This just in: Turns out the former site of the South Central Farm – where low-income, indigenous/immigrant Latino farmers grew food in the midst of a toxic industrial area for 14 years before being evicted two summers ago in one of the saddest, most maddening examples of private business interests trumping community and environmental good that I’ve ever personally witnessed – is being developed as a Forever 21 warehouse.
You know, that clothing company that was the subject of a national boycott for exploitative labor practices a few years ago? Turns out LA’s supposedly progressive mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa – who campaigned at the then-flourishing farm several years ago and claimed to support it, only to fail to find a way to help save it despite massive community (and celebrity) support, clear social and environmental benefits, and his own celebrated promises to “green LA”—“has received nearly $1.3 million in contributions and commitments from Forever 21 and its executives over the past two years.”
The former site of the South Central Farm has sat vacant for the past two years. The South Central Farmers are now growing food at a new site about an hour outside of LA. They sell food at several farmers’ markets in the area, and they recently set up a CSA.
(Background: A few years ago, I wrote several articles about the South Central Farm for the late and lamented NewStandard, including this history of how the community has used the land since 1985.)