imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Response to the L.A. Times' Steve Lopez's trashing of Farm supporters.

by Cliff Olin Friday, Jun. 16, 2006 at 3:04 PM 6265526956 103 E. Mission Rd., Alhambra, CA 91801

In this piece I address the many errors and generally shoddy reporting in Steve Lopez L.A. Times column about the "eviction" on June 14, 2006

Here is a letter I banged out to Steve Lopez after reading his simplistic, error-ridden column in today's (June 14) L.A. Times (,1,3828672.column) about the eviction yesterday at the South Central Farm:

Mr. Lopez:

I liked your series on skid row and many of your other columns, but today's cheap-shot attack on the South Central Farmers and on the activists that are trying to save it was beneath you. You suddenly metamorphosed into an a.m. radio right wing wacko with as much respect for accuracy as those ideologues.

You quote Mark Williams, who gave you no facts, only his strange hostility toward a group of dirt-poor farmers engaging in what in effect is subsistence farming on land the city had no moral or probably "legal" right to sell back to Horowitz, especially for the same price he was paid 11 years earlier, despite the veneer of "legality" attached to the re-sale of the property. The property appreciated a lot, yet Horowitz was allowed to buy it back for the same price he was paid in the late 80's?

You didn't look into the veracity of any of Williams' claims like "...the real farmers long ago moved to other spots..." "Real" farmers? You left that unchallenged? How lazy can you be? I have been to the farm about a dozen times and seen and talked to the mostly Mexican immigrants that work the small parcels and make them very fertile. They are very "real" farmers. Almost every plot of land on the farm was filled with exuberant growth of vegetables and fruits. Yet, you did not bother to speak to even one of the farmers. I talked to half a dozen who were out there yesterday afternoon and evening. Why did you ignore them and instead quote Mr. Williams, who is a close ally of Councilwoman Jan Perry who has also been bizarrely hostile toward this huge, gorgeous green space in her otherwise depressing, overcrowded council district?

Mr. Williams has no firsthand knowledge of the farm. Why did you consider him even worthy of being given extensive space in your column, unless of course the purpose of the column was to trash the farm and spin the story toward "west-side leftist dilettantes taking up the cause of the month" and hijacking the cause? Is it Daryl Hannah's fault that journalists like you did not bother to interview any of the farmers and instead resorted to inane comments about her like "Mother Teresa among the poor...laying down her head in a cabbage patch..." Admit it Steve: you bungled this one.

Have you become such a cynic that you can't conceive that anybody would sincerely want to help the 350 farmers keep turning that South-central desert into the green Garden of Eden that feeds all those families? You don't even know Daryl Hannah, and yet you make sarcastic allusions to her movie roles--"the mermaid"--and impugn her motives, with no evidence other than your own cynicism: you would not give up the comforts of your home and live with the farmers and their supporters, and sleep on a ledge in a tree for three weeks to draw attention to an injustice about to happen, so you don't think anybody else would unless they were trying to get free publicity. "El ladrón piensa que todos son de su condición." I assume that your Spanish is good enough to understand that saying.

Steve: Why don't you write another column or two in which you try to get to the bottom of why Councilwoman Perry, Horowitz, and the "South-central Concerned Citizens" were so unremittingly hostile towards the poor immigrant farmers growing food at the South Central Farm? Why did your "source" Mr. Williams spread ridiculous lies about the South Central Farmers being charged rent and being coerced into compliance by a kind of mafia supposedly running the farm, or about the so-called exodus of "real" farmers from the site?

You also quote Williams: "...they are behaving like landed gentry." How? What does he mean? "Landed gentry" do not take up the cause of subsistence farmers in South Central L.A.. Are you satisfied now to just print irrational, illogical name-calling and not challenge the person you are quoting or at least look into whether there is any truth in what the person says?

