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  • Joan Baez Climbs Tree, Decides to Stay Awhile

    Fri, 26 May 2006 08:58:13

    Joan Baez Climbs Tree, Decides to Stay Awhile - Folk singer joins other activists in protesting farm closure in South Central L.A..

    Joan Baez Photos

    • Joan Baez - LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 03: General view of the marquee for Joan Baez and Indigo Girls with a waxing crescent moon in the dusk sky at The Greek Theatre on July 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
    • Joan Baez - HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 12: Joan Baez attends the LA Screening Of Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis' at ArcLight Cinemas on December 12, 2013 in Hollywood, California.
    • Joan Baez - HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 12: Oscar Isaac and Joan Baez attends the LA Screening Of Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis' at ArcLight Cinemas on December 12, 2013 in Hollywood, California.

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    Famed folk singer Joan Baez has moved to South Central Los Angeles, original stomping grounds of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the Bloods, the Crips…and the South Central Farm, a 14-acre slice of agricultural heaven for approximately 350 inner-city farmers, who each govern a little patch of land.

    Baez, 65, has joined a collection of other notable activists at the South Central Farm in the hopes that the additional attention can ward off a full eviction. The farm's option to purchase the property has expired, and a nonprofit group attempting to acquire the land on the farm's behalf has come up well short of the purchasing price -- which is set at $16.35 million by owner Ralph Horowitz.

    Baez set up an overnight camp on a small platform in a big walnut tree, and treated farmers and reporters to a series of folk songs, including a Spanish-language rendition of "We Shall Overcome." In the morning, she reported that she had a refreshing night's sleep in her makeshift treehouse, and hadn't even been disturbed by the nearby freight trains rumbling past.

    Julia "Butterfly" Hill and John Quigley, who both became famous (at least in environmental circles) by doing some serious hard time as treesitters, joined Baez, as did Darryl Hannah, Laura Dern and Ben Harper. The land dispute has been going on for an extended period of time, but the arrival of some star power has put the farm on the media's map.

    Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has urged Horowitz to trim his asking price, and his office has assisted some farmers in finding new pieces of land to work.

    --The ARTISTdirect Staff
    05.26.06



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