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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Environment & Forest Defense
Police Forcibly Shut Down South Central L.A. Urban Farm, 40+ Protesters Arrested
Hundreds of police officers in riot gear shut down a fourteen-acre urban farm in South Central Los Angeles on Tuesday. More than 40 protesters, including actor Darryl Hannah were arrested as they staged an encampment to resist removal from what is considered the largest urban farm in the United States.
Hundreds of police officers in riot gear shut down a fourteen-acre urban farm in South Central Los Angeles on Tuesday. More than 40 protesters were arrested as they staged an encampment to resist removal from what is considered the largest urban farm in the United States.
It took authorities nearly eight hours to forcibly clear the farm. Police bulldozed vegetable gardens and used bolt cutters to remove the protesters who had chained themselves to trees and picnic tables on the property.
Since an eviction order last month, occupants have staged an encampment to resist removal from the land. Some three hundred and fifty families in South Central LA have used the fourteen-acre farm to grow a multitude of crops for over the past ten years. It was leased to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank following the 1992 Rodney King riots. In 2003, the land was sold back to a real estate developer who now wants to turn it into commercial property. The owner - Ralph Horowitz - recently turned down a sixteen million dollar offer for the site.
The encampment has attracted celebrity supporters including singers Joan Baez, Ben Harper and Willie Nelson and actors Danny Glover, Alicia Silverstone and Martin Sheen. Actor Darryl Hannah was among those protesting the eviction. She camped out in a tree on the farm. We reached her by phone yesterday as police were raiding the site.
* Darryl Hannah, speaking from a tree at the South Central farm, June 13, 2006.
Hannah was later arrested along with dozens of other protesters. For more we go to Los Angeles to speak with the elected representative of the South Central Farmers.
* Tezozomoc, elected representative of the South Central Farmers.