Poor people help ‘rich’ people redistribute stolen inherited and hoarded wealth across Mama Earth


by Vivi T, POOR Magazine

The “Stolen Land and Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization and Community Reparations Tour for Mama Earth and its Earth Peoples” was launched last spring by POOR Magazine, led by “Poverty Skola” Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia of POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE and fellow race, disability, indigenous scholars Leroy Moore from Krip Hop Nation and First Nations Ohlone warrior Corrina Gould of the Sogorea Land Trust. They plan to resume the tour in the coming months.

poors-stolen-land-tour-thru-oaklands-piedmont-district-0516-3-by-pnnAlong with many local Bay Area community allies, this nationwide tour kicked off in April in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco (Yelamu), later followed by a second tour on May 20 in the wealthy neighborhoods of Trestle Glen in Oakland (Huichin) and in nearby Piedmont, as houseless, working-class, privileged-class, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities walked in humility and prayer with guidance from ancestors from all four corners of corporate destroyed Mama Earth in an effort to seek monetary reparations through healing the sickness of “hoarded wealth.”

“I am walking for Luis Gongora Pat who was killed by SFPD, because he was displaced from his apartment and became homeless. He’s Brown and poor,” said Tiny, author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America” and co-founder of POOR.

With the increasing epidemic of wrongful displacement of long-time residents, both poor and working poor, and the rapidly increasing houselessness of communities who are currently under attack from high-speed gentrification, environmental racism, property acquisition for greed, hyper-apartheid incarceration, police terror and extreme displacement through state and local policies supporting these social injustices, including anti-immigrant policies, just to name a few. This tour is embarking on a mass movement to reclaim and redistribute stolen land, practice the act of decolonization and seek reparations across the United States in an effort to heal Mama Earth and all of her Earth Peoples.

During both walks, the community humbly and peacefully walked into “wealthy” neighborhoods, door-knocking, offering wealthy land and stolen resource hoarders a chance to begin the very serious work of “decolonization” by redistributing one or more of their hoarded and bordered stolen indigenous territories, buildings, homes, stocks, bonds, cash, extra pleasure boats and/or trust funds to landless and indigenous people in the form of what those at POOR Magazine/Prensa Pobre call “Community Reparations.”

Alternatively, if people are unwilling or unable to redistribute their stolen or hoarded wealth, these land-stealers and/or wealth-hoarders were then asked if they could begin an active dialogue with the community on the concept of “Community Reparations” for those most adversely impacted, such as landless, very poor and colonized communities.

poors-stolen-land-tour-thru-oaklands-piedmont-district-0516-2-by-pnnOn the first walk in San Francisco (Yelamu), beginning on top of a hill in very cold and windy rain on Earth Day, the prayer was powerful. Present were members of POOR Magazine, Krip Hop Project and the Sogorea Land Trust standing strong in unity with several local San Francisco organizations and well-known community members holding it down in song and chant while speaking truth with a deep and powerful vibration sailing in the damp wind as words, poetry and song, led by the beautiful spirit of the ancestors. This drew a lot of curiosity from those peering out from their perfectly clean windows of greedy grandeur.

After peacefully walking the streets of Pacific Heights as the sun began to appear, suddenly a wealthy young person came out of her home, wanting to see what she could do to reach out to the community. The walk ended in sunny Potrero Hill, where several community members with economic privilege read their amazing written pieces about how they were going to “redistribute” their trust fund savings in an effort to “redistribute the wealth.” This was truly the beginning of “herstory” making indeed!

In the second walks in Oakland/Piedmont (Huichin), on a very windy and blustery sunny day, prayer and song were heard throughout the neighborhood as all communities walked together to bring the attention of the wealthy communities to healing the sickness of wealth hoarding and to redistributing their “hoarded wealth.” Many community members from all parts of Oakland (Huichin) were present, including Auntie Frances of North Oakland.

As several community members knocked on the doors of several of the lush and beautiful houses in Trestle Glen – the same area where hipster mayor Libby Schaaf lives – most people didn’t answer. However, amazingly, one person did!

Dressed from head to toe in neatly pressed wealthy attire, a man opened his front door and intently listened to the community pitch the antidote for the disease of wealth hoarding and about redistributing and reparating their stolen and hoarded wealth to houseless people and First Nations movements, such as Sogorea Land Trust, when this man said, “What a beautiful idea! Yes, I’m interested.”

poors-stolen-land-tour-thru-oaklands-piedmont-district-0516-4-by-pnnHe then took an information flier. Amazingly, the following day, he emailed POOR Magazine, saying that he is interested in finding out more info bout the Sogorea Te Land trust with an interest to redistribute wealth and give reparations to them!

