Archive for the ‘Resistance of Ordinary Seeds’ Category

By Emma Rosenthal

none of us
us all
everyone’s story
under the boot
on the edge of town
at the end of the line
behind closed doors
in cattle cars
hidden in alleyways
cast into the wilderness
and shallow graves
underground passages
black site gulags
penal colonies
erasing us
erases you
we are not
the ones who
cannot count

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There have been a few articles and several social media posts mocking the proposal that people wear safety pins to proclaim, in this new UhMurikan landscape, that “I am a safe space.” It’s a way for those of us in an unfamiliar place or under attack to identify an ally who will defend us or accompany us if we encounter violence, hate speech, threats or intimidation because of our real or assumed membership in a targeted group. One article appeared, written by a white presenting cis het presenting man, in the Huffington Post, that bastion of social responsibility and grassroots mobilization. (Snark!)

 Of course the safety pins are NOT ENOUGH.They’re a symbol, a statement, a promise and a commitment.

Are these publish worthy leftists also for the abolishment of: buttons and t-shirts (which must be manufactured, marketed and sold), banners, signs. How are these any different? Are we against any symbolism? What about ribbons? arm bands?

This petty self promotion  and put down of other activist efforts is tiresome. After all not EVERYONE gets Huffington Post press access.

The safety pin solidarity started in England after the passage of Brexit with the targeting of immigrants.  In England there may have been an issue with the pins, that it was a white thing: an insufficient badge of respectability, guilt, remorse, penance. But in the U.S., Occupied Amerikkka the targets are MOST OF US. And there are still people totally complicit from all demographics, so the symbol is important, easy, accessible, inexpensive, UNFUCKINGMARKETABLE, so we can let people know we are ready to take action; (and then we need to come through; that we are here for each other). After all with the increased rhetoric and the emboldened extreme right, white supremacist (rebranded, normalized, alt-right),  only white Christian cis het, ENabled, body normative men aren’t targeted. The vast majority, the rest of us are!

For way too long activism has moved from the grassroots, to self promotion, individualism,  survival of the fittest, scarcity resources and competition. Allies who aren’t movement stars (there’s a clear double standard here!)  are told they should just not show up, not take up space, sit down, shut up, listen, read more, go shopping.  There has been very little engagement in what real allyship might be, what solidarity looks like, how we check each other and check ourselves, from a position of responsibility, accountability and transparency, and not from a place of obedience, acquiescence and silence.  Hopefully the broad targeting of so many of us is a wake up call, that we need all our bodies on the line, and that we can’t do this in separate groups (which fuels the alt right’s rebranding, as it appropriates that language with claims that it is simply a civil rights movement for white people and that we all have our place in our separate nations.)

Maybe the movement stars who are so used to making it all about themselves:  the self promoters, the individualist who have for too long used “activism” as their own personal starting line in that great competition for speaking engagements, publicity and  non-profit managerial positions can show some solidarity instead of crapping on this very basic grassroots organizing effort. Maybe we can move the dialogue from whose voices matter to how we can assure our movement is as large and inclusive as possible (day care, DISability access, language translation, financial accessibility). Maybe we can start to have the difficult discussions around transparency and accountability around unlearning racism, sexism, ableism,  ageism, classism and all the other ways marginalization keeps us down and apart.

So let this be the start and not the end. Let the lists of other ways of showing solidarity, of putting our bodies, minds, reputations on the line for each other begin, but let us start with “AND” and not “BUT”.

Sure the safety pins are not enough, and your grandstanding is getting real tired, too.





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In response to the Dervaes decision to trademark the following terms: (scroll down   for more information and links)















Homegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown Revolution

Homegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown Revolution

Homegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown RevolutionHomegrown Revolution

A series of links on the controversial decision of the Dervaes family, to trademark several terms,  in common use, and its implications to a movement and social justice in general.

“How can you trademark the idea of going back to our roots? Our interest in eating food from our own yard? In learning to do things for ourselves and make things from scratch? Jess came up with the perfect analogy. What if someone trademarked “DIY” and “do-it-yourself” and then went around shutting down every personal blog that used the acronym? What if they had Facebook accounts deleted, and stopped people from publicly talking about their books that had DIY in the title, even if the books were published before the trademark paperwork was filed?

