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REPORT BACK FROM THE FARM:

by A Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2006 at 8:47 AM

REPORT BACK FROM THE FARM:

LOS ANGELES - March 12, 2006

On the surface this Sunday’s farmers market at the South Central Farm seemed much like any one of the farmers markets that have taken place on the farm for the last 13 years. But on this Sunday some 50 people crowded into a small covered area on one of the farmers plots to insure that that this Sunday’s market is not the last. Those gathered comprise a loose coalition of groups and individuals that have joined together to save the farm.

A written agreement for a hold on evictions is said to have been signed between the city and the developer. Although this is cause for hope the farmers still remain on alert. Police helicopters have been seen hovering over the farm and dropping ropes, in what is believed to be tests for police to repel down into the farm and remove people by force. It is activity like this that keeps the farmers and their supporters skeptical of promises from City Hall.

There is still a chance that forced evictions could occur on Monday or Tuesday. And until there is an official announcement that the sheriffs have been ordered to stand down the farmers will stay on guard 24 hours a day. A court will hear appeals next week challenging the evictions, but a court decision is not expected until next Friday at the earliest.

Next Friday the farmers plan to again address the city council and ask that the city nullify the sale of land to the developer due to the questionable circumstances of how he acquired the land. It is public record that the developer, Ralph Horowitz, contributed heavily to the city attorney’s election campaign and this is causing many to ask why the city attorney’s office has not looked into questions surrounding Horowitz’s acquisition of the land.

There are no protests planned for next week, as the farmers want to give the mayor’s office and those lobbying on behalf of the farm room negotiate. There is a general feeling that the farm may be safe for the next week, but there are too many contradictory signals to say for sure. The situation still remains very uncertain. In spite of the uncertainty, the farmers and their families with the help of their supporters remain resolute in their commitment to resist eviction and defend their farm.

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UPDATE - Stay of evictions to continue while courts hears appeals. A Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2006 at 6:53 PM

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