Immediate Action Required to Save Model for Post-Peak Sustainability in Cities
March 3, 2006 1130 PST (FTW) – In L.A.’s Havana Experiment FTW told you the dramatic and compelling story of what 350 families have done over a 13-year period with a 14 acre plot of land in a depressed inner city. They are feeding themselves with organically grown and healthy produce that requires zero fossil-fuel inputs and requires virtually no transportation expense. This is being done on soil that was once paved, covered, depleted and ignored. More than anything else, this is the one area of effort most essential for America’s (and the world’s) major cities to pursue as Peak Oil takes its first deadly bites.
Two days ago the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department unceremoniously posted an eviction notice on the farm’s gate calling for the farm to be vacated by March 6th (next Monday). That would leave current crops in the ground to be plowed under by a developer’s bulldozers. The intended replacement for the farm is a warehouse intended to serve (primarily) Wal-Mart.
No one has better articulated what is at stake here than USC Professor Clara Irazábal who today in an impassioned letter to LA Mayor Antonio Villarraigosa, completed after 3 AM this morning, wrote:
[T]he relevant question is not whether this urban farm should be preserved. This is the wrong question and one that diminishes the stature of your office and the trust we have invested in you. The question is, rather, how can we best help multiply urban farms like this one throughout Los Angeles and cities of the Americas and the world. As the era of oil inescapably comes to an end, we are going to be faced with the need, whether we like it or not, to live more compactly, thrifty, cooperatively, and in more direct connection with, and responsible for, the production of our own food. In this context, not only does the South Central Farm not constitute a backward use of land in one of the largest and more prominent and modern cities of the world. Instead, it is a model for the future (and the future is now), one that can support the survival of our growing urban civilization. Maintaining the South Central Farm, Los Angeles and you as its mayor have the unique opportunity to become world visionaries and trail breakers.
Although this posting may appear too late today to get people to show up for a hastily organized protest at the Mayor’s office, there are a number of things which must be done immediately to save this incredible experiment; an experiment that is teaching us how to save hundreds of thousands of lives: lives of poor people; lives of disenfranchised; lives of those who are not fortunate enough to move away to an already sustainable region.
The words of Mario Savio ring truer than ever. It is time to throw our bodies into the gears of the machine and grind it to a halt. Some things are worth fighting for and if anything is worth fighting for the South Central Farm is.
If you are in Southern California you can do something. If you are anywhere else, what you can do may be just as important.
In the enclosed links are a sample letter (or email) that can be sent to Mayor Villarraigoasa’s office. There are contact numbers and links for additional activism. There are also instructions on how to actually be at the farm to protest.
If a large enough hue and cry is raised from around the world to focus a laser-like beam on what is at stake here then there might be time. There might be a window for a miracle.
I am cutting off this story now because every minute’s delay in getting this up on FTW’s web site is critical. If you understand Peak oil; if you understand the miracle that is the South Central Farm; and if you are committed to preparing the world and your family for Peak Oil then I won’t have to say more.
There will be many more battles to fight. Let us fight the good fight here and now, today. Were I in LA I would be there myself, willing to and encouraging others to engage in civil disobedience, to get arrested, to stop this travesty. In a ham and eggs breakfast the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. It’s time to drop everything for a moment, as long as it takes, to struggle and to pray for the Miracle on 41st Street.
Notice of Eviction & sample letter/email for Mayor Villarraigosa (www.fromthewilderness.com/PDF/SCF_eviction_notice.pdf)
South Central Food Farm web site
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