Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Save The South Central Farm!!

The South Central Farm, located here in Los Angeles, in the middle of an industrial area, is a 14 acre urban farm that feeds over 350 families.
The South Central Farmers have been unable to raise the $ 16.5 million needed to save the farm from owner Ralph Horowitz. The amount needed now is $ 10 million. Ralph Horowitz plans to evict the South Central Farmers & plans to tear down the farm & build warehouses, some say it will become another dreaded Wal-Mart.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said that he has given up on trying to raise the additional $ 10 million needed to save this vital farm, yet on the same day the L.A. City Council was able to pull $ 800 million from their ass to renovate the stadium!
Community activists are calling for the developer to sell the land for the price he bought it for, $ 5 million, instead of the $ 16.5 million he is now asking for.
Celebrities including Darryl Hannah & Joan Baez are there calling for the Mayor's last minute efforts to save the farm.
In a city that is yearning for more green, I find it ridiculous that they are willing to let this farm that feeds so many & keeps kids off the streets, be torn down!
As you read this, the South Central Farmers are on lock-down & refuse to leave the farm. Police helicopters are circling ahead, & calls have been made to any & all who wish to help save the farm.
The members of the Autonomous Peoples Collective & the Eastside Cafe have released a statement in support of the South Central Farm:

" We, the members of the Autonomous Peoples Collective and the Eastside Cafe, as subscribers to the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle and the "Other Campaign" denounce the imminent eviction of over 300 families who currently work the 14 acres of land considered the largest urban farm in the U.S., located in South Central Los Angeles , California. We also denounce the lies of the Los Angeles Mayor, who during his campaign promised to help the urban farmers retain 14 years of hard work, a medicinal treasure, a biospheric haven also known as the Lung of South Central. We denounce the constant disrespect of the L.A. City Council, particularly Jan Perry, who has from the very start attempted to sabatoge and evict the farmers. Last but not least, we denounce the ongoing harassment by the police department aimed at terrorizing the farmers and making them quit the 14 acres they have cultivated for over 12 years, known to all as the South Central Farm (SCF).

Recently many farmers and supporters have reported what appeared to be police tactical maneuver in preparation to take over the farm. Such military drills have included the use of trains to block the west side entrance, ostensibly to keep supporters from reaching the farm, and the possible use of helicopters to raise the farm and evict its tenants.

On Friday, May 19th, between 9pm & 11pm, during a concert in support of the SCF, an unidentified helicopter flying at an extremely low altitude flashed its search light in an intimidating manner on the main entrance to the SCF on Long Beach Ave. This is a direct attack on the human right to autonomy and self-determination. As subscribers to La Otra Campana and the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, we equate this attack in Los Angeles to the attacks the Mexican campesinos have suffered when defending their land in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and recently, Atenco. La Otra Campana supports the struggle of the SCF.

Thus, as subscribers we denounce these illegitimate actions of Ralph Horowitz, the mayor and all other parties who have led to the illegitimate purchase and appropriation of the SCF. We denounce all the legal actions against the South Central Farmers and forcing an unjust eviction of over 300 families off the land that they have been working on for many years.

We denounce the L.A. City Council--especially Jan Perry--for its inability to support the farmers and come up with the funds to purchase the farm from Ralph Horowitz. They all promised to green L.A., but are unwilling to challenge big corporations interests on this contested piece of land.

We denounce the LA Sheriff & LAPD for conducting militarized police raid tactics on and around the SCF for the last several months. As we point out and have seen throughout La Otra Campana, neoliberalism requires buying up everything, in addition to the destruction and demonization of all collective efforts to save the land. It requires the squelching of all commons and the privatization of everything. Neoliberalism requires the use of military force to enforce the illegitimate and unnatural processes of this spurious system. And although we dont expect the type of violence carried out in Atenco against the campesinos who were defending their land, we do see a connection in the military force used to suppress the right of these people to work their land. After all, it was NYC Mayor Guiliani, William Brattens boss--, who was hired by Mexico City Mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as a global consultant to train this city's police departments on the art of crushing urban protests, resistence movements, and peaceful rebellions. Plus, the US goverment has been pouring military aid to the Mexican goverments for the past 10 years with the excuse of the War on Drugs.

Thus, it is clear to see whose law and order is maintained by this low intensity warfare waged on the true owner of the land. In full agreement with La Sexta and La Otra we belive that when Emiliano Zapata verbalized his deep conviction of la tierra es de quien la trabaja, he wasnt just talking about Mexico.

Lastly, we denounce the Mayor of LA, Antonio Villaraigosa, who posses as a progressive. Villaraigosa and the rest of those in City Council who swear they are progressive are not. They have all shown us that our systems electoral process does not produce change. They have all shown us the degree to which this system is corrupt and with great ease they have lied to the people, particularly the poor. Antonio has shown us that there is no more listening to the people, that is--no more democracy.

As subscribers of La Sexta & La Lacandona and as members of La Otra Campana we understand and believe that it is through a broad and diverse movement of people at the bottom--utilizing civil and rebellious peaceful means--that a new system is possible--even in the belly of the beast."