California is not for rich people only! First Nation, Black, Brown and poor people stand together to take the state back for the people
by Tiny, daughter of Dee, POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE
“Of course they don’t care if our laundromats and hardware stores are closed to make way for condos. These tech millionaires don’t do their own laundry or fix their own apartments,” said Patricia Kernan, one of many elders and children who spoke outside the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office on Friday, May 8, before they walked in and filed criminal charges against landlords and speculators who are evicting us for profit and dismantling our lives.
From Oakland to Salinas, from San Francisco to Vallejo, hundreds of Black, Brown, First Nation and Poor people stood together on May 7 and 8 to demand the end of displacement, police terror and criminalization and the increasing apartheidization of this state. We organized together and intersected our issues to demand civil and human rights for houseless people and the end to the killing, evicting and incarcerating of our families, our elders and ourselves for profit.
From Oakland to Salinas, from San Francisco to Vallejo, hundreds of Black, Brown, First Nation and Poor people stood together on May 7 and 8 to demand the end of displacement, police terror and criminalization and the increasing apartheidization of this state. We organized together and intersected our issues.
Day 1, from Oakland to LA to Salinas
In Oakland, the circle of resistance of these two days of action was launched with multi-nationed spirit from all four corners, as spirit is an equally important part of any resistance to the 21st century colonizers, who, like their ancestors, are evicting, arresting and incarcerating poor peoples and peoples of color across Mama Earth.
When the first wave of colonization happened, our spiritual traditions, languages and songs were criminalized, silenced and persecuted. Our bodies used for chattel slavery and our minds confused by the multiple lies of colonization, wealth-hoarding and capitalism.
Oakland: Eviction kkkort
“Today we are honoring Freddie Gray, murdered by Baltimore police, and Ron Lickers, who lost his life to the trauma of eviction,” said 13-year-old Youth Skola Ty’Ray Taylor. We stood together in song, prayer and dance on the cold, hard steps of Oakland’s eviction court – First Nation Ohlone peoples of the Bay, African, Yoruba peoples, Mexica danzantes, Pacific Islanders and youth skolaz from Deecolonize Academy, a social justice-based school for Black, Brown and poor children launched by POOR Magazine to bring prayer for all victims of police terror, displacement and criminalization across the state.
“From LA to the Bay” in Salinas, people entered the halls of poltrickster lies and demanded that the inhumane “raids” of belongings and lives stop happening to Salinas’ increasingly large houseless family population. A population made so large because this white-supremacist town is run by the same rich, white families that Filipino and Raza workers fought for years to get rights for poor workers of the Salinas Valley and now struggle with police killings and displacement of its Black and Brown residents.
LA and Venice Beach
“Gentrification is racism!” In LA and Venice Beach, the southern part of this state, poor, Black and Brown people are experiencing exactly the same forms of extreme displacement, police brutality and criminalization as folks are in the Bay Area. Tragically, two nights before the planned “Rich People Only” protests, Brendan Glen, a young African-American war veteran, was shot by the Los Angeles Police Department. So the day of LA-based protests about displacement and police murders centered its focus on justice for Brendon Glen and all victims of police terror and displacement in this increasingly rich-people-only city.
Day 2, from District Attorney to City Hall, Vallejo to San Francisco
“For Mario Romero and all victims of police terror” was the theme in Vallejo. Opened by First Nation elders and led by Justice for Mario Romero organizer Cyndi Mitchell, families of folks who have lost their sons to police terror as well as elders fighting the covert and overt racism of Vallejo and most of this stolen land stood together on the City Hall steps to connect their issues and demand justice for ALL of us.
In San Francisco, evicted and harassed elders file elder abuse charges against landlords. “My husband Ron Lickers was a good man. The trauma of eviction was too much for him, “ said Kimberly Gallegos, wife of Ron Lickers, a First Nations elder who crossed over (passed away) after the trauma of being evicted from his life-long home and neighborhood in San Francisco.
On Day 2 of this action we made history In San Francisco by following through with a revolutionary effort we launched in 2014.We filed three charges of elder abuse under Penal Code 368 against landlords who have been harassing their tenants for months and years so they can evict them and turn over their units at a higher rate to the young tech workers who seem to have no limit to their stolen and hoarded wealth.
Our first charge was filed in 2014 but it was stalled because the elders we were advocating for were afraid of retaliation from their landlords. This group of elders and their children are so traumatized, they feel like they have no other recourse and are ready to strike back.
The Mission takes City Hall
“When the mayor and half the Board of Supervisors take their orders from tech corporations and not the people, it’s time for the people to become directly involved,” said Oscar Grande, director of PODER, who led hundreds of people into City Hall on Friday to “Take City Hall.” It was a beautiful show of people’s power and the reality that no matter how much money you have, we the people have our feet and our hearts and our voices. And we won’t let this state be for rich people only!
The struggle continues with a clear list of demands that is growing and a goal to reintroduce San Francisco’s anti-speculator tax initiative, Proposition G, to the whole state and introduce autonomous community councils to replace the police killers who roam our communities killing, arresting and testing our Black and Brown sons and daughters as well as many other efforts that intersect our struggles.
We are all connected. Our work and our revolutions can be stronger if we work together and support each other.
We are all connected. Our work and our revolutions can be stronger if we work together and support each other. To add your case to the elder and child abuse cases against speculators or to get involved in the statewide effort to resist a rich-people-only state, contact email@example.com.
Tiny – or Lisa Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee and co-editor with Tony Robles of POOR Magazine and its many projects and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” published by City Lights. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit POOR at www.poormagazine.org.