left wing weekend: bikes, wars, south central farm

I love the idea of the South Central Farm It is very much swords into ploughshares. I’m shocked that the city is considering letting it be destroyed – but then again, when hs the wellbeing of the citizens (*cough* Chavez Ravine *cough* Bunker Hill) kept the city from modifying “undesirable” neighborhoods?

Sunday, there’s an event that combines saving the Farm with another major issue for L.A.: Peak Oil. Peak Oil activists suggest that urban farming will be of much use in an age where petroleum is in short supply. After all, we use petroleum fertilizers to grow food, and then gas powered vehicles to deliver it. That’s why Peak Oil activists support the Farm. Me, I just think that a community garden brings people together, whether it’s in SouthCentral or Mar Vista (there’s a community garden here, too, on an abandoned resevoir site), and I love that the Farm also uses its harvest to feed the local community soup kitchens.

Here’s some info on the event:

    The 350 families that tend this 14-acre farm are under threat of eviction as the farm has been sold by the city to a warehouse developer. The developer has not taken control of the property yet only because of community support, and the determination of local activists, but the future of this farm is uncertain. The discussion will address issues of food security as fossil fuels decline, and will provide information on how we can help save the farm. (www.southcentralfarmers.com)

    Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst and founder of Auto Free Times and culturechange.org, will speak about the realities of current petroleum resources, and how a dramatic shift in our lifestyle can save us from
    abrupt loss of energy and the petroleum materials we all depend on.

    Tezozomoc, is an organizer with South Central Farmers Feeding Families. He will speak about the plight of the farm tended by low-income families that grow food to feed themselves and about ways
    to help save the farm.

    South Central Community Farm
    41st and Long Beach Ave.
    0.3 miles north of the Blue Line Metro Vernon Station
    2:00 to 5:00 PM

I’ll be down at the Farm as soon as we wrap up our kickball grudge match. My team, Dogtown’s own Pregnant Cheerleaders vs. the visiting Hollywood Lebowskis. And they are going down

There’s more left wing stuff happening this weekend – Critical Mass and an anti-war panel – but I’ve put those behind a cut for the sake of brevity.

I usually roll with Critical Mass on Fridays. This is the pro-bicycle agenda ride that takes place almost every week, somewhere in the city. There’s also the less politically minded Midnite Ridazz, which is usually a little crazier. Usually, I go on the Santa Monica Mass, or the Westside version of Ridazz, 310. Last week, it was 310, and we rode from Santa Monica Pier down to the Ballona Creek, and then east to Culver City, through West L.A. college, and climbed through holes in fences and through brush until we got to the service roads by the oil pumps in the Baldwin Hills. I was exhausted afterwards, but it was So. Much. Fun!

Tomorrow (Friday) is Critical Mass L.A., which meets at Wilshire and Western, at the Metro stop. Critical Mass exists to promote the vision of a city with less cars, more bikes. You just see the world better from a bike, where you can really look at things, wave at people, stop without having to find parking. And wouldn’t L.A. be better if more people rode bikes, instead of driving? Of course, riding a bike is almost a suicide mission in Los Angeles, because no one expects to watch for cyclists, but that’s the other reason Critical Mass rides: to remind people, we’re not blocking traffic, we ARE traffic.

Also, by riding a bike, you’re not supporting blood for oil. Which brings me to Saturday’s event, which is a panel of anti-war speakers in Manhattan Beach. “Leaving Iraq: Strategies for Immediate Withdrawal” is at 7:30pm in the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Beach Marriot, with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Scott Ritter, Dr. Stephen Zunes, Ann Wright, Dr. Michael Schwartz, David Swanson, Harlan Hobgood and others. For the hardcore anti-war out there, that will no doubt be a fascinating discussion. Being not quite hard core enough, I’m skipping it to go to Bar Sinister in Hollywood. But I highly encourage everyone to keep an eye out for anything that local Congresswoman Maxine Waters does when it’s NOT a Saturday night. The woman is just amazing, and is leading the Out of Iraq Caucus in Washington. Harman and Waxman are wafflers, but Waters kicks ass. I went to the Downing Street Day of Learning this last July in Inglewood, and heard a lot of local leaders and visionaries speak. Well worth the time.

It’s all connected, of course. Syriana had it right. The bikes, the cars, the oil, the war. And I think all of it could make both the city and the world a better place.

3 thoughts on “left wing weekend: bikes, wars, south central farm”

  1. There is also a Live Punk show at the gardens this Friday. Great way to show your support, check out this incredible oasis in the middle of South Central L.A. and hear some great music!

    Contributed by Fernando Flores
    Friday, 06 January 2006
    What: Disfest!!……..Live Punk Music from several of California’s progressive local bands.

    When: January 27, 2006. Event starts @ 6:00pm

    Where: at the farm!! 41st St. and Long Beach Ave./ Los Angeles , CA

    How much: 5 bucks!

    Rules: No Drugs, No Alcohol, No Fighting, No Warehouses!

  2. Now THAT is punk rock!!

    I’ll share that with the Critical Massers. Do you have a flier to distribute?

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