Statement in Support of the South Central Farmers in Los Angeles
by Eugene E Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Party Candidate for
California Assembly, 15th District (East Bay Area)
(denied place on November ballot due to undeemocratic electoral laws, so that only candidates of the two war-addicted, pro-capitalist corporate parties will appear)
For twelve years, from 1994 to 2006, the South Central Farm was an oasis of ecological diversity in the industrial wasteland of South Central Los Angeles, The 14 acres were farmed by about 350 families, mostly immigrants from Mexico and Central America, who grew an estimated 100 to 150 species of plants for food, herbal medicine, and spiritual uses. This diversity led UCLA to establish an agricultural research station there.
However, in spite of widespread support for the urban farm, the City of Los Angeles sold the land to developer Ralph Horowitz, in a closed door session in 2003. The movement to Save the South Central Farm included such celebrities as Joan Baez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Julia “Butterfly” Hill, Ron Kovic, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, and Willie Nelson. Although supporters had raised enough funds to purchase the land for more than he paid, Horowitz refused to sell. On July 5, 2006, he ordered the farm bulldozed amidst protest and acts of civil disobedience. For the last eight years, the land has remained vacant, although developer Horowitz wants to move a garment factory and three trucking centers to the site. Last August, dozens of Farm supporters jammed a City Planning Commission meeting and demanded the EIR before development could begin. That turnout forced the City to reassess its position and require an Environmental Impact Report and public comment.
Until tomorrow, Thursday, July 17, 2014, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission is asking for public comments on the environmental impact of the development plans. To see sample letters and send an email to the Planning Commission in support of preserving green space for the Central Alameda neighborhood, CLICK HERE:
The South Central Farm is not alone. It is only one of the efforts to protect urban space in California from wanton development. Here in the Bay Area, we have Occupy the Farm, fighting to protect the Gill Track Farm in Albany from UC development plans. For more info and to sign a petition, CLICK HERE
FROM THE PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PLATFORM
- Restore and protect air, water, land and ecosystems.
- Outlaw destructive practices such as clear cutting, fracking, mountaintop removal, tar sands extraction, and offshore drilling.
- Promote conservation and develop solar and other renewable energy to replace nuclear power and fossil fuels.
- End environmental racism: no toxic dumping in anyone’s back yard.
- Massive development of public transportation available free or at nominal fares.
- Promote an environmentally sound agricultural system which meets human needs and protects farm workers’ labor rights and standard of living. No genetically engineered organisms in food production.
END THE WARS AND TAX THE RICH
Shut Down the War Machine
Guaranteed Jobs with Decent Incomes for All
Free Education & Health Care for All
Defend Our Personal Freedoms & Political Rights
Protect & Restore Our Mother Earth