Joany Phony Finds Work as a Squirrel
From the AP
LOS ANGELES --Joan Baez warbled from the branches of a walnut tree Wednesday as an inner-city community garden sprouted celebrities hoping to stop the landowner from reclaiming the 14 acres for development.
"No nos moveran," Baez sang in Spanish to reporters and TV cameras.
The message -- "They will not move us" -- was embraced by actress Daryl Hannah, musician Ben Harper, his wife, actress Laura Dern, and famous tree-sitters Julia "Butterfly" Hill and John Quigley.
The show of support for the urban gardeners followed a failed effort to raise enough money to buy the land. "This can be thought of as a situation of the needy versus the greedy," Hannah said.
Although protest organizers claimed the community was braced for police action, there was no sign of any effort by landowner Ralph Horowitz to evict hundreds of farmers from the garden, a splash of green in a gritty industrial area near a railroad line southeast of downtown.
Horowitz did not return a telephone call Tuesday.
The garden plots -- some neat with rows of leafy green, some filled with cactus, others weedy -- have been tended largely by Central American immigrants. Many raise varieties of produce not found in supermarkets.
Their representative, who goes by the single name Tezozomoc, urged Horowitz to sell. The landowner has said he plans to build a warehouse on the site.
"We raised $6 million," Tezozomoc said. "We say he should take that and break even and be a hero to everyone."
The Trust for Public Land came up $10 million short in its bid to buy the site. The nonprofit group was not able to raise the $16.35 million required by the time the purchase option expired Monday.
Harper suggested it was still possible to come up with the funds. "I think we have enough intelligent people that we can think of ways to raise the money," he said.
Baez shared her tree with Hill, who spent more than two years in a northern California redwood in a campaign to save old-growth forests, and Quigley, who once lived in a 400-year-old Southern California oak for 71 days to save it from a development.
"For me this farm represents for the city what the redwoods represent for nature for our world," Hill yelled down from the tree, which was surrounded by votive candles and vases with flowers cut from the garden. "Picking it up and moving it is not the same. It's not replaceable, it's priceless."
That's a fine list of "celebrities"! Why with all that talent and their money, I'm surprised they can buy a cup of coffee.
I'm considering taking donations to send to Mr. Horowitz so he won't sell and keep those NUTS up that tree!