Tuesday, June 13, 2006
They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Warehouse 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
UPDATE: The LA Times' Steve Lopez opines on the "hypocrisy of the limousine liberals":
Sure, it's sad when a disputed patch of salad greens in central city gets crushed under the boots of City Hall bunglers and a developer who's about to turn fertilizer into gold. But who knows, maybe Joan Baez will get a new folk song out of the drama. And it did give a few Hollywood heroes a bit more time in the lights.
As sad as the closing of this 'urban farm' is (I heard a wonderful story about these farmers on NPR a few weeks ago), I had to laugh out loud when I read the details of the tree-in protest. Seriously, you couldn't write a better SNL spoof:
(CBS) LOS ANGELES Sheriff's deputies evicted people from an urban community garden to make room for a warehouse Tuesday, touching off a furious protest in which actress Daryl Hannah and others climbed into a walnut tree or chained themselves to concrete-filled barrels. At least 39 people were arrested.

Authorities cut away branches in an effort to remove the "Splash" actress and another tree-sitter. "I'm very confident this is the morally right thing to do, to take a principled stand in solidarity with the farmers," Hannah said by cell phone before a fire truck raised officers into the tree.

Inside the garden, firefighters had to cut free protesters who had chained themselves to the walnut tree, barrels filled with concrete and a picnic table. Deputies slowly pulled people out from among the avocados, sunflowers and other produce.

The effort to save the farm attracted the support of numerous activists and celebrities, including Hannah, environmental activist John Quigley, country singer Willie Nelson, actor Danny Glover, folk singer Joan Baez and tree sitter Julia Butterfly Hill.
I can't quite place the other "tree sitter" in the upper photo (courtesy CBS news) but it looks a bit like René Auberjonois? "Touch the avocados...and you die..."