South Central Farmers
The South Central Farmers have been fighting for 8 years to preserve 14 acres of what used to be open green space in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. The South Central Farm, located at 41st and Alameda Streets in South Los Angeles, was thought to be the largest community farm in the United States. This land was originally mitigated to the community by Mayor Bradley after the 1992 uprisings.
In the first 14 years this community had benefited by having access to fresh and healthy produce. A majority of these products are not available in local or major produce markets. Additionally, the farm provided access to many Mesoamerican traditional plants that are used for medicinal purposes. The community was composed of 350 families and benefitted thousands in the surrounding community.
The story of the South Central Farm has entered the annals of Angelenos' battle for green space, alongside the Cornfields, Chavez Ravine, Taylor Yard, and the Ballona Wetlands, except that the Farmers have halted development on the land for the past five years. In the early morning of June 13, 2006, thousands of people poured into the low-income neighborhood and clutched the chain link fence around the Farm and wept from across the street to witness the sheriffs in jackbooks storm across the carefully crafted rows of herbs, cactus, and vegetables.
The City forcibly removed protestors who had camped on the land and clung to platforms in tree branches in defiance of an eviction order. Forty-four were arrested. Television cameras from around the country recorded the destruction of nearly twenty years of family farming, and on the noonday news, millions watched as fire trucks uprooting trees and rolled across plots cultivated by parents and their children.