Earlier this year, the state of Texas brought several SWAT teams to the quiet and peaceful Garden of Eden Community and threatened to shut it down. In what appears to be an intimidation tactic, only a single arrest was made based on unrelated outstanding traffic violations, and a handful of citations were given for city code violations. Absolutely no drug related violations were found and all inhabitants of the community were unarmed.
Each of the community members present in the house were initially handcuffed at gunpoint by heavily armed SWAT officers. This included the mother of a 22-month-old and a 2-week-old baby. As part of the raid, the officers destroyed many of the crops, including wild and cultivated plants such as blackberries, lamb’s quarters, and okra. Officers also proceeded to remove a variety of materials the community had planned to use in sustainability projects, like pallets, tires, cardboard, and more.
The Garden of Eden Community is a sustainable community geared toward living a ‘high vibrational’ lifestyle outside of the confines of societal norms. They believe in coming together to produce the basic necessities of life and they support each other through each step. They grow their own food and live peacefully, and since 2009 have been providing food, shelter, and sustainability education classes and workshops to the public for free.
According to the community, “The Garden of Eden is a New Paradigm EcoVillage located in Arlington, Texas. Here, we live freely, abundantly, and easily. Our purpose is to share with the world the living reality of A Sustainable Community so that others may open to embrace LIVING LIFE FULLY, in THRIVAL.”
Land owner Shellie Smith is looking for a peaceful and honourable resolution to the matter. She states:
The City codes are in violation of our natural and Constitutional rights to live freely while causing damage to no one, and since there is no damaged party, there has been no crime committed on our part. Rather, the City of Arlington has trespassed and committed robbery against us, amongst other crimes, and will be held accountable in a court of law in due time. We have been targeted by the system because we are showing people how to live without it. We are growing more than just tomatoes here, we are growing the consciousness that will allow people to live freely and sustainably, and the system doesn’t want that to be known.
In the video, Luke Rudkowski travels to Dallas, Texas, to visit Quinn Eaker of the Garden of Eden community. Quinn shares the overall mission of the community and also speaks about the pressure the state of Texas has brought upon them through intimidation, fines, and threats — all this after they began making their existence more public and teaching others how to live as they do.
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