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Greens condemn mass arrests, bulldozers at nation's largest urban farm; Demand city officials intervene to help community farmers

GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA NEWS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES - Greens here condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the mass arrests Tuesday - including that of actress Daryl Hannah - and the use of bulldozers at what is the nation's largest urban community farm.

The downtown 14 acre plot in South Central Los Angeles has sustained and supplemented the household budgets of 360 mostly Latino families by providing healthy fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants since 1994.

Supporters confirmed that the land's developer moved to violently evict the farmers and supporters Tuesday even though they had met his asking price, $16 million, for the parcel.

According to Greens on site, hundreds of police officers and sheriff's deputies marched into the nation's urban farm early Tuesday morning, evicting and arresting dozens of farm supporters and bulldozing part of the community farm. They removed Daryl Hannah and John Quigley from trees they were sitting in after bulldozers cleared a path through the vegetables to the trees.

"The Green Party of Los Angeles condemns in strongest possible terms today's police action against the South Central Farm and South Central Farmers. It was entirely unnecessary because the community has arranged for the $16 million that the property owner requested. It has taken 14 years to organically build this community and ecological treasure in the heart of greater Los Angeles. No one has the right to destroy such a treasure," said Michael Feinstein of the Green Party of Los Angeles.

Donna Warren, the Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor and a native of South Central, said "these arrests were unwarranted and the public officials involved should be scrutinized as to their involvement in this entire affair." She appeals to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to "call off" the deputies, and asked the Los Angeles City Council to intervene.

And, Linda Piera-Avila, a Green Party activist on the scene, added: "It's a sad day when people are criminalized for growing their own food."

-30-

Contacts:
Crescenzo Vellucci, State Press Office, 916.996.9170,
Sara Amir (Los Angeles), 310.270.7106,
Dr. Bob Vizzard (Sacramento), 916.206.8953,
Daniel Brezenoff (Southern California), 310.422.2211,
Susan King (San Francisco), 415.823.5524,

The Green Party of California
PO Box 2828
Sacramento, CA 95812
Phone: (916) 448-3437
Web: http://www.cagreens.org
EMail:

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