Trademarking “DIY” would be completely counter to everything the modern DIY movement is about, just as trademarking “urban homesteading” is counter to the spirit of the community of urban homesteaders. The key word here seems to be “community.” The Dervaes family isn’t part of a larger community. Their community ends with the four of them.”

-from http://kristaandjess.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/urban-homesteaders-urban-homesteading-on-the-urban-homestead/

In the News





On Facebook:







In the Blogosphere:










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Grassroots International

–> <!–xxxxx


Gazan families are suffering but help is on the way. Although the situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, we are excited about a new program from our partner, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC).  Despite the catastrophic conditions, Grassroots International’s partner, PARC, is in a position to provide immediate relief but your donation is needed to fund this innovative farmer to family relief program.

Your contribution will allow PARC to:

  • Support besieged farmers through marketing their products at fair prices.
  • Assist productive women in women cooperatives through marketing their products at fair prices
  • Provide fresh and processed agricultural foodstuffs to hungry households vulnerable to food insecurity.
  • Invigorate agricultural cooperatives
  • Create job opportunities for unemployed people.

PARC’s Beseiged Farmers to Beseiged Families Program will provide Palestinians with urgently needed substantive assistance. Please donate to Grassroots’ Gazan Farmers to Families Fund today.

In solidarity,

Nikhil Aziz

Grassroots International works to create a just and sustainable world
by building alliances with progressive movements.

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I remember as a child, for a small donation one could have a tree planted in their name or in the name of a loved one. I don’t know how many trees were planted in my name. It wasn’t until much later that I was brought to understand this rather innocent sounding campaign went towards planting non-native pine trees that disrupt the local eco-system by fueling forest fires, and that many of these trees were planted on top of the rubble of destroyed Palestinian villages to hide the genocide and displacement that had taken place; the denial of the life, culture, community that had existed.
Today, Israel is continuing its campaign to destroy the Palestinians and drive them from the land (and I don’t call it ethnic cleansing, because there’s nothing clean about it!!!!) One of the ways this is carried out is by destroying the homes and farms of the people and not allowing them to rebuild or replant.
By making a holiday gift of $25 you can assist in this fair trade effort.
Long live the resistance of ordinary seeds!
Emma Rosenthal_Cafe Intifada!
Even if you are at war with a city…you must not destroy its trees for the tree of the fields is man’s life.
Deut. 20: 19-20

Plant 35,000 olive trees in Palestine

Launched in late 2005, the “Trees for Life: Planting Peace in Palestine” program created by Zatoun-Canada to share with partners around the world has is gaining much momentum and support. With the help of our primary partner and organization on the ground in Palestine, Palestine Fair Trade Association, the program was designed to ensure an equitable and efficient program and provide maximum benefit to the Palestinian farmers who need it the most. __Trees for Life provides individual Palestinian farmers with new olive tree saplings (3 years old) to plant and nurture in order to renew their decimated groves. The project will help offset the enormous destruction of olive trees by the Israeli army, settlers and the illegal Annexation Wall.

To Make a Donation

Olive farmers in the regions of Jenin, Nablus Salfit, and Ramallah receive 25 to 50 olive tree saplings each. The program was designed to keep costs down to an incredibly efficient $2.00 (USD) per sapling. in addition, PFTA representatives will deliver and distribute the olive saplings and ensure prompt planting. They will also visit all participant farmers after planting to ensure proper care of the trees and assess watering needs for the summer months. Farmers requiring assistance to water trees during summer will be assisted by PFTA.__The program will help connect Palestinian fair trade farmers and producers to the grassroots fair trade movement in Europe and North America in a meaningful way. The Trees for Life project is solely funded by grassroots movements abroad and invested in the fair trade movement in Palestine.__Planting Peace in Palestine is not merely a subheading. It is a statement of our sincere belief that Palestine must be a viable economic entity and its people must have the means to earning a livelihood if there is to be a true partner for a just peace.

