Gideon's Trumpet

Anything and everything blogs designed to provoke free thought and discussion.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Darryl Hannah: Climbing Up the Wrong Tree?

We've all heard the news about Darryl Hannah being pulled from the tree in which she was perched to assist in a protest of the development of a piece of land being used as an urban farm. It's the second major celebrity tree related story of the last two months (leading me to ask: do the TREES really WANT this publicity? But that is a subject for another blog entirely, one I hope to shortly embark upon). At first I was inclined to dismiss this, as one radio talk show host did, as another stupid celebrity story, but then I heard her side. And, frankly, I'm inclined to agree with it.

The land in question was seized almost two decades ago by eminent domain. It was given to the people of LA to use as an urban garden after the riots, and repurchased by the original owner some years later for something like $6 million. He had plans to build a warehouse, which started the people who had been using the garden in serious discussion about purchasing the land. He asked for a price of $16 million.

Now, here's where it gets really interesting. Instead of trying to take the land by asserting some stupid environmental law, Hannah and her fellow activists raised the asking price. The owner reneged on his part of the deal and was preparing to bulldoze the 14 acre tract of land, which included about 500 mature fruit trees, which cannot easily be replaced at a later time. Hannah's protest was to protect the trees from destruction until the matter could be settled in court, or more preferably, out of it like civilized beings.

Darryl Hannah's actions and those of her colleagues have been doing exactly what I have asked of liberals all along. First, they are truly trying to help the citizens of LA help themselves by growing gardens and contributing to the greening of the inner city. Second, they are employing do-it-yourself liberalism and attempting to acquire the land through legal channels rather than back door seizure methods. Third, they are participating fully in the free market system that makes this a truly great nation. If more liberals would work to make a difference in the way that Ms. Hannah and her friends are doing, I truly believe that the label of "liberal" would not be as distasteful as it is to so many of us. I applaud Ms. Hannah's efforts and believe they set a shining example for other liberals to follow.


At 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really enjoy reading your blog. If i were you i would go to and submit this blog and let thousands of others see it for free. well thanks again and i look forward to all the updates.


At 5:28 PM, Blogger jessada said...

Wow ... I am, too, inclined to dismiss this as some silly celebrity stint by Hannah. However, as much as I tend to lean toward property owner rights, it does seem like this owner got a bit too greedy. --Jessada

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Why on earth don't all the rich, concerned celebs just buy the land?

At 5:42 AM, Blogger Mark Base said...

I think it's admirable that she did this without resorting to wearing her Splash! mermaid tail.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger San Chonino said...

"Why on earth don't all the rich, concerned celebs just buy the land?"

Didn't pay much attention to Gid's article, did ya? That's exactly what they tried to do. And then the property owner reneged on his agreement. Read it again, please. ;P

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous harveyg said...

Great points! It's so easy to dismiss stuff like that as "stupid Liberal tricks" but when presented in context it takes on a whole new flavor.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger TPS said...

hey g,

i was remembering a young gideon who used to make his home at good ole' joeuser--and though it's been several months since i really paid a good visit to the joeuser forums, you're one of the posters who i always spent a few peeks to see what was new with your writing.

i can accurately say that we disagreed on, say, 80%, 75%-80% of everything, but i always appreciated your thoughts and well-considered style of expression.

anyway, hope this new site is working for you.


Taboo Monkey Blue Blog

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Chandira said...


I grew up in 80's and 90's England where tese types of protests made the news weekly. And I can proudly say I know a few of 'em... And it saddens me that we don't prtest these things more, in such a peaceable but firm way. We give up too easily. We lay back and take it. I find myself more leaning towards libertarianism lately, for these reasons.
Liberals (and I count myself as one) need to grow some balls, and stand up against all the fear-propaganda..

I have a sneaking love still of Abbie Hoffamn, and wish the Yippies would resurrect.. ;-)

Good post.


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