Landslide Farmhouse Eviction Account and Support Information‏

The City has unboarded the house, but informed the residents that they may not sleep there. Legal status is being worked out. A benefit is planned, and donations are being accepted.


Thanks to the hundreds of phones calls of support to Council Woman Payne’s office, public works, the mayors office, and to 311; the Support of Council Woman Payne, and legal aid from the ACLU, our lawyer and one long, hard day of work from many other helpful folks, the boards will be removed from the farmhouse. We are thankful for all your support. This victory, though temporary, has shown us just how many people in our community and the larger community care about Landslide.

Personal Account of November 7th 2008 Landslide Community Farm’s Farmhouse Eviction

On the morning of November 7th 2008 the Landslide Community Farm volunteers were assembling to plan the 3rd day of their yearly farm closing work week, when Pittsburgh Public Works arrived escorted by several PGHPD vehicles, including a police wagon. The police asked for identification from all people on the sidewalk when they arrived. They then asked to see a written lease agreement or deed for the farmhouse.

No written agreement was able to be presented; police officers then notified all present that we had fifteen minutes to remove our important belongings before the house would be barred. When asked why we were being evicted, we were told that an anonymous complaint call had been made to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s 311 hotline. The caller claimed that we were violating building code.

Neighbors, visitors, and volunteers helped us retrieve as much of our property as we all could before we were denied re-entry. The Public Works employees then measured and tried to board the doors, but their van was a bit too far down the hill. They pulled the van up and backed over their own saw. They had to leave the premises to purchase a new one. Police officers remained outside watching the community farm members as we watched over the farmhouse.

Public Works returned and boarded two of the entrances. The police asked if anyone was still present in the house. A full time volunteer re-entered and checked the premises and reported that no one remained inside. Then, two police officers entered the house admittedly without permission from the owner and without a search warrant. Public Works then boarded the last door and the police informed us we would be immediately arrested if we entered the farmhouse. The PW workers left with the police shortly afterward.

Councilwoman Tonya Payne, a major supporter of the farm, came a bit later with the same PW employees that had sealed the farmhouse. She and the other city employees said they wished they could help us in this situation. The councilwoman didn’t know how to go about that, and the PW employees said that they could only follow orders. We are now trying to figure out our next steps and what our options are. We are currently working with a lawyer but if you have ideas or advice please email

If you would like to help us out, we need you! Please come to Landslide in the next few days to help us finish our closing work. You can also attend our emergency fundraiser tomorrow, November 8th, 2008 5452 Wilkins Ave. at 8 pm. We will be having our weekly Sunday Brunch benefit (a spilt benefit between Landslide and Book ‘Em) as usual on Sunday, November 9th Noon-3ish pm. Anything that you have (especially love and support) will help get us through this tough period and build our collective strength. Monies collected will first go toward legal fees and we will also be raising money in case the farmhouse goes up for city auction soon. If you cannot physically come to Landslide but want to donate money, you can send donations via Pay Pal on by selecting “Donate” then “Projects” then choosing the Sustainable Living Project. Checks should be made out to “The Thomas Merton Center” memo “Sustainable Living Project”. Checks and money orders can be sent to: The Thomas Merton Center 5125 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15206. We will have a list of tools and materials that we could use and projects that are being completed posted on our website shortly. Please check for updates.

Thanks so much to everyone that has been a part of all the kindness, generosity, and overwhelming support that the project has received. We couldn’t be here with out it.

of The Landslide Community Farm


Catching Up: (Part 1.) September 1-8

Apparently life goes on whether I remark on it or not, and I feel half guilty taking September off, so I’ll try and catch up. There’s some big stuff in the works, including a collaboration with a dear comrade and little brother, on a piece about the folly of ethical consumption and an overblown commentary on Mike Vick and his sporting dogs.