Does Horowitz have a deal with Perry to develop another property in her district? What else would explain his refusal to accept the 16 million dollars from the farmers land trust? Why not look into backroom deals involving Horowitz, Jan Perry, and the "South Central Concerned Citizens". What is going on there? How is it possible that a group that for environmental reasons opposed building the waste incinerator on the farm site now is so virulently opposed to the verdant garden on the site, with all the healthful effects it has on an area heavily polluted by car and truck traffic? There is something more here than meets the eye in Horowitz's sudden refusal to sell the farm.

By the way, the South-Central Farm is much more than "a disputed patch of salad greens". It contains many herbs and plants not grown elsewhere, like epazote. If you had visited the farm and talked to the farmers even once before yesterday, you would have noticed that most of the plants are not "salad greens" but nutritious and indigenous pre-hispanic plants like chuya(used to treat diabetes), nopales, chayote, quelites, sugar cane, different varieties of corn, etc. etc., and really do (did) feed hundreds of people who can't afford to buy their fruits and vegetables from stores.

Here are a few more of the mistakes in your column: "The money spent on legal fees alone could probably feed the farm's 350 gardeners for years to come..." Wrong. The farm's legal-work was pro-bono.

"This isn't really about gardening at this point. Everyone's got an agenda." Clearly you never attended any of the many vigils, meetings, and candlelight processions: The mantra among the diverse group of supporters was and is always: Save this farm. Save this source of food for 350 families. Support the South Central Farmers.

Any other political leanings were shunted aside despite the diversity of organizations supporting the Farm. Anarchists, socialists, environmentalists, immigrant rights activists, etc. stuck to the message. A few shouts at police do not indicate a separate "agenda" on this issue I attended six or seven evening meetings among farmers and supporters and never heard the factional quarreling that so often destroys progressive coalitions.

"I've got to wonder why she...and other Hollywood supporters couldn't help raise the dough to back up their principals?" Before you speculated, why didn't you ask at least one of them? They did help raise the money! Why do you think that nearly 10 million dollars was raised even before the Annenberg Foundation promised the money? Was it all 25 dollar donations like mine?

Remember: Horowitz asked for 16 million, and the courts granted the farmers about 60 additional days to raise the money. They did, and yet Horowitz then reneged on his asking price and refused to sell the land, though he would have made over 10 million dollars profit on the sale. Do you really think the only reason was that Horowitz did not like the farm's supporters, or supposedly read an anti-semitic comment on an obscure web-page?

"The farm story has been beaten to death for years..but Hannah only heard about it a week ago." "Beaten to death" is wrong. Mainstream media hardly covered the issue until the eviction. Very few people outside of progressive circles had ever heard of the South Central Farm until yesterday.

Then your Limbaughesque closer: "And if they believe poor folk ought to do their farming on private property...I'm wondering when they'll ask their Hollywood pals to open the security gates. ..thousand of acres of fertile soil out there..." Even you admitted earlier in your article that "it's a little more complicated than that.." It is a lot more complicated. Yet you resort to this silly over-simplification as though it illustrated hypocrisy among the "Hollywood supporters". There is no symmetry there, no valid comparison: The land was unoccupied, two large vacant lots. The city used eminent domain, buying the vacant lots in an industrial zone--hardly Horowitz's backyard-- bordering a poor neighborhood, then ten years later sold it back to Horowitz at bargain-basement prices although 350 farmers had been using the land effectively and magnificently for all that time.

I don't get why you wrote the hatchet job on the South Central Farm. Was it your idea to irritate progressives for once, because so many conservatives tend to criticize your columns? When did you become such a bitter cynic? Just a few months ago you wrote a fine series about the atrocious conditions faced by thousands of homeless people on skid-row.


Cliff Olin

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
gracias! natasha Monday, Jun. 19, 2006 at 7:34 PM
Mark Williams works for Jan Perry LA Times is a rag Monday, Jun. 19, 2006 at 7:53 PM
Excellent Journalism! Reader Monday, Jun. 19, 2006 at 9:02 PM

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy