Wednesday, June 14, 2006

We're Not Giving Up! - South Central Farmers: "bulldozers were sent in"


"Over 50 arrests have been made, a few demonstrators have suffered blows from batons and the bulldozers were sent in to demolish the blooming crops, indigenous plants and 14 years of love that have been put into the farm. We are continuing to stand strong with tears in our eyes. It is not over yet! The community cannot be defeated. Join us to peacefully protest the police attack on our community."

The South Central Farmers dispel the myth that the poor are poor because they are lazy. Many of the South Central Farmers work more than one job, and then farm the land at 41st and Long Beach Avenue. They grow staples such as corn, tomatoes, cactus, and other foods such as papalotl, pipicha, chipillin, alachi, quelite, and quintonil from Meso-America unavailable elsewhere in Los Angeles. The South Central Farmers provide fresh foods and a healthy alternative to the working poor. They have found a creative way to feed families without welfare.

"On Sunday, I went to the farm. People welcomed me into their gardens, as they would family. One man had a family with three daughters, his oldest was autistic, but she had the sweetest and most infectious smile.

Jesus' hands were hard, leathery, callused, and at the same time quiet, sensitive and somewhat delicate. He invited me to sit with him and his family. His wife sat nearby and prepared some cactus for me. The taste was somewhat bitter, but it's texture was not unlike celery. I liked it.

Jesus led me around his family's garden. He showed me the herbs and flowers they grew and what they were used for. His English was just about as limited as my Spanish-- still, we talked animatedly and comfortably.

His wife teased me about being single. She picked a gladiola and handed it to me saying she thought it would be nice for my esposa. When I replied that I wasn't married, she said, "Oh.. your boyfriend, then?"

"No, no, no quiero no boyfriend." I replied.

I felt as if I was home. I was only there for a matter of hours.

Imagine how the South Central Farmers feel, many of whom tending their gardens, making food and medicine for five, ten years and more, only to have it ripped from them by court orders and sheriff's deputies. It's wrenching, the way it sounds when a tree's roots are pulled from earth."
--DJ Xango

For more information on the South Central Farmers and how to help, visit

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