THE GOAL FOR 2006 _For 2006, the worldwide goal for Trees for Life is to raise $75,000 to enable the planting of 35,000 olive tree saplings in approximately 1,000 farms distributed over 25 agricultural areas across Palestine. __Zatoun in Canada will contribute over $15,000 CDN in 2006 to Trees for Life from the sale of Zatoun olive oil alone. We have been very successful in attracting direct donations to the program as well. In total Canada hopes to provide $25,000 or 1/3 of the worldwide goal. __In a recent survey of Zatoun supporters (203 responders), a heartening 75% indicated they were likely or very likely to donate in 2006 to Trees for Life. Please join them in your intention and actions.__For Updates & Final Report on the completed 2005-06 Campaign & Planting (click here)_
Tens of thousands of olive tree sapling will be planted in Palestine _every year in December and January.

Recipient Selection
Farmers interested in participating in the project apply through PFTA coordinators. Allocations are granted based on the following criteria which the applicant must meet:
. be a certified member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association program for the production of olive oil. If a new farmer, applicant must demonstrate readiness to become fair trade certified and be willing to implement fair trade guidelines;
. own a land suitable for the number of trees applied for;
. demonstrate capacity to care for and nurture trees;
. be ready to prepare land for a collective tree plantation day. All trees must be planted day delivered. PFTA Representatives will deliver and distribute the trees and ensure prompt planting.
Priority will be given to the following applicants:
. Farmers that have lost trees to the Israeli destruction and uprooting;
. Small farmers;
. Women that own their land and are interested in farming;
. Young starter farmers that have inherited or acquired land.
Questions? info@treesforlifepalestine.org

Make a Donation to Trees for Life
through the non-profit oranization:_End the Occupation

The olive farmers of Palestine thank you for your support!
Zatoun is a non-profit organization and does not have charitable, tax-deductible status but donations can be made through End the Occupation:
End the Occupation

We need partners in Canada, Europe and the US to help fund this project.
With your interest and efforts, we’ll plant 35,000 trees together.

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Planting seeds of resistance:

art and agriculture

“To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.”  Gandhi

Gathering to save the farm, in addition to the farmers themselves, are activists, artists, movie stars, environmentalists, organic gardeners, lawyers, teachers, union members, musicians, poets, hip hop artists, old hippies, new immigrants, healers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, children.
Why does it mean so much to us? What would it mean to lose the farm?
If we lose the farm we will have lost more of what makes us human, whole, connected.  Certainly it is the farmers themselves who have the most to lose, but the loss is greater than the sum of 350 family plots.  The vigils, letters, donations, phone calls, tree sitters, artists and ordinary seeds stand in marked contrast to the gray blight of the surrounding area:  corporate greed, police force,  backroom deals and government official worried more about campaign contributions, corporate kick backs and future six figure job opportunities.
If there ever were an argument for the use of eminent domain it would be the purchase of the farm for its perpetuity. The farm is green in a sea of gray. The farm is classroom and laboratory:  a germinal history, a museum of sustainable indigenous agriculture, of innovative city planning.
We all have much to gain from saving this farm, much to lose in its destruction.  A victory could pave the way for demands for more green space.  We should insist that public parks plant fruit trees instead of ornamentals so that as the tree grows, the community might feed themselves. We must insist on pesticide, herbicide free landscaping in all city parks.  We must demand that for every seizure of homes under eminent domain, to build a new corporate center,  shopping mall, Walmart,  football stadium,  and prison that ten community gardens be erected.  We must insist upon the seizure of blighted land for the construction of community gardens:  box stores that came, profited and left, empty lots that collect junkies’ needles, old tires, industrial waste.
The artists; adults and children, students from as far away as New Mexico,  gather under a tarp as bandas play rancheros and Anna Kunkin prepares to dance to the Enzo’s drum beat.
Come down.  Make the trip.  They need you at the farm, every evening at 7 pm, but also during the day.  Destroying this treasure should not be easy for the beasts of industry, the captains of capital.  Stand down the helicopters and the threat of eviction.  Make a donation to the farm in the hope that it isn’t too late;  it isn’t too late.  The farm breathes, the farm lives, the farm stands.  It stands in defiance of corporate greed.   It stands for collective memory:  for heirloom seeds, for collectivity,  collaboration.  It stands in the way of bulldozers and greed and oppression.  It stands for justice, hope, the future, the children.
The farm is located at 41st and Alameda in the heart of Los Angeles’ industrial and warehouse blight.
Go before it’s too late.  Go now.  If we win, we win a new path in city planning, the ground for more demands for more green space.  If we lose, we lose seed, hope, green space, and we lose ground, not only the dirt, but political ground in the fight for sustainable use of public land, or the privatization of public land for individual and corporate greed.   Go now to bear witness to the wonder that is the farm: thirty foot high walnut trees,  ten year old banana trees, sugar cane, corn, nopales, children growing food in the shadows and footsteps of their grandparents.  Go to save it.  Go to see for yourself the treasure of the farm.  The richness of the soil, the abundance of fruit, vegetable.  This is wealth.  This is wealth!
From the olive fields of Palestine to the milpa of South Central Los Angeles; the land belongs to those who work it, love it, tend to it, sustain it as it sustains them.
Peace with justice and above all else, love,
Emma Rosenthal
To make a tax deductible donation to save the farm and for more information: http://www.southcentralfarmers.com/

