ROD is the name of a piece of land occupied in protest against the escalating phenomenon of land-grabbing in Warsaw and the world. The group is linked to the European network of Reclaim the Fields (RTF). The area which we occupy since March 2015 has been appropriated by building development companies. They intend to build on the site of the former allotment gardens in the district of Siekierki.
The ROD Collective is in favor of the widest possible use of direct action tactics against land grabbing and the global food market. Occupation of land also offers opportunities to experiment and practice alternatives to the capitalist system. We aim to reclaim land from the so-called ‘free market’, making it available to local community in order to produce healthy, high-quality food from a reliable source and independent from global corporations.
On the ROD we experiment with independent sources of energy, grow food and try to explore technologies alternative to those widely in use and impacting negativly on the environment. We think that knowledge and learning should be democratic and freely available to everyone. Therefore, we are grassroots organized, we do not have leaders and we make decisions together.
– to stop the re-privatization and so called ‘development’ of Warsaw. It is dominated by a small group of individuals capable of destroying everything in their the path to profit, regardless for the needs of those living in the city. Foremost: Stop urbanization in the Siekierki district.
– to produce and spread information about the global food market and its impact on local contexts.
– to promote alternatives such as; food sovereignty, local self-government based on consensus, equality and freedom.
– to expand our knowledge of cultivation and technology and share it, eg. Construction of small wind turbines, producing non genectically modified seeds, buildings techniques using recycled materials etc.
– to pursue and promote wider local self-sufficiency in food and energy.
– to make the land that we occupy available to the local community
RIGHT TO RESOURCES: Earth alongside air, water and energy are the basis of life. Can anyone imagine having to pay for access to air or sunshine? Nowadays we see increasing privatization of water resources and different types of plant and animal life. Does a license fee for planting a cucumber not seem absurd to us? Is it not the same absurd law which, in the name of profit, would destroy, poison or build over huge areas of land from which we have to eat? Is it not illogical to deprive ourselves of the food grown locally and instead rely on imports eg. From the USA? Those who control the land also control our lives. They have control over what appears on our table, if anything at all.
Urbanisation and building developments such as in Siekierki may present themselves as progressive and inevitable; providing living space for the city’s growing population. However housing and rental markets are fabricated by speculators, bank loans trap people into unpayable morgatges and rent incresases create the conditions to ‘legally’ evict people who can no longer pay. Office and business spaces take priority over homes and as a result the city expands into the last areas of healthy land.
The environmental damage caused by such building projects is immense and based on a complete disregard for resources. Even if people have new homes what sort of environment will they live in? Urbanisation is not development. The retention/recreation of healthy land to grow food, access to clean drinking water and a sustainable relation to resources is.
We believe in the fundamental guarantee of independence and rights of every human being. We do not discuss with developers, corporations or authorities which, shoulder to shoulder, grab land for use under their ‘utopian’ and unnecessary mega-projects. They fell short of our expectations a thousand times. The time for negotiation is over. Reclaim what belongs to us. Reclaim access to land, control over food and our lives!
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