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Environment & Forest Defense

South Central Farm--Eviction in Progress! Support requested!
by myka
Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 8:39 AM
At 5:00 a.m. this morning, about 150 LAPD surrounded South Central Farm in Los Angeles and began the forcible eviction of the largest urban garden in the United States. A nonviolent direct action defense of the land (probably 10-40 people in lock-downs seen in forest defense) is in progress as I write you. However, the campesinos want and need help from everyone in the nation who support the Farm, its vision of the world, and the 350 families it feeds regularly.

At 5:00 a.m. this morning, about 150 LAPD surrounded South Central Farm in Los Angeles and began the forcible eviction of the largest urban garden in the United States. A nonviolent direct action defense of the land (probably 10-40 people in lock-downs seen in forest defense) is in progress as I write you. However, the campesinos want and need help from everyone in the nation who support the Farm, its vision of the world, and the 350 families it feeds regularly.

The Farm was served eviction papers three years ago... only grassroots organizing, public support, and media coverage since then have kept the plants growing. Now the pivotal moment has arrived and the campesinos and South Central families need emergency support actions.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO CALL L.A. MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA!
(213) 978 0600, or email mayor [at] lacity.org

People in Los Angeles can join a convergence of supporers outside the Farm's fense at 41st and Alameda, Los Angeles, Ca 90058. In meetings with Farm organizers about the plans for eviction, the police have threatened to arrest legal observers first and to prevent any community presence at the eviction. It seems that they have not done so yet, and supporters at the site can help preserve the safety of those involved in direct action defense inside the Farm as well as bolster media coverage.

The good news: no reports of police brutality as of yet... somewhat surprising when you consider the way the cops usually operate it in this area--with complete impunity, especially when their targets are young people of color as in this case.

See southcentralfarmers.com for more info, though their updates tend to be terse press releases and small blurbs.

You can also contact the "developer" Ralph Horowitz at his office (310)440-7878 although keep in the mind that the campesions elected to follow the most stringent code of nonviolence, excluding even impolite language.

In-depth coverage of the Farm, its history, and the story of its defense will appear as the center spread of the next issue of Faultlines.



§11:30 a.m. Update
by windy hart Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 11:39 AM
10 people dragged out of the Farm, two leaving in ambulances. Unknown number of direct action defenders remain locked to tree. Bulldozers tearing a path for cherry-pickers to reach tree-sitters. One tree being cut. Several hundred protesters surrounding the area, trying to get to the Farm. Earlier, organizers called for a traffic blockade on the streets around the Farm and now the area is gridlocked with honking cars.

I'm posting some photos so people can have both a sense of what we're losing today and a visual of how the eviction is going down. These were taken a little more than one week ago, and I have little hope of seeing these sights again. I wish I could also post the flavor of flor de calabasa quesadillas fresh off an outdoor grill, or the little girl playing and chattering in the dirt ("Mud is the best toy ever!"), or the sound of young Chicano punks discussing Huey P. Newton in mixed Spanish and English. I suppose it's not very "hardcore" to get emotional, and I already knew this day would come and that the odds were stacked smog filled sky-high against us but today I can't help but cry.

To the defenders of South Central Farm who might read this-- all love and respect.
§Central entrance of the Farm
by windy hart Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 11:47 AM

Throughout the eviction defense, at all hours of the day and night, supporters spontaneously gathered at the front gate to socialize while watching out for paddy wagons.
§Campesina at the front gate of the Farm
by windy hart Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 11:58 AM

For me, one of the most remarkable facets of the eviction defense was its multi-generational character. Rarely have I witnessed an entire community--from toddlers to elders-- turn out en masse, working and playing together as part of a political action. Add to the mix people of all ages from other parts of L.A., out-of-town supporters like myself, celebrities, liberal group members, and a constant stream of reporters and you'll begin to get an idea of the lively diversity of the Farm.
§Aqui estamos y no nos vamos!
by windy hart Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 12:20 PM

§Inside South Central Farm
by windy hart Tuesday Jun 13th, 2006 12:34 PM

Family plots like these provided food for 350 families for more than a decade.