“It’s important for Ohlone people to be part of this movement, as we are unrecognized in our own land and suffered the first form of gentrification, aka colonization, had our languages and cultures stolen and are now displaced in our own ancestral lands,” said Corrina Gould, Ohlone land warrior and co-founder of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, the only Native woman-owned land trust in the United States.

In the “Stolen Land and Hoarded Resources Redistribution, Decolonization and Community Reparations Tour for Mama Earth and its Earth Peoples,” the two models that poor and displaced/houseless communities and First Nations communities are presenting is the poor people-led self-determined movement called Homefulness, located in deep East Oakland (Huichin Ohlone Land), and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, which is a Native woman-run land trust based in the land of the first peoples who lead it.

“One of the ways we can talk about people giving reparations is to give to the Sogorea Te Land Trust,” said Corrina Gould. In addition to these two models, the tour is planned to travel through other cities across Turtle Island (U.S.) where the descendants of settler colonizers will be asked to redistribute their excess and/or hoarded wealth and/or stolen land to First Nations people of the city or town where they “own” land or to support the launching of Homefulness models in that city or town for houseless people.

Those with more than one house, condo, income property and/or more money than they need will be asked to redistribute these resources to the very poor and houseless communities in Oakland (Huichin), San Francisco (Yelamu), Los Angeles, New York and beyond. The next tour will be in Ojibwe Territory (Minnesota). Look for updates at www.poormagazine.org.

Vivi T is an activist and journalist with POOR Magazine and Poor News Network. She can be reached via deeandtiny@poormagazine.org. To learn more, visit www.poormagazine.org and www.racepovertymediajustice.org. Photos by Noé Serfaty and Peter Menchini.


  1. I have read every single one of the words that you have used to compose this article, and yet, they do not seem to be arranged in any manner that might even remotely approach intelligibility. I cannot believe someone who has such an apparently vast vocabulary could mis-use the English language in such a manner. It pains me that you clearly adhered to the rules of grammar on the utterly-longwinded, over-pretentious name of your organization, which suggests some level of education (and I applaud you, everyone should be educated), and then summarily violate other rules of grammar in your forthcoming sentences.

    Re: second paragraph – These are some of the most atrocious run-on sentences I have ever seen, adding infinitive after infinitive and participle after participle. I do hope you know what those words mean. Just the sheer audacity to string so many words together without saying anything is astonishing to me.

    Re: third paragraph – Of course, don't leave out a chance to plug your book, Tiny! What legitimate journalist or anyone who wants their movement to be taken seriously would use nicknames like that in place of formal names? Do you not think that formal names are meaningful? Would you address Dr. Martin Luther King as 'hey doc' ?. No, you would not. If you want to be taken seriously you should act as such.

    Re: fourth paragraph – And then you start making up words like houselessness, houselessness? That is not a word! Homeless, sure. Houseless? Maybe. Houselessness? Do you just add extra suffixes to your words to make them sound more important? I don't even know what high-speed gentrification or hyper-apartheid incarceration is, but I assure you, that you have not suffered nearly as much as the great Nelson Mandela had in his fight for equality against a present and willfully wrong society. Just the mention of apartheid in the same area as the United States… it trivializes the hardships that Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu had to go through. How dare you equivocate your 'struggle' with that of someone who actually knows what struggle is.

    Re: fifth paragraph – The thought that you would be so brazen as to go to someone's door, to demand that they give up their property, are we so far beyond the sins of our fathers? That suddenly every acre of land should be reverted to its 'original' owner, have we not gotten beyond this? That there might be trades and treaties (yes I realize many were broken and that is a great shame) but such 'peaceful' people as you would understand, of course, the value of 'peacefully' inhabiting such land.

    Re: sixth paragraph – I hesitate to call this a paragraph because it appears to be one long, unbroken run-on sentence. Landless, colonized communities, again you are using words that I do not think you know what they mean.

    Re: seventh paragraph – Describing your walk in San Francisco as 'beginning on top of a hill in very cold and windy rain on Earth Day', just made me laugh. It's only a few shades shy of 'It was a dark and stormy night'. Really? Also, 'Krip Hop'? That is just about the laziest name for a (I presume) rapper ever, that would be like if you booked a concert for a rock band and the band that showed up was named The Rokk Band. Seriously? Then you use a lot more words to describe a lot of… nothing, and it's clear you have a great vocabulary, when you say things like 'perfectly clean windows of greedy grandeur'.

