        I understand that the world is a very dark place indeed. Many people assume that preppers are super nihilistic in wanting to prepare for (pick whatever scenario). While in some cases that may be true (being nihilistic) I do think in a lot of ways personally I am hopeful. Having the will to survive means one has hope to survive too and to keep going.
        Thanks for following my blogs and for the comments! I plan on writing more today in the style of what I’ve been tinkering with this week. (practical skills and such). Take it easy!

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  2. Em, I never promoted being solitary. Merely pointing out that our military, and violence in general, is necessary in this era – even if it’s often wielded by imbeciles whom, themselves, should be irrevocably enslaved for their gargantuan crimes against humanity. Infact, some of the worst places on Earth, that are spawning atrocity at this very moment, hate America more than anyone else.

    But, the good news is, while Trump is a little swine, General Mattis seems to be a wise man; I suspect he will keep Trump in line when it comes to military affairs – though it’s possible he resigns out of disgust in dealing with him. We got very lucky to receive Mattis at the same time as Trump. A recent video from the General: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EYU3VTI3IU

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      1. To be perfectly honest with you: while I didn’t vote for him, I really wanted him to be President. Hear me out. That he was even a candidate reveals exactly how deep America has descended.

        Americans have become more and more decadent, with our absence of strife and consistent surplus. With the rising popularity of hipsters and vanity morality, meekness is actually being promoted; people are encouraging each other to be helpless and ignorant – outside of a religious environment. Sociologically fascinating.

        But, the point is, America’s in a culturally dangerous position, and needs to change before it goes into a nose-dive. Trump will force that change. Not through anything he intentionally does, but by merely being the scumbag he is.

        He will fuck up – very big. In the fallout, the people whom voted for him, whom have any decency, will rethink their position; the people whom didn’t [the vanity morality crowd] will realize they have to get off their lazy asses, stop chanting and playing pretend, and get some fucking work done.

        I’d have preferred the slow and safe rise in cultural quality that Hillary offered, but the chaos Trump spawns will be good for the county, which desperately needs sense beaten into it. Plus, it’s going to be fucking hilarious to watch all these idiots trying to figure out why their ego-fueled delusions are so thoroughly incorrect.

        You gotta look on the bright side, you know.

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    1. 40,000 people dying a year without health care isn’t a cheerful scenario that is alleviated by shifting a perspective. I’m going to stand up to it and face it head on.

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  3. To be perfectly honest with you: people whom die merely from lack of health care, are relatively pampered. Other places will have you executed for a wide variety of nonsensical reasons – assuming you live past a childhood riddled with disease, starvation, enslavement, organ harvesting, etc.

    I wish I remember the documentary, but I once saw something of extreme interest: a women, certainly black, though I don’t know if it was being filmed in Africa, said one of the most perplexing phrases I’ve ever heard: “It’s true what they say: ‘You fall in love with your rapist.'”

    It was a translation from her native tongue, into English, so there may have been misinterpretation. But consider the ramifications of that statement. And she must have been.. in her 40s?

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    1. So your argument is the fallacy of “not as bad as”
      This fallacy asserts that [1] if something is worse than the problem currently being discussed, then [2] the problem currently being discussed isn’t that important at all.

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      1. Hmhm. I once dated a college-trained academic debater. I have never, in my life, wasted more time arguing over irrelevant details – she, sadly, did this to avoid being perceived as incorrect. They don’t teach them to reason, you see, but to win an argument by any means. It may surprise you to find that those kids are the source of lobbyists. Though I don’t mean to debase comprehension of the discussion process.

        But, if you feel it necessary to discuss the issue, go ahead. How is what you’ve said, defining what I’ve said, incorrect?

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