As promised, Middletowners of all stripes delivered a “roving festival of resistance” to the streets of our fine city today. Joined by thousands in countless mass mobilizations across the globe, the local agitators reclaimed a community garden, organized a teach-in, and held a People’s Assembly on Main Street’s Spear Park where a meal was shared amidst a festive atmosphere. The holiday celebrates a storied history of struggle both around the world and amongst Wesleyan students.
This year, the action began around 10:30 a.m. when roughly one dozen celebrants armed with shovels, rakes, mulch, and wheelbarrows took to a vacant lot on Washington Street in a bid to transform it into a People’s Garden.
The lot — which at the start of the morning was an overgrown mess of fallen branches, weeds, garbage, empty bottles, and other debris — was once the site of a small but vibrant community garden established by residents of the local neighborhood. It had since been bought by a speculative landlord who intends to sell the lot to Centerplan Developers as part of their bid to build a strip mall along Washington Street, a plan that has faced stiff resistance from the local community. The goal of today’s action was to “retake the commons,” as one sign read, by reclaiming this land from private interests in order to serve the community.