Radical Allotment Gardens (ROD) Collective is a young group of people has been created in Warsaw, Poland in March 2015. The basis for our collective is an itiative which is autonomous, voluntary and self-organized, free from any kind of hierarchy and discrimination. Members of the collective are involved in Reclaim the Fields movement (to reclaim it from the global market) by occupying and ecologically using the area of the allotment gardens, in order to protect it from devastation by developers. ROD is a kind of a laboratory where in radical and friendly conditions we learn knowledge and skills to do with planting vegatables and herbs, producing energy from renewable sources, food processing, constructing spaces, tools, things for everyday use and organizing a social life for the community and the neighborhood, using different tactics of resistence and struggle against capitalism. We strive for self-sufficiency and sovereignty, and we work in accordance with the principle of do it yourself.
The history of ROD Collective began on March 14th, 2015, during the meeting about an international network of radical ecological projects – Reclaim The Fields. In warsaw squat Syrena about 30 people discussed the problem of land-grabbing and the need to take the land back.
Family Allotment Gardens (ROD) „Bartycka” were founded in 1981 in public-owned area. The gardens were divided between families, usufructuaries by law. Each family has a small garden. It means that people can use the land but they are not the owners. They only own items in this area (for example wooden houses, tools, furnitures) and plants. For over 30 years they were using this ground for planting and recreation. The situation changed 7 years ago, when a group of people previously not connected with the Allotment Gardens set up a court case and took over a big part of the area, exploiting a usucaption law allowing a 5-year occupier to be granted ownership. Just after that the new owner sold the rights to the land to Dom Development Company (one of the biggest developers in Poland). A smaller section further away still belongs to the city. Dom Development applied to the court to evict usufructuaries of the plots but the judge rejected the request. Then the company initiated forceful measures: one day, constructors and security thugs demolished several plots and built a fence across many of the gardens. Several gardeners were sued (their personal data having leaked out by unknown means) for usufruct payments equivalent to a dozen thousand euro. The Warsaw authorities left gardeners on their own, and even have supported the developers, pestering the Garden Board with control inspections and threatening them with dozen thousand of euro in fines in order to have the gardeners’ personal data revealed.