I ENJOYED my brief moment with eco-terrorism and anarchy on Tuesday night.

The Featherston Guerrilla Gardeners, who conducted an after-dark raid on the wasteland that is the vacant space beside Featherston's skate park, were promoting the messages of World Seed Day by planting flowers, vines and a reasonably sizeable windsock.

The message of the four planters, code-named Pansy, Poison Ivy, Petunia and Jasmine, was that seeds needed to be protected from genetic modification. It was a pretty good effort, and the result is actually quite attractive. It is not easy to plant in hard-packed ground composed mainly of rubble, and it was just as well they had a pick axe.

There is debate in the office over whether the "windsock" is simply a decoration or a gigantic condom highlighting the obscure message "save our seed". I'll leave that for the readers to decide. We also have an image of what appear to be two planters dancing naked in front of the windsock/condom. Too strong for the newsprint, but we have loaded it to Facebook.


What I like about this is that, while the planters have technically raided a piece of private property, it's a victimless crime. I have seen anarchy demonstrations and animal rights protests in London, where the side-purpose of the demo is to smash as many frontages of investment banks and McDonald's restaurants as possible.

Closer to home, we've seen protests against whaling vessels and oil drilling.

Some protesters believe that a protest is only effective through numbers and nuisance, and I tend to agree. In the heyday of protesting in the '80s against the Springbok tours and nuclear ships, it was the numbers, the nuisance, and the bravery of protesters that carried the day and brought about change.

History has frequently proven the "rightness" in protest and symbolic messages, even to the point of illegality. There have also been many protests that struggle to be compatible with a modern society, such as anti-abortion. But I would always defend a person's right to protest, even if it is about planting flowers and a large condom. The message is out there, people talk about it, and that's the way it should be.