imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org 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
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Farmers' Promise

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

The South Central Farmers opened their new community center today, across the street from the bulldozed site of the South Central Farm

The Farmers' Promise...
fruits_and_veggies6.jpg0awmeo.jpg, image/jpeg, 336x375

It was bittersweet, turning right on 41st Place off Alameda.  The South Central Farmers were celebrating the opening of their community center.  There they were, the Farmers bringing fresh organic vegetables into South Central, where Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe's dare not tread.

The Farmers had lined the tables at the tianguis with chard, radishes, pomegranates, almonds, squash, and grapes.  Grapes not too sweet, grapes that tasted like a crisp, slightly fruity wine.  Four dollars could be swapped for two plastic bags of fresh produce, all from small farmers in the local food shed.

The center itself is four freshly painted rooms, lined with art and photos and reminders of the fight to save the Farm, waiting for more art, music, computers, and eventually a storefront.  It is here that the Farmers and their supporters will meet to assess the community's needs and how best to meet them, where they will continue their efforts to engage and educate the community.

And they will use the center, just yards from the now-bulldozed Farm, to pressure local officials to take "a principled stance," as Tezozomac, one of the Farm leaders, put it.  With pride, he added, "We delivered what we promised: we said we'd raise the money to save the Farm, and we did.  We promised to deliver healthy food to the community, and we are.  We'll be here every month."

The Los Angeles City Council approved the sale of the land--abandoned by the City and cultivated by local Mexican and Central American Farmers for years--to a local developer for $6M.  The developer, Ralph Horowitz, promptly raised the price to $16M.  In spite of an international outcry, hundreds attending nightly vigils, pleas from celebrities and ordinary residents, the Annenberg Foundation and other sources' offer to buy the Farm, and a standoff with sheriffs that ended in protestors being plucked from trees and jackhammered out of concrete-filled barrels, Horowitz ultimately refused to sell the land to the Farmers.

A band of musicians played, sang, and danced in the street, while children romped in one of those big, blow-up balloon houses.  Perhaps four hundred people were coming and going, streaming by with bags of groceries.  Friends from the Farm struggle smiled and hugged.  New Farm supporters were introduced to old.  One newcomer, Irene, had helped facilitate a small grant between the Farmer and the Community Research in Cancer Network, a project of UCLA Public Health Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network.  The money produced DVDs for South Central residents on healthy eating.  Irene had spent her day helping children make gift cards printed with fruits and vegetables.

She cited a Community Health Councils initiative to bring quality food to South Central.  Although the CHC was working to use existing local outlets--she mentioned Vallarta Market--she feared that the City would end up subsidizing large chains and, as always in Los Angeles, developers would suck up the subsidies.  A Farmer chimed in, "Vallarta has three types of potatoes, all tasteless sugar.  Here today we have twelve types of fresh, healthy potatoes."

Some of the original Farmers have relocated to a community garden at Avalon and Stanford, last month inaugurated by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the third time.  Both the L.A. Garden Council and Councilmember Jan Perry have opened the same garden in past months.  The Stanford Avalon gardeners, where sixty of the three hundred and fifty original South Central Farmers now labor, have chosen to use chemical fertilizers on their fields.  High tension electrical lines, suspected of causing cancer, leukemia, and brain cancer, cut a swath across the land, but the L.A. Garden Council notes that the electrical towers and their electromagnetic fields guarantee that "the land is not threatened by development over the long term."  Villaraigosa's "grand opening" ride on a tractor was heralded by mainstream media in an obvious ploy to distract his largely Chicano and Westside base from his disastrous handling of the South Central Farm.

Meanwhile, according to The Planning Report, Perry is enticing developers with "300 acres of industrial land in South Los Angeles," noting "there is no shortage of opportunity"--except for the South Central Farmers and healthy food.

One of the struggle's organizers stepped up.  Dele went to the political core: "Villaraigosa's boulevard to higher office is plowed straight through the South Central Farm."  His jaw was clenched, his eyes sparked.  "And Jan Perry won't do anything that doesn't satisfy the real estate interests."

Before the Farmers began reclaiming the fourteen acres at 41st in Alameda back in 1992, it had been an informal dump and drug hangout.  Today, in the custodianship of Horowitz, uncultivated nopales and corn stalks struggle against the intrusion of countless of styrofoam cups, yards of broken glass, car bumpers, abandoned sofas, and dozens of discarded tires.  It's easy to imagine dealers and customers once again scurrying in and out of the holes in the fence, crouching in the shadow of the bulldozer or sliding under the black walnuts that had nestled tree-sitters in their limbs just four months ago.

It's difficult not to despair.  The Annenberg Foundation has boxed up the trees for Mr. Horowitz who, by city statute, has to preserve or replace them.  The sister walnut trees are still in the ground, but a shallow circular trench marks where their roots will be cut.

Villaraigosa has offered to find the trees a temporary sanctuary in Griffith Park.  There's an odd irony there.  The city has just completed a $93M renovation to Griffith Observatory--nearly six times Horowitz's asking price for the Farm--and admission now requires reservations and three fees to get into the observatory there: for parking, for a shuttle, and for the observatory show.  Villaraigosa and the city council couldn't find a dime to save the Farm, and now, if the low-income Farmers want to visit their trees, it's unlikely they'll be taking their children to Griffith Park's chief attraction.

