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lawn reform

Citizen of Tulsa: Fear for Your Kitchen Garden


Government thugs raided homes and destroyed property with impunity where? Sure, in the Soviet Union, but now also in Tulsa Oklahoma. Will citizens of the United States let such atrocious behavior go unchallenged?

As a child, I was taught to be terrified of Soviet society. Our grade school curriculum included reports of Soviet police raiding homes of citizens whose neighbors reported “suspicious activity.” The notion that powerful, unfeeling people could take your things from you—or even take you away from your things—gave me many nights of troubled sleep.

We knew such atrocities never happen in the United States. Except that in later school years we learned of American families who happened to look Japanese being herded into internment camps. Then we learned that the government of our country browbeat citizens into confessing communist tendencies or into identifying acquaintances with such tendencies.

But we’ve outgrown all that, right?

Government Hoodlums Run Amok in Tulsa

The government of Tulsa, Oklahoma operates exactly as the Soviet police that sounded so scary back in the 1960s. Two weeks ago, city workers ripped out the garden of a citizen. They did this in response to a neighbor’s complaint about the garden but without due process of law.

The garden’s owner, Denise Morrison, studied city code that explains what’s legal to grow in her yard. She learned that to be allowed, any plants over 12 inches tall had to produce food for human consumption. So, everything she planted that would grow more than twelve inches tall was to produce food.

As I understand the course of events, Ms Morrison received notice that her yard did not conform to Tulsa’s standard of esthetic perfection and she had to correct it. She explained to city officials how her plantings conformed to code and officials visited her home but told her that all the plants had to go. When she explained that she had planted according to the city’s own laws, the officials replied, “We don’t care.”

Morrison arranged a court date to dispute the conclusion of city officials. Before the court ruled on her case, city workers went to her house and hacked out her garden.

Be Afraid

Seriously. When a government singles out a citizen without due process and willfully destroys the citizen’s property, that government is the Soviet Russia that we were taught to fear back in the 1960s. Denise Morrison’s story is exactly the story we heard repeatedly during the cold war: An unknown accuser alerts authorities who arrive without warning and destroy your possessions as they search for “evidence” or simply remove you from your home.

This is YOUR government, Citizens of Tulsa. Every one of you should fear this government. Every one of you should be aghast that this happened in your city. Every one of you should refuse to leave unpunished the thugs who would destroy private property without due process. Every one of you should vote out an administration whose representatives “don’t care” about a citizen, a neighbor, a person. Every one of you should vow, “Never again,” and perhaps this time around, you can make it stick.

Help Tulsa Heal

I learned of the Tulsa Government Thugs from a blog post at Garden Rant. There, Amy Stewart supposes that Denise Morrison lives in District 1 of Tulsa and suggests you contact Tulsa’s city council through their website: District 1. Please contact them and express moral outrage. Amy also posted a link to a form you can use to contact the Mayor of Tulsa: Note to the Mayor

Here are other links you can follow to help:

Petition to restore Denise Morrison’s property: Petition

Facebook page to help rebuild Denise Morrison’s garden: Help rebuild

Finally, join the lawn reform movement: Write your own blog posts about the despicable behavior of Tulsa’s government. Tweet links to articles and videos about the situation. Post about it on Facebook and pin photos in Pinterest. Get the word out that the government of Tulsa made a huge mistake and that citizens of these United States will not tolerate such heavy handed abuses of power.

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