by Christina Aanestad
Thursday, May. 25, 2006 at 10:08 AM
Farmers and community activists have established an encampment on the South Central Farm to resist eviction from it’s owner Ralph Horowitz. The South Central farmers were unable to raise 16.35 million to save the farm and face eviction this week. Joan Baez, Darryl Hannah and Julie butterfly hill joined in calling for the mayor’s last minute efforts to save the farm. Christina Aanestad reports.
Unable to raise the 10 million more dollars needed to buy the South Central Farm, farmers and community activists are camping out and refusing to leave. Tezozomoc is the elected leader of the South Central farmers.
“Mayor villaraigosa said that he had given up in raisign the remainig 10 million dollars that was necessary to purchase this land. That same day the city council and the mayor of course, were able to find 800 million dollars to renovate a stadium, but they can’t find 10 million dollars. And what we’re saying to the mayor is that he can’t give up that easy. This is the beginning of something larger. We’re calling out to all our supporters. We’re gonna camp here and we’re gonna try to take a principle stand for a liveable city."
In the middle of an industrial area, the 14 acre urban farm feeds over 350 families. But owner Ralph Horowitz plans to demolish the farm and build warehouses; some community activists say the farm will become a Walmart. Alyssa Albina has been growing food at the south central farm since it began over 13 years ago.
“We don’t want warehouses. We want to be able to plant cabbage, nopales, all kinds of vegetables. We have to struggle here as much as we can, to see if they let us stay, because there are a lot of people that have been here struggling, just so that we can save this little space.”
Community members and activists are calling on the developer to sell the land for the price he bought it for at 5 million dollars from the city, instead of the 16.5 million he is asking. Among those calling on the city to save the South Central Farm were folk singer and activist Joan Baez, actress Daryl Hannah and activist Julia Butterfly Hill. Darryl Hannah and Julia Butterfly Hill.
I’d like to put a call out to that developer to swallow his greed and a call out to the mayor to fulfill his promise to come out and hellp save this farm.” “We are here to say that this community farm represents a community that’s growing. Everyday I’m on the phone calling new people and new people are coming. So I hope those who want this place destroyed are listening, this isn’t getting smaller, it’s getting bigger….”
Farmers and community members refuse to leave the south central farm without a struggle. Reporting from the south central farm, I’m Christina aanestad.