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Julia Butterfly Tree Sits to Join Protest to Save South Central L.A. Farmers Market

 

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 (http://www.southcentralfarmers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i d=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

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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 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."

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Circle of Life P.O. Box 3764 Oakland, California 94609