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Celebrities join L.A. farm protest

  |   May 26, 2006 at 7:29 AM
LOS ANGELES, May 26 (UPI) -- Hollywood and music celebrities have joined Latin American farmworkers in protesting a plan to turn a South Los Angeles farm into an industrial site.

Folk singer Joan Baez led the crowd in song Thursday as she sat in a giant walnut tree in the 14-acre farm where 350 workers have tended crops.

The Los Angeles Times reports the property was leased to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in 1992 but sold to developer Ralph Horowitz in 2003. He wants to sell it for development and neither the farmers nor the celebrity crowd has been able to raise the $16.3 million price tag to buy the land.

Baez spoke to the media and played music as fellow singer Ben Harper, his wife and actress Laura Dern and actress Daryl Hannah, who is camping out at the farm, showed their support, the Times said.

Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who once spent two years living in a Northern California redwood tree, joined the workers in fighting the sale a year ago and called her celebrity friends, the newspaper reported.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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