Seattle Demolishes BLM Garden As Concerns Grow Over Rampant Crime, Drug Use, Rodents

Under police supervision, the Seattle parks and recreation department demolished Wednesday morning a memorial to Black Lives Matter.

The Seattle Times reported that the city justified the destruction the Black Lives Matter Memorial Garden which had been planted spontaneously during the 2020 protests in Cal Anderson Park by stating that it was a haven of drug use, other criminal activities, including unauthorised camp-outs and graffiti.

Seattle Parks spokesperson Rachel Shulkin cited in a statement for the outlet “public safety and health issues, and the need to maintain, including reseeding and turf restoration.”

Schulkin, an outlet, said that “in recent months, the temporary gardens have created unsafe conditions for park users. This includes vandalism in the public bathrooms of Cal Anderson, public drug usage, unauthorized campers, and a rodent infestation, among other things.”

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The outlet reported that Seattle officials released statements signed by local black leaders, who supported the move. They also swore the city would “conceptualize another garden somewhere else.”

The Black Star Farmers coalition, which tended the garden, wasn’t as supportive. They told the Times that the people who used the garden “mourned the destruction of a physical embodiment of many years of collaboration and connecting with plants” and that they shared food and gardening information.

The gardeners posted on Instagram: “The city pulled down on our garden but our roots are still strong.”

Over 5,000 people signed a petition online to save the garden.

The petitioners stated that “the BLMG also serves as a center for environmental justice, education, and community building.”

According to a Times report, a Seattle disabled teen who was killed by a police officer in the absence of police protection was killed at Cal Anderson Park during the summer of 2020.