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    Warning Will Robinson!

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    Ric at Release the Hounds covers this better than I can...(no surprise there)

    Most of you probably haven't heard of the "South Central Farm", 14 acres of little plots of cactus, beans and tomatoes that is grown and shared by approximately 350 families, many of them "Latino squatters" in South Central Los Angeles.

    It's been in the news lately, and I was avoiding the story because frankly it was just another story, I thought, of a community fighting developers.

    That is only the half of it.

    The history:

    The land was owned by the current owner, one Ralph Horowitz, and in 1992, after the "Rodney King Riots", for some reason the city seized it by imminent domain, and handed it over to a food bank, who let the people grow food on it.

    In 2003 Mr. Horowitz bought it back from the city for 5 million dollars, which the farmers are disputing in court because they think the price was too low. Only in America can a group of squatters be seriously entertained in a court of law when they bring a complaint of "Entity A did't pay Entity B enough money for the land that the city stole from him once and that we're using for free."

    Horowitz now has an offer of over 16 million dollars for the land. The squatters however would like to stop Mr. Horowitz from reaping the rewards of a wise investment so that they can continue to grow a little food for themselves.

    Here is an interesting quote from one of the farmers;
    "There's no Trader Joe's in South Central," said Alberto Tlatoa, 20, who like many of the farmers uses the plot to feed his family, rather than selling the vegetables for profit. "The things we grow here are the best things we eat."

    For those of you that don't know, Trader Joe's is a smaller, higher end grocery store chain. They have really neat and interesting food from all over the world and Mr. Tlatoa probably wouldn't be able to shop there. Then again while doing research for this story, I popped into the other room to ask my roommate about it, (since she works at Trader Joe's) and mentioned that and she said "He might, we take EBT." "EBT" is short for "electronic benefit transfer" which is the new food stamp.

    The point here is that Horowitz owns the land and wants to sell it. It's his land, his right, and these squatters need to get the hell off of his land.

    All of the self serving Hollywood sycophants that have come out in the past month to "Save the Farm" should have, if they really cared, taken up a collection to buy these "farmers" 14 acres out in the middle of someplace that nobody cares if they squat and Oxnard.
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