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


by PATRISIA GONZALES (reposted) Friday, Jul. 07, 2006 at 7:43 PM

To say that we are gente de maiz – people of maize -- is to say that we are one: the people, the land and the maize (chile, frijol & nopal, too) are all one.



JULY 3, 2006



South Central Los Angeles - The plants cry out. Hay tristeza en las milpas y el campo. The people or gente are unable to retrieve their seeds from all over Mesoamerica brought to L.A. by the diaspora of indigenous peoples forced to migrate.

This includes Sara Haskie Mendoza's wedding corn -- heirloom Navajo corn -- struck down in a violent assault against a community's medicine. As a Diné elder once instructed us, taking care of the land is traditional medicine.

Denise Andrade finds it hard to tell the story. Not because she can't. Quite the contrary. She finds it hard to look at the plants, the crops and the yerbas. Many are strewn about from the tormenta that has cut through the 14-acre urban farm here with the forced and violent eviction of 350 farmers from their plots.

Here, Denise does not [initially] speak of the police violence against those that resisted. Instead she states: "The earth was raped."

Her words are not hyperbole. Amid the largest urban community farm in the nation, the crops are yanked out. Others are stepped upon, thrashed, crushed and lifeless. If you pause, you can still hear the screams. Yet, not all the plants are down. They continue to plea. They stand here as witnesses.

She asks Alberto Tlatoa to come along… to tell the story… and in short order, this 19-year-old speaks of dignity and sets the record straight: "We are farmers, not gardeners. We are campesinos."

The media, he notes, has attempted to portray them as recreational gardeners. The truth is, they are proud farmers, continuing to live a life many have known for thousands of years. And they depend on their crops just as their ancestors have depended upon them since time


The perpetrators of the June 13 evictions were the usual suspects and the weapons were the same ones used whether it is in Atenco, Mexico, Oaxaca, Chiapas or San Salvador: bulldozers, riot sticks, developers and politicians. The violence Tlatoa and Andrade speak of is not simply physical. It is a spiritual violence.

It is undeniably a violence against the people – most of whom are of Mexican/Central American origin. Yet it is also a civilizational violence against the maize, the nopal and the chile… against hundreds of yerbas and crops that are nowadays still found only in Mesoamerica.

In a sense, the way of life they speak of seems far removed from the villages, pueblos and cities that many of these farmers come from… yet, that way of life is here… perhaps as an urban oasis in both time and place… in the middle of what was at one point the most violent urban center in the United States. It was reclaimed after the L.A. uprising of 1992.

It never should have gotten this far. The people who work the land should be its caretakers. If they mistreat the land they forfeit the right to work it. Such is not the case here. They converted a wasteland into the city's lungs. Despite this, a hard-nosed developer – with shifting demands and with disputable claims to the land – has put his own interest above the interests of an entire community.

The Western mind is seemingly incapable of understanding the significance and the relationship between the land and the people. To say that we are gente de maiz – people of maize -- is to say that we are one: the people, the land and the maize (chile, frijol & nopal, too) are all one.

How many times has this scene been repeated throughout the Americas?

How many times has it led to insurrection?

In that sense, the spirit of the community has not been crushed.

Despite the bulldozing and the arrests, the farmers and the defenders of the farm have not given up. They both have a date in court next week and also, are calling upon people across the nation to lend their support this weekend.

The elders say we should never offend the corn spirit, the spirits in the milpa, the water, a canyon or an ant hill. When we go against natural laws, we cannot escape retribution.

The natural order will assert itself.

(c) 2006 Column of the Americas

* For details of the conflict, go to their website at: or e-mail them at: or call 909-605-3136. They ask you to

contact L.A. City Council Woman Jan Perry to help negotiate the sale

of the land to the farmers. Contact her at: , or or


* Gonzales/Rodriguez can be contacted at: or

608-238-3161. Our bilingual columns are posted at:


Southcentralfarmers mailing list

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.
los antepasados juan Saturday, Jul. 08, 2006 at 1:06 AM

Local News


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

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

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

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

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