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Revolutionist gardeners decided to make Athens greener

28 February 2009 / 13:02:08  GRReporter
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When it gets dark they put on their masks and start roaming the streets armed with green “bombs” from seeds and flowers. Every abandoned garden or a street pot is an aim – the goal is to add color into the grey cities.

These are the so-called “Guerilla Gardeners” or the Revolution gardeners – activists, who act in Athens and Thessaloniki and are trying to prove that each one of us can contribute to making our cities greener by planting a flower. “We are a group of activists who are tired of walking around a grey city filled with buildings. We from the “crazy” ones, who believe that the difference between the small and big gestures is minimal,” says for Ta Nea the 29 year old Giorgios Tzihridzis, who is the chairman and founder of the Greek branch of Revolution Gardeners. Their number until now is around 30, ages between 18 and 60.

“I used to be a student in Kingston. There, together with some colleagues we used to take care of abandoned gardens or parks by cleaning them and planting them. When I came back to Greece, I saw that such a group must be made here as well. And so, ten months ago we put the beginning of it.”

The “hits” of the revolutionists do not last for more than 5-10 minutes and until now the Athens group has gone out on the streets more than five times. Unfortunately they haven’t seen the stems grow. About a month ago they left “bombs” with seeds in street pots in the center of the city but few days later someone had gathered them.

Members of the Thessaloniki group say that they feel responsible for the condition of the cities and this is why they are determined each one of them to contribute to their own neighborhood. “Land is treasure for all of us,” is the slogan of the first green revolution, which “explodes” in New York in 1973 under the command of painter Liz Christy. One of the most typical gardeners’ campaigns is during May 2000 in London, when the group Reclaim the Streets and hundreds of Englishmen organized a mass planting of vegetables and flowers in the square in front of the parliament. Until now, the Revolution Gardeners have planted thousands of abandoned gardens and in Europe alone, there are more than 30 such organizations.

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