  2. Re: eighth paragraph – After walking as the sun began to appear… what is happening in what sequence? Calling that sentence poorly-ordered is the best I could do. It is great that several 'community members' who may or may not exist, read their 'amazing' written pieces about how they were going to 'redistribute' their trust fund savings… do you even know what these words mean? You keep using quotation marks like you are not sure what these words refer to. I would love to hear these 'amazing written pieces', they surely must be as great as this one, yes? Also, 'herstory', really? Seriously? This is the hill you want to die on? To make your claim? That is ridiculous. The great thing about the English language is that it does *not* have genders assigned to words, you should learn to appreciate and respect that. I hope you don't cause a schersm with your herspanic friends, or you would disenfranchere them. Do you see what I did there?

    Re: ninth paragraph – First of all you start this paragraph of with a… I don't even know, another run-on sentence that is crammed with participles. Healing the sickness of wealth hoarding? Who is going to define what level of wealth constitutes a hoard? Are you going to measure out and single out anyone who has more wealth than everyone else, until there is no one left but no one with income? Utterly preposterous! Although I do commend you for appropriately capitalizing Auntie Frances of North Oakland, that shows she is an important person to the reader.

    Re: tenth paragraph – That is the poorest, most ungainly way ever to say 'We knocked on doors but only one answered' that I have ever seen. Also, you are not allowed to use the word hipster.

    Re: eleventh paragraph – What exactly constitutes 'wealthy attire' anyway? He looks like he's wearing a sweater. Do they not have sweaters in the apartheid-ridden police-state suffering you are in? And again, another run-on sentence, and all the participles that don't need to be added. I bet that guy said he was interested just to get you to go away.

    Re: twelfth paragraph – Wow, he took an information flier. I like that you are amazed at the concept of e-mail. What wonders the modern age has brought to you! Communication in real time! Sharing cultures and bringing people together! Or alternately writing poorly-written articles about splitting up and segregating your own people. That's cool too. That's the way of free speech. Also, 'finding out more info bout the' come on really do I even need to point this out? Unless you were about (see the word I used appropriately there?) to face this man in a boxing match, 'bout' is not the proper term to be used here. Such laziness!

  3. Re: thirteenth paragraph – Well this sentence masquerading as a paragraph is also poorly written with too many run-ons and various other things, I do feel there is a worthwhile point there. That the native peoples of this land should have space for themselves. Then again, if the language had not been 'stolen' you would not be writing in English at all, would you? I am not certain you are anyway.

    Re: fourteenth paragraph – There is that atrociously never-ending ponderous name of your organization again. Could you not shorten it to something catchier? You use a lot of words, maybe you could use a few less. Again, this is another paragraph that is supposed to be a sentence but is neither! There is no predicate, there is no verb, there is no object, it is just a string of words that come together like a tangled mass of spaghetti. You cannot expect to be taken seriously when you write such nonsense. I certainly don't take you seriously. Also, 'Homefulness', that is not a word, stop inventing words, there are enough words in English already to describe what you are thinking of.

    Re: fifteenth paragraph – Turtle Island. Really? Again, more run-on sentences, and again, I wonder, who is it to declare and state what is excess hoarded 'stolen land'? How is it that you just decreeing it so, that these people have 'excess wealth', is that not how the 'colonizers' came to power in America? By decreeing this is our land. You are doing just the same thing. Also I hope your Homefulness models are launched into space, because that's the only place with a vacuum big enough to suck up all your ego and pretentiousness.

    Re: sixteenth paragraph – I like how you try to guilt people by adding the native names for places. Funny how there isn't one for New York though. While charitable donations are certainly something I would never denigrate, the fact of the matter is, whether you believe these people have 'earned' their wealth or not, it is theirs to do with as they please. You might have a much better acceptance if you showed respect for not just the others, but yourselves. You should appreciate what you *do* have, and the struggles of those that helped you get there. Yes, there are still problems, but humans are imperfect beings, and they make mistakes. I would like to think we are past this sort of segregation, colorization nonsense. But, I suppose, we'll see how you do in Minnesota. Hey, maybe you can guilt them with their appropriation of the Viking culture. Football, you know?

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