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Free Burnham!

I am all for making declarations of love as statements of protest.

Poster by Karlo Marko Altomonte

This coming Saturday morning, July 6, 2013, declare your love for Burnham Park and for parks in general from 8:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on the Melvin Jones football field. Bring your footballs, volleyballs, bicycles, bows and arrows, badminton rackets and shuttle cocks, trick decks and longboards, frisbees, mats and picnic baskets. You can even bring your dogs! (Let's set an example and clean up after our own pets if necessary.) We envision a lie-in on the football field or a human fence around its perimeter or one big picnic of families saying, "WE NEED SPACE TO PLAY!" and showing the mayor and the incoming councilors what a park is all about. While we're there, let's clean up the park too so bring garbage bags, gloves (there's lots of broken glass), and fashion your own poker/garbage-skewer (for lack of a better word).

The mayor has been hemming and hawing over the plans to "develop" Burnham Park. Meantime, the fencing of the park continues, and if the mayor is to be believed, the plans to gate the park and cement portions of the football field either remain up in the air or will not push through. But why should we wait for a final decision or a shock to our systems before we speak out? Besides, experience shows us that if we say nothing -- or sometimes, even when we do protest -- our feelings get buried alive under poured cement. (See Rose Garden and Botanical Garden.)

Regardless of what the mayor says and the possible gaps between what he says, what he thinks and what he does, let's deliver a clear message to him and the incoming councilors: We need space to play! Keep Burnham Park open for people!

Also, please sign this petition to keep Burnham Park green, open and beyond the commerce of man.


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