Community Gardeners Plant More Than Seeds in Cell Tower Protest


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Verizon Wireless is stirring up more than the soil as they begin construction of a cell tower located on a plot of land used by community gardeners in Boyle Heights, CA. 

According to KCRW-TV, gardeners who tend to their crops on the plot have protested the cell site by posting an anti-5G banner on the partially constructed tower and spray painting anti-5G messages on nearby walls. 

“We’re afraid that this radiation is going to add more damage to our community,” said Brenda Martinez, an anti-5G protester. “It’s just the lack of rights that we have as individuals. They just violate our human rights, our civil rights. They come, they put a tower, and they have no regard for the community.” 

The garden owner, East Los Angeles Community Corporation (ELACC), executed the cell tower lease with Verizon in 2015. Verizon only just this year began construction. 

ELACC co-founder Manuel Bernal said, “As much as I would like to side with the community, as much as I would like to take the clock back and not have a signed contract, we will be exposed legally to Verizon. That is not a route we want to take. We can’t afford it.” 

Dr. Leeka Kheifets, an expert on the potential health effects of cell phones, told KCRW-TV, “We need to be cautious, but right now, there are no reasons for great concern.” 

Verizon has been cognizant of the gardeners’ concerns and confirmed the tower will use 4G technology. 

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