It’s not often that I come across a student protest action that’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard of before, but this is one of those days.

Last Wednesday student activists and others at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, a Canadian university some seventy miles northwest of Seattle, held a teach-out on “food democracy” and sustainability issues. There was music, a slate of speakers, pamphlets to read, and tea. At the end of the event the group planted a garden.

On the lawn.

In front of the library.

They ripped up the sod, built some raised beds, and planted a variety of vegetables and other native plants. They planted, they mulched, they designed rock borders. They put up fences to keep rabbits out.

On the lawn of the quad, in front of the library.

Oh, and they have a great name, too: Resistance Is Fertile.

As the group’s blog describes it, “The event showed that gardening and food security could be possible, inspiring, and fun at UVic.  No leaders, political doctrines, or organizing structures: each person digging and gardening for their own reasons.”

Police showed up, of course, and made warnings but no arrests — participants formed a human chain to protect the gardeners. (There were, organizers say, five hundred people there, including a group of elementary school kids.)

It wasn’t until late that night, around midnight, that they returned … with bulldozers. One student was arrested for “assault by trespass” for standing in front of a ‘dozer, but before long the new gardens had been plowed into mud. When students marched on the administration building in protest the next morning, they found it locked. Later, they say, one male senior administrator violently shoved a female student who was trying to get inside.

The group has, in addition to their blog, posted a YouTube video and an online ‘zine.

They promise to return to the quad this Wednesday at noon to rebuild the garden.

Thanks to the New School Reoccupied blog for the heads-up on this action.