The Garden Essay #2

The Garden Essay #2 - Rodriguez 1 WRT 101 Summer 2010 Dr...

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Rodriguez 1 WRT 101 Summer 2010 Dr. Susan San Jule Itzel Rodriguez June 28, 2010 Fighting for a Garden I want to start out by thanking all of you here that are attending this conference. Many people don’t believe a community is an important cause to fight for, but I stand here before you and say it is. As gardener’s yourselves, you know what an impact a community garden has made on your life and on the entire community. I know from experience how it feels to lose something that is a part of you, because that’s what gardens have become for many of you. In the documentary The Garden, which was released in 2008, you can see how me and my fellow South Central gardener’s lost our community garden after a hard fought battle. The director of the film, Scott Hamilton, was able to capture every emotion we encountered. It wasn’t easy to deal with the loss of the garden but so much came out of it. Although we lost the garden, we gained much more: we brought a community together; we showed our government that we weren’t pushovers and that we were going to fight for what was right; most importantly, we were able to reach out to many people, as yourselves, and let them know that they are not alone. I come here to tell you to fight for your garden because no one else will. You must come together as one and fight this injustice. We are as important as the group that wants a soccer field, or recreational center and you need to show them that. Much good will come from fighting for your garden whether you lose the garden or you’re able to save it. This history of the garden goes all the way back to the 80’s, when Ralph Horowitz lost his land due to eminent domain. Under eminent domain, the city was able to forcefully buy the
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Rodriguez 2 land from Horowitz because they believed it was for the best interest of the city. The city bought the land for only five million dollars, and it was suppose to be used to make a garbage incinerator. This didn’t settle well with many of the South Central L.A. community members, especially Juanita Tate, the founder of Concerned Citizens of South Central L.A. Juanita Tate had strong political influence in the L.A. area which helped her fight the city to not build the incinerator. After a strong fight, Juanita and the members of Concerned Citizens of South Central L.A., won the battle, and the incinerator was never built. In 1992 the worse riots in LA started because cops beat up Rodney King. The riots didn’t start because of the actual beating of this man. They started after the trials where the four cops that nearly killed Rodney King were found not guilty. The riots lasted 3 days. There were 53 killed and 4 thousand injured. There was over one billion dollars in damages. The damages didn’t only come from the fires, they also came from people breaking into businesses and taking advantage of the situation by stealing what they could. In order to pacify the community, Doris Bloch, who was not part of the city government, came up with the idea for the city to give a
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The Garden Essay #2 - Rodriguez 1 WRT 101 Summer 2010 Dr...

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