I asked a middle-aged Farm supporter why he had come out today.  He said, "Eighty percent of the youth volunteers have not given up on the land.  This is their Oaxaca.  And now they're fighting for Oaxaca and Atenco.  They're fighting police oppression.  And they're still fighting for the Farm.  I'm here for the kids--they keep me fighting.  We're getting hundreds of calls from young people across the county today.  They want to know what they can do."

On one side of the sidewalk was a neighborhood dump where a Farm has once flourished.  Trees are yanked from the earth, their roots imprisoned in wooden cages.  On the other, hundreds of Farmers, shoppers, supporters selling fresh produce where no Whole Foods will go, with Azteca dancers, bouncing children, and a bright art-laden community center.  It is an act of will, a leap of faith, a commitment to the power of the people to believe the Farmers can win.

Aqui estamos y no nos vamos.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


musicians warming up

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

 musicians warming u...
musicans4.jpgvuu2fk.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x269

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


art at the centro

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

art at the centro...
art3.jpg3qpkxl.jpg, image/jpeg, 365x336

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


fresh veggies

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

fresh veggies...
fruits_and_veggies8.jpgdlae3f.jpg, image/jpeg, 336x425

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


trashed

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

trashed...
trashed4.jpgw9kono.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x302

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


trees in boxes

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

trees in boxes...
imprisoned_trees2.jpgqj98sz.jpg, image/jpeg, 340x336

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


waiting

by Leslie Radford Monday, Dec. 04, 2006 at 10:27 PM
leslie@radiojustice.net

waiting...
bulldozer2.jpgp9o1j3.jpg, image/jpeg, 448x298

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
wondered a friend Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2006 at 10:28 AM

Local News

INDY's KPFK radio program being eliminated ? too ? J10 4:57PM

Bertolt Brecht Testifies Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947) 2 min J02 3:04PM

Pacifica-KPFK Archives, director resignation J18 4:50PM

SAVE KPFK & PACIFICA: VOTE IN THIS CRUCIAL ELECTION! J18 3:39PM

KPFK radio elections for LSB coming Quick ! J18 1:05PM

KPFK Local Station Board Elections In-Progress J13 11:31AM

Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Abdullah Sentenced Three Months in Jail on Attempted Lynching Charge J09 2:08AM

Why are the Park Rangers making it even more difficult for the homeless in Los Angeles? J04 3:11PM

Bernie Sanders in Lincoln Heights M23 8:23PM

Los Angeles Sit-In to Fight Voter Suppression M18 4:28AM

War Within California's 46th CD M13 11:42AM

NPR's David Greene & Alison Aubrey along with David Ludwig Shill For Factory Farm Eggs M13 7:55AM

2016 AT&T Shareholders engaged by Communications Workers of America D9 Activists M12 11:43PM

Communications Workers of America District 9 Action at AT&T Shareholders M12 9:38PM

Voter Registration at ELAC M10 3:31PM

LA Times Fails to Cover Protest Against Clinton M07 9:15PM

Violence Against Poor In Venice A29 12:59PM

California Safe Schools Honors 11 Year Old Daniel Randall A25 2:25PM

NPR's Marketplace: The Voice of Loanshark Capitalism A19 4:08PM

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Pandering to the Corporate Whores of the Storage Industry A09 5:03PM

Lartiste Maestro iTunes télécharger de la musique gratuit et Légalement 2016 A08 3:20PM

Spring 2016 National Immigrant Solidarity Network Monthly News Alert! A05 2:14PM

KPFK and Pacifica, more doings, reposted here A04 4:18PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Adresse à la censure/modération J24 10:48PM

Paraphysique de l'atimie J24 12:39AM

UN Summit Reaches Debt, Tax and Trade Agreements J22 1:32PM

Fbi thugs continue assaults on me and now on my wife J21 8:13AM

The Social State Benefits All of Us J21 4:16AM

Fantômas, la réaction se déchaîne J20 10:20PM

Fbi/ MAFIA seize America J20 5:59PM

Holy See Calls on UN Development Summit to Build an Inclusive Economy J20 10:38AM

Kurt Vonnegut's 7 Pieces of Advice J20 10:34AM

Negotiators Struggle for Agreement on Debt and Tax Issues at UN Development Summit J20 9:40AM

VOID NETWORK On the tragic and the farcical of the British referendum An analysis about B J19 4:24AM

Bernie Sanders Wins at the End J18 4:19AM

Angelenos plan LAX protest of Turkey’s Dirty War against Kurds J17 11:17PM

June 2016 Honduras coup update J15 5:28AM

Gabegie imbitable J14 10:25PM

The Shortwave Report 07/15/16 Listen Globally! J14 4:11PM

assaults by fbi cleverly perpetrated J14 10:38AM

repost by geral sosbee on fbi's murderous corruption J13 2:22PM

Geral Sosbee, former fbi agent illuminates fbi's murderous corruption J13 2:17PM

Murderous Police & Their fbi Mentors J12 4:22PM

fbi are human monsters J12 11:33AM

The Animal Rights Record Of Each Congressperson J12 8:27AM

Fbi is MAFIA-USA J11 8:53PM

The Totalitarianism of the Market J11 7:53AM

Propaganda: Making Alternatives Disappear J05 7:03AM

Le loup est à l'agneau ce que le militant est au révolutionnaire J03 12:54AM

#EmailGate Obama Lynch Clintons Assange Guccifer 2 The Inside Story J02 3:52AM

Elephants giving rides at this year’s Colorado Renaissance Festival were abused, says Anim J01 1:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 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