Julia Butterfly Is At It Again: South Central LA Tree Sit

From: Circle of Life
info@circleoflife.org
Subject: Help NOW! Julia in Tree in S. Central LA
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 19:27:02 -0400 (EDT)

Julia Butterfly Is At It Again...South Central LA Tree Sit

Julia Butterfly Hill, Joan Baez, Darryl Hannah and John Quigley on the Scene in South Central LA

As many of you have already heard…she’s at it again! Julia is sitting in a tree along with fellow treesitter, John Quigley and folk singer and activist superstar Joan Baez.

Read on for more info here or at www.circleoflife.org, but NOW what you can do is:

1. Go to the FARM NOW for tonight's vigil. For address and info see: //www.southcentralfarmers.com .

We have heard that tomorrow morning the LA Sheriff's Department will enter the farm and need community support tonight. Please forward this info to anyone you know in Los Angeles.

2. Call Mayor Villaraigosa and tell him that you want the City of Los Angeles to buy the farm back from the developer and give it in perpetuity to the South Central Farmers. (213) 978-0600

3. Make a donation to the South Central Farmers
//www.southcentralfarmers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=114&Itemid=32
to help buy back the farm.

Julia is asking for every person to give at least $1 towards this historic farm. Together we can make the difference. Donate NOW at //www.southcentralfarmers.com

Here's the story:

Just about one week ago, Julia walked into the Circle of Life office and told us that while she hoped it did not come down to the need for her to do direct action to save the South Central Farm in Los Angeles—she would be up in a tree soon if there was a need. On Tuesday, May 23 Julia stationed herself in the “community watchtower”- a 3 story high walnut tree on the 14 acre South Central Farm. She joins in solidarity with 350 poor working class families who use the farm to grow organic food for themselves and their community.

Fourteen years ago, this spot was a wasteland- and in the wake of the 1992 LA uprising then-Mayor Bradley and Doris Block of the L.A. Regional Food Bank made a handshake deal to allow it to be used for a community farm. Today, after thousands and thousands of hours of sweat and labor, the South Central Farm is the largest urban farm in the nation. The 350 families who use the farming plots are low‑income and depend heavily upon the food they grow to feed themselves. In addition to growing food for themselves, the people involved with the community garden hold Farmers' Markets, festivals and other cultural events for the public at large.

In a backroom deal in 1996, the 14 acre farm was offered to a developer at a discount, but the deal was never approved by the City Council. In
2002, the developers sued the City and a settlement was reached giving the farm to the developers for a significantly below-market price. To repurchase the farm, the developer is insisting on over $16 million (they paid just over $5 million for it four years ago) and $6 million has already been raised by the South Central Farmers. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has the ability to pay the rest of selling price from the City budget, or further challenge the original sale. However, he has done neither.

“This is the Promised Land”, community leader Dele Ailemen emphatically stated on the encampment’s first day. “It was land that was promised to this community by the Mayor of Los Angeles after the 1992 uprising.” “It will not be taken away by broken political promises.”


From EF! Media Center

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JOAN BAEZ, 'BUTTERFLY' HILL OCCUPY TREE TO HELP SAVE FARM
Associated Press
May 24, 2006

//www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-24-baez-tree_x.htm?csp=34

LOS ANGELES - Joan Baez and tree-sitter Julia "Butterfly" Hill have taken up residence in a tree to raise awareness about a 14-acre urban farm threatened with demolition.

Hill, who lived in a redwood in Northern California for more than two years to prevent loggers from cutting it down, said Tuesday that she and Baez will be among those who will occupy the tree in shifts.

The 65-year-old folk singer's hits include The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Please Come to Boston.

Two door-sized platforms have been placed in the tree for the sitters, and a support group has set up an encampment on the ground.

Hundreds of farmers could face evictions after The Trust for Public Land came up $10 million short in its bid to buy the site. The non-profit group was not able to raise the $16.35 million required by the time the purchase option expired Monday.

The trust signed a contract in April with landowner Ralph Horowitz to buy 10 of the 14 acres in south Los Angeles where about 350 families, most of them working-class immigrants from Central America, tend small plots of fruits and vegetables.

Hill said she was protesting now because Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has pledged support for the farmers but has not come through yet.

Villaraigosa's spokesman did not immediately return a message left after business hours Tuesday.

Deputy Mayor Larry Frank has said the city was trying to help the farmers move to other sites, including an 8-acre plot that can accommodate 200 of them.

CURRENT NEWS ABOUT JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL & L.A. FARM:
//www.circleoflifefoundation.org/blog/inthenews_archives/000076.htm


Informant: NHNE

--------

The farmers' own website (including photos): //www.southcentralfarmers.com

Contact info for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: mayor@lacity.org or call (213)978-0600

Mayor Villaraigosa pledged to support the farmers, but has not really lived up to his commitment. Please contact his office and ask him to take a strong stand in this urgently important struggle.

I agree emphatically with the statement (below) by Green Party cong. candidate Byron DeLear: the mayor needs to use the power of eminent domain to save the farm. It seems to me that this is exactly what it was intended for!

