From deportations to reparations: An emergency call for Ag-Reparations and Farm Sanctuaries across CalifAztlan

by Tiny, Daughter of Dee, Mama of Tiburcio

 

Daughters and sons crying, hardworking fathers and mothers wrenched from their children’s arms, families stolen, babies traumatized. Oranges dying on the trees, grapes shriveling up, unpicked, ungathered and untended.

All of these acts of violence against Mama Earth and her earth peoples are happening because the hard workers, the migrante indigenous labor that the multi-billion dollar farm industry relies on to pick, tend and distribute its products are being deported across the hate-filled colonizer borders. Borders created, enabled and enacted by the forefathers of the farm industry families themselves. To this violent paradox, I propose an emergency form of Ag-Reparations and Farm Sanctuaries.

No matter how you say it reparations is Everything. Its mere consonants make most middle class white people shudder, extreme wealth-hoarders silent and politricksters of all stripes shut down. And yet it, I will repeat, is everything.

In the case of the use, theft and profit that fuels a stolen capitalist system launched by what I affectionately call the “Stealing Fathers,” there are direct through lines between enslaved bodies, indentured bodies, indigenous bodies and poor bodies to the wealth-hoarding, land and resources stealing and accumulation of the very rich and even the middle class in amerikkklan.

In our 21st century reality, there are different kinds of reparations and radical redistribution that must be enacted. These are acts of conscious reparations and revolutionary redistribution – in other words, what must be enacted is an actual “sharing economy” rather than the fake Uber-Lyft-Google-Facebook sharing of basically nothing.

No matter how you say it reparations is Everything. Its mere consonants make most middle class white people shudder, extreme wealth-hoarders silent and politricksters of all stripes shut down. And yet it, I will repeat, is everything.

These acts of radical redistribution and real sharing are what I have deemed Community Reparations. It is rooted in the concept of interdependence and the recognition that we are all connected as humans and all need each other to be OK and, unlike the fake and inhumane notion of independence that the Stealing Father gangsters called the Declaration of Independence and other associated documents, interdependence states that I am connected to you because you and I are both human.

Because I see you, you and I have a responsibility to each other and I can no longer practice what I call “the violent act of looking away.” This form of interdependence, radical redistribution and community reparations is what we teach people with different forms of race, class and formal education privilege in POOR Magazine’s PeopleSkool. It is what funded and helped to implement the poor and indigenous people-led movement called Homefulness.

These acts of radical redistribution and real sharing are what I have deemed Community Reparations. It is rooted in the concept of interdependence and the recognition that we are all connected as humans and all need each other to be OK.

These acts of radical redistribution look like POOR Magazine’s Solidarity Family and the Zapatistas (EZLN) Comite Apoyo (Support Committee), both of whom alternately use their multiple “paper” privileges – academic papers and letters and so-called “citizen papers” or documents,” deeds of trust claiming they own land and credit – to support, lift-up, launch and leverage with us folks who have none or maybe only one torn piece of that paper.

Homefulness was not started by bloodstained dollars alone. Any one of our Solidarity Family will tell you that its developing horizontal magic of poverty skolaz working alongside folks with race, class and/or formal education privilege came from peoples whose families know someone who knows someone from generations of white privilege and unseen academic privileges and connections speaking up for us in the permit departments, helping unconnected poor people without a pot to piss in get credit so we could get new or decently working vehicles, helping us meet people in the annals of settler colonizer real estate snake halls and meeting other folks with hoarded and/or stolen wealth so we could teach them about reparations and redistribution.

As a matter of fact, most of this work is rooted in deep relationship building, which only comes if one person truly shares gifts they were blessed with due to 525 years of white supremacy and institutional and community power and paper privilege.

In this moment with literally thousands of indigenous peoples crossing the kolonizers borders due to poverty, violence, genocide and war, being threatened with removal, more violence, incarceration and family separation, I am putting out a formal call for the multiple paper privileged among us to practice this form of reparations.

Most of this work is rooted in deep relationship building, which only comes if one person truly shares gifts they were blessed with due to 525 years of white supremacy and institutional and community power and paper privilege.

For the conscious people who engage in the farming industry, who work really hard to create an organic, GMO-free product, who try to conserve water, use safe or non-toxic fertilizer, who are trying to, as their marketing campaigns state, stand up for Mama Earth and her earth peoples could create a farm based coalition to stand up for migrant workers who pick their products and without whom there is no working, thriving farm system.

It is for this reason I call out to the farm peoples, the agri-business owners and lobbyists and even to the community gardeners to create a different coalition to stand up to the Trumpkkklown with your multiple paper privileges and say hell no to the politricksters and the police and ICE to create multiple Sanctuary Farms across CalifAztlan, deeming your private property, which is privileged more than anything else in amerikkklan aka stolen Turtle Island, thanks to the Stealing Fathers documents, and say no, ICE, you can’t come on this land and steal, abuse, displace and remove humans – aka deportation.

There is a similar case I make for the TechReparationsFund, which I put out to conscious members of the tech industry, last month in our powerFUL Stolen Land/Hoarded Resources Tour through SillyCon Valley to realize the direct impact of your industry on the lives and homes of working class and poor communities of color in the Bay Area like 100-year-old Black Elder Iris Canada, killed by the abuse of unlawful eviction, so pay into a fund that supports the building of equity for working class poor, Black and Brown Bay Area residents so they can stay here.

I call out to the farm peoples, the agri-business owners and lobbyists and even to the community gardeners to create multiple Sanctuary Farms across CalifAztlan, and say no, ICE, you can’t come on this land and steal, abuse, displace and remove humans – aka deportation.

In the end, none of these acts of reparations and actual sharing can happen without the moves of privileged people, but my argument is that in these times the moves of conscious peoples with privilege aka different forms of Community Reparations, such as the Bank of Community Reparations and the recent move by Planting Justice to reparate their Ohlone-Lisjen land to Ohlone-Lisjen peoples of this land (Oakland), is what must happen now.

Meanwhile, us unhoused, po, criminalized and indigenous folks at Homefulness and Sogorea Te Land Trust can create our own self-determiNATION movements of land and resources liberation and decolonization across all of stolen Mama Earth.

For more information on this proposal or for help launching either the #TechReparationsFund or the #AgReparations/ Farm Sanctuaries, email poormag@gmail.com. For more information about the next session of PeopleSkool, go to www.racepovertymediajustice.org.

Tiny – or Lisa Gray-Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee 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 deeandtiny@poormagazine.org. Visit POOR at www.poormagazine.org.