“Nuisance abatement teams in the Antelope Valley have been using unethical and immoral means to strip individuals of their land,” according to the latest Libertarian Meetup newsletter.
Concerned citizens in southern California are encouraged to join the protest.
Code Enforcement officers are citing citizens for the slightest violation of the County Code, and sometimes for imaginary violations. And they often arrive on the property accompanied by armed police officers, sometimes with guns drawn. Legally, land owners do have the right to a hearing in front of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, but the decision nearly always goes in favor of the County, which is hardly spurprising. In theory, individuals can appeal to the Court, but few people have the resources to pay the huge legal fees involved, so they simply lose their homes.
You can watch a Youtube video about the armed raids by Code Enforcement which are being carried out against individuals who lack the resources to protect themselves against these outrageous actions by LA County government.
This reporter knows from personal experience that Code Enforcement often cites people for so-called “violations” that do not violate any code at all. For example, officers often cite wheel barrows as “inoperative motor vehicles” and demand that people remove their lawn furniture from their front lawns. When things get out of hand, people often are forced to surrender their homes to the County.
The plight of the Valley’s desert dwellers made regional headlines when county officials ordered the destruction of Phonehenge: a towering, colorful castle constructed out of telephone poles by retired phone technician Kim Fahey. Fahey was imprisoned and charged with several misdemeanors.
But Fahey is just one of many who’ve been targeted by the NATs, which were assembled at the request of County Supervisor Mike Antonovich in 2006. LA Weekly reporter Mars Melnicoff wrote an in-depth article in which she exposed the county’s tactic of badgering residents with minor, but costly, code violations until they face little choice but to vacate the land altogether.
Battle for the California desert
The actions by Code Enforcement teams in Antelope Valley, a remote desert community, are at least questionable and probably Unconstitutional. Similar actions are taking place in San Bernardino County and eleswhere as cash-strapped county governments use police force and bureaucratic nightmares to wring the last ounce of blood out of each citizen. This must stop. We must stop it.
Please attend the protest if you can, and certainly you can write to your government officials, newspapers and other media.