Craig Gingold
(near) Midpines CA

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [GPCA-MediaComm]
FINAL ADVISORY: Green Party joins Joan Baez, Daryl Hannah, others at LA's urban farm encampment
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 14:25:02 -0700
From: civillib

News Advisory THE GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA www.cagreens.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, May 26, 2006

Contact: Sara Amir, spokesperson 310.270-7106 saraamir@earthlink.net Pat Driscoll, spokesperson 916.320-6430 patp@sonicfrog.com Susan King, spokesperson 415.823-5524 funking@mindspring.com Cres Vellucci, GPCA press secretary 916.996-9170

California Greens join celebrities, tree-sitters in solidarity with South Central LA farmers trying to save nation's largest urban farm

LOS ANGELES (May 26, 2006) - Scores of Greens - including a Green Party candidate for Congress and a former Santa Monica mayor - have joined thousands of people who have built an encampment and formed a growing resistance movement here to save the largest urban farm in the U.S.

Among threats of eviction and arrests, people - including environmentalist Julia "Butterfly" Hill - are "tree-sitting" and have put up a "tent city" for supporters. Hundreds of people - including celebrities Joan Baez, actresses Daryl Hannah and Laura Dern, and slide guitar ace Ben Harper - have gathered at the farm to demand environmental justice for the farmers.

A land developer is planning to evict 360 Latino and indigenous families from the 14-acre plot at Alameda and 41st streets in South Central Los Angeles, which has allowed them to supplement their incomes with healthy crops of fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants

"We are putting out a call to Green Party members and others across the state and nation, to come to Los Angeles and stand in solidarity with the farmers against a developer and city government who refuse to save this community farm. If they evict and jail them, they'll have to evict and jail us too," said Michael Feinstein, former Santa Monica mayor.

"The Green Party demands that developers not be allowed to dictate to the government of the people and for the people. This is not the government of and for the dollar. We are not going to let this farm be destroyed," said Green Party congressional candidate Byron DeLear, (28th CD, Los Angeles/San Fernando) , one of many Greens who has camped out overnight at the site. He said the city should use the power of "eminent domain to protect this national treasure."

"I am appalled that instead of ensuring that people are able to subsist, the City of Los Angeles is selling out the people to build on a property already financed by the taxpayers," said Donna Warren, a native of South Central and candidate for Lt. Governor in June on the Green Party ticket.

--------

A New Protest Song: Joan Baez Sings to Save Acres of Land

A veteran of 40 years of demonstrations, the American folk singer's latest campaign involves camping in a tree to save a 14-acre farm from developers.

//www.truthout.org/issues_06/052606EA.shtml

--------

Baez and Butterfly in LA tree sit
//www.indybay.org/news/2006/05/1825188.php


Informant: Scott Munson

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Farmers, Activists Resisting Eviction at Nation's Largest Urban Farm

The 14-year effort to establish an urban farm in the heart of South Los Angeles came to an end today when sheriff's deputies moved in to evict the farmers, as well as some celebrities who were supporting them by keeping vigil on the land. Farmers and activists continue to resist.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/061306I.shtml

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Farmers, Celebrities Evicted From South Central Food Farm
//www.latimes.com/la-061306farm,0,6338849.story


Informant: NHNE

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Farmers vow to prevent garden demolition

Laurel Leader-Call

06/15/06

Workers tore down fences Wednesday inside a 14-acre urban garden while evicted farmers and their supporters kept watch and vowed to prevent bulldozing of the inner-city greenspace. 'We're still not giving up hope,' said Alberto Tlatoa, 20, a day after sheriff's deputies enforcing an eviction order arrested dozens of protesters, including actress Daryl Hannah. Tlatoa, sitting in a chair on a sidewalk outside the fenced garden, said he and his family had grown pears, broccoli, tomatoes and edible cactus for eight years...

//tinyurl.com/pg4rp


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

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L.A. POLICE INVADE NATION'S LARGEST COMMUNITY GARDEN

Armed police stormed a community garden in South Central Los Angeles this week, arresting 25 people including actress Daryl Hannah. The 14 acre plot of land, tended by over 350 neighborhood fruit and vegetable farmers for a decade, is the largest urban community garden in the country, and a symbol of hope for the embattled South Central neighborhood. Although the highly successful garden provides affordable, mostly organic food for low-income residents in this economically depressed area, a ten-year ownership dispute over the land has led to a dramatic standoff between neighborhood residents and the powerful real estate lobby of Los Angeles. Despite massive public opposition, multi-millionaire real estate developer Ralph Horowitz obtained a court order to pave over the community garden and replace it with an industrial warehouse. After back-tracking on a proposal to sell the 14 acre plot to neighborhood residents for $16 million, Horowitz called in the police and bulldozers to clear the property of inhabitants. Neighborhood farmers and residents, along with the L.A. organic community, have vowed to keep up the struggle and save the community garden.

Learn more: //www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_756.cfm

--------

South Central Farmers Evicted: The Struggle Is Just Beginning

A Film by Chris Hume

On June 13, bulldozers started clearing the 14-year-old South Central Farm in Los Angeles. Dozens of people were arrested, and the farmers were evicted from the land. Truthout correspondent Chris Hume was there to cover the incident, and to get the story about the ongoing legal fight to keep the farm from being turned into a complex of warehouses.

//www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm

--------

The Golden Rule in the City of Angels?

Jane Ayers describes what has been happening over the past week at the South Central Farm in Los Angeles as farmers, activists and celebrities nonviolently resisted: "Surrounded by organic flowers grown on the South Central Farm, a huge Sacred Heart of Jesus altar sat at the base of the tree where protesters were tree-sitting to save the urban community farm."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2006/061606T.shtml

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