  • September 1 : It wouldn’t be a long weekend, if we didn’t celebrate “our freedom” with Taliban/Carry Nation checkpoints and police crackdowns.
  • September 2: Pittsburgh Food Not Bombs hosted what was apparently a great block party.
  • September 3: Labor Day is May 1, you big dummies.
  • September 4: The Pittsburgh Organizing Group began it’s “End War FAST“, in an alleged effort to close the Forbes Avenue recruiting station. I hope no one really believed that the US military cares who eats and who doesn’t, and that blue-haired liberal ladies got out their checkbooks, which seems to be a more realistic goal for a hunger strike. For some reason, their use of all-caps in the word “FAST” drove me crazy.
  • September 5: Suburban golden boy, whose family used their City address, turned Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, dropped by the Zone 3 police station, to get his picture taken using the City’s new cyber-snitch website.
  • September 6: The dollar fell. I hope it hits the ground before it wakes up.
  • September 7: The region’s second-worst “badge bunny“, head-trauma patient, and “Man of Faith” (don’t worry Mr. Zapalla, you’re still #1) donated money to buy shit for police dogs in Cleveland. Ben, you may or may not know this (or be able to read this), but police dogs have managed to bite black folks just fine, long before morons like you thought they needed body armor. Anti-American Idol, Osama (that’s Usama for you FOX viewers)bin Laden, releases a new tape and unveils his new look. I like it better than his old stuff.
  • September 8: Minor skirmishes outside the APEC summit in Sydney, Australia result in arrests.

A Block Party to Benefit the Thomas Merton Center


A Block Party to Benefit the Thomas Merton Center
Sponsored by Food Not Bombs
Sunday September 2nd
Corday Way between Taylor and Ella Sts.,
Parking Lot behind Ace Hardware on Liberty Ave.
Bloomfield, Pa.

Suggested Donation $5-$15
Beverages and Vegetarian Food will be provided by Food Not Bombs
Raffle and Music
Free Literature

Bands 4:30-7
Two Sexy Beasts
Kill the Unicorn
Saber Teeth
+ 1 More TBA

DJs 7:30-10
DJ Spaed
DJ Zack Traxxx
DJ Sean MC
DJ Idris Intifada
DJ Thermos

For more info:

SOS-Thomas Merton Center is BROKE!!

Sorry to come back after a health/legal related hiatus, and beg for money, but the Thomas Merton Center is one of the key defensive (as are all formal organizations) structures  for participants the social war, as it is carried out here in Southwestern PA.

The TMC is one of those rare places in North America, where wild-eyed anti-authoritarians and  social democrats and their ilk can find common ground from time to time. Ask any anarchist in the 412 area code and 8 out of 10 will sing their praises. Anything that can get 80% anarchist agreement is fucking amazing.

The Yinsurrectionary Times will be selling refrigerator magnets (we got a deal on the printable magnetic sheets) to benefit the TMC, but if you think the writing here is awful, the graphic design sense is much worse, so and suggestions or advice on designs would be greatly appreciated.

send suggestions to  yinsurrectionarytimes at hotmail dot com

Some other fundraising ideas are in the works, and we’ll keep you posted.

What follows is a forwarded message:

Hi dear friends who love the Thomas Merton Center,

This is a plea for money! The activist resource center that

you know and love in Pittsburgh is having severe financial crisis!

A lot of this has to do with the fact that the TMC had to replace the

fire escape that was deteriorating. This in itself was a pretty penny and

in the process it left holes in the back brick wall which lets the water in.

Yes all the water thats been falling falling falling is falling through the center.

So water has been pouring in creating damage!! If you have been at the center

lately you have seen the huge hole in the kitcen ceiling and its getting worse!

Besides that there are numerous other building repairs that need done.

Is a group your involved in a project of the Merton Center and you are not a member?

Have you ever had an event or meeting at the center? Do you read the NewPeople on your lunch brake? Do you support the work of the 30 projects that use the resources of the merton center? The Africa Project- addressing child soldiers in Uganda, Book ‘EM – supplying quality education material to prisoners, New Voices Pittsburgh- women of color for reproductive justice, many Anti-War groups and Demilitarization efforts, Haiti Solidarity Committee, Save Our Transit,….the list goes on and on!

The TMC is currently working on a few grants but if approved that money wont

come for a great while. In addition to seaking individaul donations, we are imploring people to become members.  It costs 25 dollars for one year! That is so cheap!

You can make your check out to Thomas Merton Center and mail your check to the TMC 5125 Penn Ave Pittsburgh PA 15224 or donate online

And seriously, if you got more money then you need right now, please consider making

a big donation. You would be supporting many different activist groups all over the city and

in doing out supporting all of thier causes.