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

REUTERS/David Ryder

Alexander Pease Contributor
Font Size:

The Seattle parks and recreation division demolished a Black Lives Matter (BLM) memorial under police supervision Wednesday morning.

The city justified the destruction of the Black Lives Matter Memorial Garden, which was planted spontaneously in the city’s Cal Anderson Park during the 2020 protests, by noting that it had become a haven for drug use and other kinds of criminal activity, including unauthorized camp-outs and vandalism, The Seattle Times reported.

In a statement to the outlet, Seattle Parks spokesperson Rachel Shulkin also cited “public health and safety issues and the need for maintenance, including reseeding the area and turf restoration.” (RELATED: Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Is Now A Nude ‘Modern Artist’)

“In recent months, the temporary garden has created unsafe conditions for all park users, including the vandalism of Cal Anderson public bathrooms, public drug use, unauthorized camping and a significant rodent problem, along with other issues,” Schulkin told the outlet.

Seattle officials released statements co-signed by local black leaders who endorsed the move as the city swore to “conceptualize” another garden somewhere else, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Watchdog Reveals How Much DC Is Spending To Refresh BLM Mural As Violent Crime Surges)

On the other hand, the coalition that stewarded the garden, the Black Star Farmers, was not as supportive, telling the Times that those who made use of the garden were “mourning the destruction of the physical embodiment of years of collaboration, connecting with plant life” and sharing food and gardening knowledge. (RELATED: ‘Like The Wild, Wild West’: Seattle Business Owners Hammer City Officials For Letting Prostitution Run Rampant)

“The city pulled up on our garden, but our roots still stand strong,” the gardeners wrote on Instagram.

More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition to save the garden.

“The BLMG is also a hub for education, community-building, and environmental justice,” the petitioners wrote.

In the summer of 2020, Cal Anderson Park was home to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, where a disabled Seattle teen was shot dead amid a lack of police presence, according to a separate Times report.