Rumour has it, the Age of Aquarius has given us the opportunity to fuck shit up and create a better world.
Now I don’t know about yourself, but I picture myself in a Minecraft realm ready to go crazy, go stupid, and fully uproot what my controlling older brother created in this not-so-equal-but-hierarchical space.
Well, hold on. Before I fall into the deep bottomless pit of Minecraft references, I must return to what we perceive as our present “reality.” Time to get your hands dirty or—should I say “soily”—because let me say, we are sowing the seeds for the revolution! Haha wait…what does propagating sweet potatoes, embracing the smell of oxytocin from digging your hands into the soil, and roaming the free craigslist for the next free sink to plant seedlings in, have anything to do with overthrowing hierarchical systems that control virtually our whole lives? Everything. Or nothing? You decide. Let me take you on a journey into the mycelium network of fighting the oppressive state while creating more just and sustainable systems in lieu. Don’t worry, we won’t get tangled up in the web of microbial growth and soil particles because well this fantastic interconnected network exists right under your feet in San Luis Obispo county!
It all started one raging stormy June of 2020, (not like time exists, but you know, for the sake of the story). As the movement for Black Lives was swept by a storm of momentum and energy from a growing population, a tidal wave of social-justice-related involvement and abolitionist groups sprouted and took root across the country, if not the entire globe. Abolitionist Action of the Central Coast/SLO, also known as AACCS was formed together by students from Cal Poly Students for Quality Education (SQE), Cal Poly Black Student Union (BSU), and other Black, Indigenous, and community members of color in SLO. As the name implies, AACCS’s mission focuses on abolishing the entire carceral state while creating life-affirming systems in replacement whilst centering BIPOC communities first and foremost in the fight for liberation.
Once the rains settled briefly during this intense period, another baby seedling of AACCS had the opportunity to sprout and develop an entire field of plant life also known as The People’s Revolutionary Garden. Rooted in healing, indigenous and food sovereignty, and rematriation of the land, the People’s Revolutionary Garden is a gardening mutual aid network. We are an expanding community of passionate and loving folx utilizing the art of “assisting plant growth” (also gardening but this sounds cooler and less anthropocentric) to help eradicate our oppressive food systems and help communities become less reliant on the state. Food that we grow is plugged into food distribution networks around the entire county. You can learn more about one of our food distributions that occurs in Santa Maria here.
Following in suit of AACCS values, this heart-wrenching community aid project—I’m not even kidding this organization makes me cry at least once a week—is working towards recreating our oppressive food system by reevaluating and restoring our relationship with the land we exist and breath on. We recognize that we are living on stolen Chumash and Salininan land. In order to genuinely embody sustainable and regenerative ways of living, we must fight for decolonization of this settler-colonial state by first prioritizing indigenous sovereignty.
Our revolutionary group isn’t as intimidating as the name suggests. It’s not like we’re screaming to the top of our lungs Rage Against the Machine or Dead Kennedys while we pull weeds every second of the day… personally, I prefer some riot grrrl or some No Name when I’m vibing with the plants but we are accepting of all music tastes. That being said, I want to emphasize that we are knitted together in a beautiful combination of love, soil, microbes, roots… all gathered together under the umbrella of symbiosis against the state. Embodying the relationship mycelium (you know that vegetiatve part of mushrooms) and plants have, our purpose is to support our communities through resource and knowledge sharing because we are stronger together. We do not engage in charity work; we support mutual aid networks that are politicized in order to grow the movement. Additionally, we recognize that the non-profit industrial complex is rooted in oppressive systems such as white supremacy and the heteronormative patriarchy. Charities are also known to act as band aid solutions—usually from a privileged elite group—to systemic and institutionalized problems that need to be weeded the fuck out and replanted with more life-affirming systems that center Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people of color first and foremost. Given that this kind of transformative change isn’t going to happen overnight, in the meantime, we gotta go amend some fucking soil.
If any of these sparked a microbial-sized amount of interest leading you to potentially want to be connected to these amazing vibes, you can check out our website here to learn more about our mission and to join the network. WE NEED YOU!!!! Joining the network means jumping into a wonderful pool of gardening knowledge, fun community events, and the resources to set up a garden in your own space. No prior gardening knowledge needed. Also, plz spam our instagram with lots of love! You won’t be sorry.
P.S. Stay tuned for our Tik Tok…
Katie Rose is a .WAV editorial writer, they wrote the article. Graphic Credit to People’s Revolutionary Garden Network.