Stand in Solidarity with Adam Guerrero
As reported yesterday in the garden blog, Mr. BrownThumb:
“This week Adam Guerrero, a math teacher at Raleigh-Egypt High School in Memphis, TN., along with three students became lawbreakers after they continued to tend to a garden after it was deemed a neighborhood nuisance. Guerrero was citied for violating city ordinances 48-38 and 48-97. His crime, as reported by the Memphis Flyer, consists of failure to maintain “a clean and sanitary condition free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage” at his Nutbush home.
When Guerrero asked the judge to define what a nuisance was he was told that if it generates a complaint, it’s a neighborhood nuisance. The Memphis Flyer reports that there’s no visible trash or garbage and that plants are kept off the sidewalk and driveway. While the garden is on personal property Guerrero says he uses it as a school garden of sorts. A place where three neighborhood youths learn to make biodiesel; the glycerin by-product is used to make soap and the youths harvest honey from beehives behind the garage.”
Adam Guerrero in his own words:
Hey all, my name is Adam Guerrero. I would first like to thank everyone who shares a sense of disbelief, disillusionment, and frustration with me. I would invite anyone and everyone to come by and see for yourself the state of affairs. My address is 3713 Townes Ave. 38122. Please be kind and keep in mind that it is nearly the autumn of the year, and although my front yard garden is still lush, it is showing signs of slowing down. I have a deep respect for nature and its wisdom in handling its own affairs. The tomatoes in my yard, in fact, return year after year without me doing a single thing outside providing them a nurturing nutrient environment. I am not a native Memphis, although I have lived here for 10 years and have been a teacher for 6. I see many great problems in our city and society. I have set aside the talk and demands for “someone” to act and have taken it upon myself to do what little contribution I can. If I can provide a sense of stability for some young men, I will. It may not be ALL young men, but the one’s I work with an enabled and empowered, and that’s the point. Again, I am home around 4pm till bed, and am happy to entertain questions, concerns, opinions, etc. but please be kind and decent. Thanks.
How You Can Help
Adam has been ordered to remove the garden before his court date on September 23rd. He has been avoiding this until now given the all the efforts that went into it but time is running out. Please act today!
1. Write to Judge Larry Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org in support of Adam Guerrero’s garden. Please be respectful. You are an ambassador for the kitchen garden cause.
2. Join the Facebook page called “Save Adam Guerrero’s Garden,” where you can show your support and receive updates about his case.
3. Sing your outrage from rooftops on Twitter using the #WarOnGardens hashtag.
4. Sign an online petition at change.org in support of the garden, which will be sent to the judge hearing Guerrero’s case.