Today i visited the South Central Farm for my 2nd time, this time in daylight and with my 2 kids. My son ran through the mazes of gardens, and we stopped and talked with several amazing campesina/os who showed us their lots, talked to us about the many uses of various flowers they use for soup, or fruit they use as potato / yam, etc.
My 5 year old had plenty of company with little kids running around, playing in the garden lots and in between, etc.
And, the central aisle of the garden is where a somewhat of a 'tiangis' takes place, well--where you can buy fresh fruitas / legumbres, or where you can also choose from a variety of choices between agquas frescas, plantanos fritas, tacos, rolled ride in front of you huaraches, pupusas--and more.
I saw kids in the middle of South Central LA--a territory overwhelmed with poverty, violence, wharehouses and pavement, etc.---who had a safe place to be where they can learn the practices and traditions that have been passed down for generations; how to tend to land, make use of the earth's resources, while also finding refuge in vine covered walkways and green covered earth.
I also got to listen to a group of campesina/os talk about their struggle, about how the time is now, that this issue in this time is "bioling", how important it is to have a space for "green oasis" amongst "deserts of cements". And, a mujer / campesina spoke of how important it is to respect our land, our earth, and how much of a difference in made in each of us being there--in our support, and in how much of a difference to its to everyone's moral, and to their spirits.
They also spoke of the various ways to join the struggle--writing to Villarigosa, go stand w/ the campesina/os on Wed.'s and Fri.'s as they demonstrate in front of LA City Hall, etc.
Now, here we live in a society filled w/ White dominated voices who seem to constantly be complaining about all these supposed inhamities against the Mexican, Indigenous, and various groups of people of color. Yet--we see a picture of people---OVER 350 FAMILIES,
DOING FOR THEMSELVES on land that was rightfully given to them following the LA Riots of '92.
And--this, the bureacrats and lawmakers find to be--what? a disgrace? The citycouncil member whose district this resides in who advocates clearly against the removal of the garden, HAS YET TO EVEN STEP FOOT on the farm, WHILE, as the beautiful companera today spoke of--people all the way from GERMANY have made it a point to visit this farm, and speak to them perfect spanish while their own local politicians cannot speak of that which they have do not even know.
350 famlies--self-sustaining, feeding, growing, living, and propspering as a result of a handful of acres of land that was previously filled w/ trash and essentially used as an informal dump.
350 families, and more I"m sure accumuulatively thru the years, have TRANSFORMED this land to PRODUCTIVE, SELF-SUSTAINING, CLEAN-AIR PRODUCING,,,,"tierra".
And I , though I do not live in south central L.A., nor do I personally rely on this farm to feed my famly as so many actually do,,,I am utterly grabbed by this struggle with certainty and clarity of how much bigger this struggle is,
brown skinned, indigenous rooted people, tending to land, reviving if not living in culture and tradition, teaching their young to do the same, reclaming land from the dead and now living sustainabily off of the land,
are now fighting for more than this piece of land, but in fact, also as a companera said this morning,
for thier right TO BE, and/or to be RECOGNIZED as equal [at the least "equal"] human beings and people.
This is a struggle for a people much bigger than these 350 families [I am making a personal extrapolation and not spkng on behalf of anyone else]
This is about 500 years of RESISTANCE for LAND, DIGNITY, y libertal to simply "be", to live as self determined.
Today, myself and several others signed up to be put on the "phone tree" for hte anticipated attempts by the LA Sherriffs to forcibly remove the farmers, at which point ALL WHO CARE ABOUT THIS FARM, THESE FAMILIES AND THIER LAND,
will be called upon to JOIN with this farmers and stand as either civil disoberyers or observers of the acts.
I plan to be there, and so do my kids, and I couldn't think of a more honorable day to be able to be apart of than the day when what will easily be THOUSANDS will take that ultimate STAND to say--ENOUGH, this land is ours, AQUI ESTAMOS, Y NO NOS VAMOS!!!
[ WE ARE HERE, AND WE ARE NOT GOING!]