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Joan Baez's Tree Protest

Posten on: 2006-05-25 06:39:22

Folk singer Joan Baez and a woman who once spent two years perched atop a giant California redwood took up residence today (May 24) in a tree in a Los Angeles community garden that is threatened with demolition.Baez, who gave voice to Vietnam War protesters, and Julia "Butterfly" Hill, whose anti-logging protest in the late 1990s drew widespread attention, said they would occupy the tree in shifts.The 14-acre garden in the middle of gritty south Los Angeles is tended by some 350 farmers, many of them immigrants, who have been growing fruits and vegetables there since 1992.The farmers are threatened with eviction after the Trust for Public Land failed in its efforts to buy the site from the owner, who plans to build a warehouse there.A small group has gathered on the site in a bid to prevent the garden from being wiped out.Hill ended her Northern California "tree sit" protest in December 1999 after Pacific Lumber Co. agreed to preserve the tree she dubbed Luna and a 200-foot buffer zone around the tree in exchange for a $50,000 payment from Hill and her supporters intended to save the tree in perpetuity.The 65-year-old Baez has a long history of political activism. Last year she joined anti-war protesters near President Bush's ranch to meet with military families who want troops pulled out of Iraq.

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