Battle for the California Desert: Why is the Government Driving Folks off Their Land?



The Antelope Valley is a vast patch of desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, and a segment of the few rugged individualists who live out there increasingly are finding themselves the targets of armed raids from local code enforcement agents, who’ve assembled into task forces called Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs).

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.

«They’re picking on the the people who are the most defenseless and have the least resources,» says Melnicoff.

Reason.tv collaborated with Melnicoff to talk with some of the NAT’s targets, such as retired veteran Joey Gallo, who might face homelessness if he’s forced to leave his house, and local pastor Oscar Castaneda, who says he’s already given up the fight and is in the process of moving off the land he and his wife have lived on for 22 years. And, while Antonovich declined an interview, we did catch up with him at a public meeting in order to ask the big question at the center of all this: Why the sudden enforcement of these codes against people living in the middle of the desert, who seemingly are affecting no one?

Writer-Producers: Zach Weissmueller and Tim Cavanaugh. Associate Producer: Mars Melnicoff. Camera: Alex Manning and Weissmueller; edited by Weissmueller.

Approximately 9:48.

Music by Audionautix.com.

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Battle for the California Desert: Why is the Government Driving Folks off Their Land?: 44 комментария

  • 22.08.2017 в 06:36
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    CORRUPTION AT IT'S WORST BY GOVERNMENT. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS I LEFT California, IT SEEMS ALL ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, AND NOT ABOUT THE PEOPLE

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  • 24.08.2017 в 21:43
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    The Lefties need it for their Concentration camps they plan like their Fascist heros

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  • 24.08.2017 в 22:08
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    The very best thing these people can do is leave it all behind, leave CA and go somewhere without the evil Government vermin.

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  • 25.08.2017 в 14:40
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    You need more people to move into that area and to bring it to the main media…

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  • 26.08.2017 в 03:27
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    What? The county wants property owners to believe that 'neighbors' complain about ANYTHING in this barren shit hole? Yeah, it's a regular garden spot!

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  • 27.08.2017 в 02:35
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    In college we were told the definition of fascism was large corporations subsidized by the government with a policy of subsidizing stronger companies and driving small weaker businesses out such as in Mussolini's Italy.

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  • 27.08.2017 в 08:01
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    Conspiracy theory alert:)! I bet the hipsters and millennials starting businesses in Downtown Los Angeles are complaining about the homeless. Maybe LA county wants to move the homeless out there at the expense of the taxpayers…

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  • 27.08.2017 в 14:42
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    Has anyone noticed that this is happening in California. THE BIGGEST Democratic Liberal State in the United States. Where is the ACLU? Instead of fighting for illegal they should be fighting for the citizens of the United States.

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  • 27.08.2017 в 14:49
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    Keep voting Democrat like Jerry Brown, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. The government leaders in CA are dirty. Where are the movie stars? I guess because there is no press present there will be no famous actors there to help out.

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  • 29.08.2017 в 00:35
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    "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." — Ronald Reagan (40th President of the USA)

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  • 29.08.2017 в 04:47
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    They are using Agenda 21/the 2030 Agenda to run them off, and even bill them to demolish their own homes. They have plans for this land.

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  • 29.08.2017 в 05:15
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    California needs to be forced to leave the union, they are much more harm then worth to the United States!

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  • 01.09.2017 в 04:40
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    Culofornicate is what it is. A failed state. Any thing that happens there, who cares. let the Mexicans have it, it's a dump anyway. they will fix it up real pretty.

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  • 03.09.2017 в 17:08
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    Got no love for politicians
    Or that crazy scene in D.C.
    It's just a power mad town
    But the time is ripe for changes
    There's a growing feeling
    That taking a chance on a new kind of vision is due
    I used to trust the media
    To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
    But now I've seen the payoffs
    Everywhere I look
    Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Revolution calling you
    There's a revolution calling
    Revolution calling
    Gotta make a change
    Gotta push, gotta push it on through

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  • 12.09.2017 в 13:16
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    I love the high desert but know one thing, this isn't your land, you can't do whatever the hell you want. Gotta follow the laws of the land, even if it's in the middle of the desert

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  • 14.09.2017 в 16:06
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    lawsuits against antonovich   tie them in knots     make their life miserable     ….this is outrageous and   UN constitutional    … maybe  TRump can help them and others       this is   ….  IF they say neighbors complained      …you have a right to face them and know who they are   or   what   IF simply the Gov.  just made it up?

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  • 16.09.2017 в 06:56
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    so extremely wrong there was an elderly woman who kill herself because the city wanted her land (who what, are to put road equipment) and offered her very little and she feared that she would not be able to live some where as the home and property she had the government gets their way all the time there is very little normal persons can do unless you have lots of money to grease their pockets — so sorry for these folk's blessing to them

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  • 22.09.2017 в 04:26
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    People have a right to face these so-called accusers lodging these alleged complaints. The Press Secretary's tossing out the old canard of a Psyop buzz phrase "Conspiracy Theory" illustrated this very well. Especially when there is OBVIOUSLY a conspiracy; not only to to drive these people out of their homes, but to force citizens to level their property at THEIR expense.

    It's obvious these false "public servants" have some major plans for development and lucrative kick backs from their political masters.

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