To support the work of Cafe Intifada: _http://home.earthlink.net/~cafeintifada
All photos are ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved.  Permission must be received to publish and distribute these photos.

Welcome to the farm                        ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Justicia           ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Tu mundo nos destruye. Nosotros construimos el nuestro I_(Your world is destroying us.  We will construct our own!
©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Tu mundo nos destruye. Nosotros construimos el nuestro II_(Mechistas from Las Vegas and Santa Fe)
©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

So our children can soar I_  ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

So our children can soar II_  ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Save the farm                 ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Community art III                 ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Save the farm II                       ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Corporate greed _(Ralph Horowitz is the developer that is trying to have the farm destroyed.)_Banners like this one surround the farm.  _  ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

We cannot seek acheivment for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community -Cesar Chavez_  ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Aqui estamos y no nos vamos_We’re here and we’re not going!                                ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

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Farm update from Daniel

Here is a brief update on ways to have fun and get involved with saving the largest urban community garden in the United States, in one of the poorest
areas of the country.  This Sat.’s parade is going to

– Daniel
South Central Farmers Support Comittee

WWW.SOUTHCENTRALFARMERS.COM …updates/actions/events
WWW.SAVEOURGARDEN.COM ……….. history/info/photos


JUNE 23-25

*Friday- 9:30am
City Council meeting at City Hall…..meet up at City Hall @ 9:30am, meeting starts @ 10am  We’ve been making a very big statement at city hill, we need 150 people there tomorrow.  Power in numbers…

*Saturday- 2pm-5pm (meet up at 1pm)
Parade at Venice Beach boardwalk, and its gonna have some flavor so dont miss this.

*Sunday- 9am-10pm
The farmers market will be goin off with food, music, arts activities, etc….




The Friends of the Farm invite you to a PARADE to raise awareness about the struggle to save the South Central Farm. The parade will be led by the campesinas and campesinos and we are inviting supporters and organizations to join us for a lively afternoon of family fun on the Venice boardwalk in solidarity with the South Central Farmers. Come dressed as your favorite fruit, vegetable, of flower or wear green. Bring sunscreen, umbrellas, and
water, whistles, noisemakers, tambourines, etc.

When and Where:

This Saturday, June 24th.
Well be gathering at 1pm in the parking lot of the Venice Abbot Kinney Memorial Library, 501 S. Venice Blvd., Venice, CA 90291.

Well begin the parade at 2pm walking down S. Venice Blvd toward the Boardwalk.



Please join us this Sunday for our weekly South
Central Farmer’s Market! We will be on the north side
on the Farm (ON THE STREET) on MLK, between Long Beach
& Alameda.

After the farmer’s market, a benefit concert will take
place (artist to be announced.)

That’s right…whether we’re on inside of the Farm or
on the outside, we will not be stoped! Our traditions
will continue! Please come out to the Farm and show
your support for the South Central Farmers!!!!!


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