FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Contact(s): Sara Amir, 310.270-7106
Pat Driscoll 916.320-6430
Susan King 415.823-5524
Green Party says it will stand in solidarity with South Central community farmers against urban farm eviction and ‘environmental racism'.
LOS ANGELES – Members here of the Green Party of California today pledged to "stand in solidarity" against "environmental racism" and with South Central farmers who have been served with an eviction notice to vacate the nation's largest urban farm, a 14-acre parcel in the center of the city that has sustained 350 mostly low-wage workers for 13 years.
The farmers will be evicted next week by big developer Ralph Horowitz, who was given a secret, "sweetheart deal" by the city of Los Angeles. He was allowed to buy the property for only $5.1 million, when it was appraised a decade ago for three times that. Horowitz is demanding the farmers pay him $16 million or he'll kick them off the land and build a warehouse.
"We support the farmers' resistance to eviction, to relocation, to environmental racism," said Linda Piera-Avila, secretary of the Los Angeles Greens.
"In the shadow of downtown's skyscrapers, in an economically disadvantaged area, their farm stands as a testament to the power of multi-racial community building, local food production, the environmental value of green open space and social justice in the face of corporate greed and lack of civic accountability," she added.
Farmers say they are preparing to stay on urban farm even if they lose in court. They are prepared to risk arrest, but Piera-Avila said Los Angeles area Greens "stand in solidarity with the South Central Farmers who have taken personal responsibility for nurturing this 14 acre urban jewel of life.
"This is the kind of global responsibility the Green Party advocates. With peak oil's effects looming, the South Central Farmers can teach us how to live more sustainably. Their skills should be lauded by the City of L.A. as a valuable resource to be emulated, far more worthwhile to our future and to the planet than any warehouse could ever be," she said.