Encampment bans on stolen land

No more People Cages! – Photo: Peter Menchini

How did homeless get un-linked from homes and other settler colonial lies

by Tiny Garcia 

How did home get detached from home-less? 

How did homeless-ness get un-linked from our humanity – and unhoused humans no longer being seen?

How did cleaning – meaning eradicating – unhoused bodies from your cities become a poltrickster catch phrase 

Or an anti-poor people’s hate-filled saying?

How did our life without a roof 

Get un-linked with the truth

Of eviction, displacement, gentrification and 

Elders and babies constantly being re-moved? 

As politricksters across stolen cities come up with policies to lock in poor and indigenous people’s poverty forever, I have to ask, “How did homeless get unlinked from homes, 

“And how did humans lose the right to be housed?”

The proposed “Encampment Management Policy” of Oakland would ban tents from within 150 feet of schools and 50 feet from homes, businesses, playgrounds, parks and other recreation areas. As some Oakland city leaders put it, the homeless camp problem is out of control.

In this message from a poverty skola, this formerly unhoused, incarcerated single mama will be delivering a BRIEF HERSTORY lesson into the destruction and commodification of Mama Earth, eradication of safe places to rest and transformation of a place with abundance to a land filled with poverty, scarcity, incarceration and thousands of people on the street, who are no longer considered human but instead the krapitalist defined object called “homeless.”

1) Settler colonial lies of discovery transformed an abundant indigenous territory known as Turtle Island into Incarceration Nation in five short centuries and so locked in the lie that Mama Earth should be sold to the highest bidder, “rented” for profit and hoarded for wealth acquisition

2) Imperial armies, endless colonial wars all across Mama Earth – and borders, fences and walls everywhere – created the lie of citizenship, forcing people onto one area with paper and licenses and false government treaties and paper entities, if we were seen as lighter, whiter or more “worthy.”

3) Public (not really EVER) housing – poor people housing – projects to some of us – dismantled almost as quickly as it was created, beginning with “New Deal,” set up as a scarcity model “helping” only for some poor people, the so-called deserving poor – white widows of war veterans – pushed and nudged by more racist, classist legislation into becoming ghettos for poor peoples of all colors and then slowly but surely intentionally blighted, stolen from, criminalized, police predated on, disrespected, and then sold on the stock market officially in 2013 to private non-profiteers to be dismantled forever so now no poor people’s housing as we knew it exists in the US in 2020. 

4. Moving onto real eSnaking – bankster paper trails, equity theft, gentrification and literally thousands on the streets, mostly elders and disabled peoples and families – unable to get back in their family homes – and then the evil private property “ownership” of Mama Earth and the lie of rent – flagrant scam-lording, evicting, harassing and adjudicating us all out of roofs like me and mama were for my childhood.

5. And lastly but not leastly, the ways that notions of success, sanity and normal-ness are equated with land – hoarding and resource stealing and deep, violent poverty shame got linked with the lack of those things. Backed by the therapy industrial complex notions of abnormal – their complicit acceptance and encouragement of the alone-ness, isolation and individualism. And the ways that endless productivity are required to keep the lie of rent going.

Homefulness is being built by the power of the people.

And now here we are in a pandemic with people facing the violence of evictions and currently being evicted. Over 100 families this jailhouse lawyer has advocated for in the last six months – notwithstanding the toothless and truth-less eviction moratoriums and poltricksters speak of nothing but more evicting, removing, displacing and dismantling humans like me who have been turned inhuman because of our poverty? 

And us houseless poverty skolaz are left with the same question we were asking when the sheriffs were at our collective doors, evicting us from our roofs (that we ALL had before we were home-less). Where do we go?

As you can all overstand and innerstand, we were all housed – just like many of you reading this currently are, before we were unhoused. But this simple fact doesn’t get spoken about enough. We were all housed before we were unhoused. 

How did our life without a roof 

Get un-linked with the truth

We are all humans even if we don’t have access to a roof. We aren’t a thing, or a problem or a piece of legislation or a law. We aren’t an encampment or a tent or hefty bag. We are humans suffering behind the violence of poverty.

To unpack the multiple ways our in-human-ness is locked in – even our “residency” in a city or town or area is not actually considered legitimate. In many places across the country, if you have no “fixed” address (namely with a roof attached), you are not considered a resident with rights to vote or receive mail, etc. 

All of these acts of violence are deeply related to the original “stealing fathers’ (Founding Fathers’) classist, racist bloody paper trailed process to steal land and resources and force millions of indigenous, enslaved and bordered peoples into forever poverty and implement the lie of rent and commodification of Mama Earth. Which is one of the many reasons I believe that homelessness needs to be included, linked and connected to indigenous land leadership. One of the many reasons us poor, Black, Brown, Indigenous and unhoused people at Homefulness follow the stewardship of indigenous land liberators like Sogorea Te Land Trust and the EZLN in Chiapas. 

We have no homes in a stolen land system rooted in greed and theft.

And we need to go back to the idea of what is home in the first place? And how does lack of access to a roof mean you are no longer privileged with the right to rest, as comrades from WRAP have named it. And how people in their desire for Starbucks-like landscapes absent of people – and most peoples (of all colors and cultures) anti-poor people hate, or complicit soft hate of seeing “the homeless” like poltrickster Noel Gallo often says. 

Or my other favorite reference to unhoused humans, “This is ridiculous! The homeless problem has gotten out of control!”

You mean the fact …

That you keep enabling, causing, legislating and stealing more and more of Mama Earth for profit? Yeah, that’s out of control ‘cause your greed and stolen land lies are out of control.

That you poltrickster and private property owner continue to be complicit or explicit in the raping, desecrating, hoarding and selling of Mama Earth. 

That public land in this stolen indigenous territory has NEVER BEEN for ALL the public.

That the scamlord system is protected and killed for by endless paper laws and police and security guards.

That permit gangsters charge exorbitant fees to houseless builders like us at Homefulness.

That sacred indigenous sites continue to be used for recreation and krapitalist greed.

That the lie of rent and profiting off people’s roofs is held in place with occupying armies who carry guns, called sheriffs and courts and judges and everyone else on that dime.

That people think it’s a sign of success to hoard more and more of Mama Earth.

That people are arrested for resting. 

That the only “solution” these politricksters have are outdoor “cages” like in SF and Ste Petersberg. 

That people, humans who live and breathe and eat and thrive and dream and think are arrested for resting …

The encampment bans, like the sleeping bans of a couple of years back in San Francisco are another way to de-humanize, criminalize and incarcerate people for their poverty and as we re-think the thousands of missionary and colonial lies of Columbus, can we also recognize the false gods of hoarding, land stealing and evicting from land that was never yours in the first fucking place.

POOR Magazine, Homefulness and Deecolonize Academy houseless, indigenous, bordered and poor youth and elders will be releasing a statement on Indigenous Peoples Day condemning the encampment bans on stolen land. Please consider standing with us. Please email poormag@gmail.com to sign on. 

Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, aka “povertyskola,” is a poet, teacher and the formerly houseless, incarcerated daughter of Dee and mama of Tiburcio and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America” and “Poverty Scholarship: Poor People-led Theory, Art, Words and Tears Across Mama Earth” and co-founder of Homefulness, a homeless people’s solution to homelessness. Reach her at www.lisatinygraygarcia.com or @povertyskola on Twitter.