by Tiny – poverty skola, daughter of Dee
Luis Temaj was burned alive
for living outside …
Set fire jus tryna sleep
Cuz like all of us –
he was tired
And we can’t just blame the poltricksters for this hate
The kkkops are called in this stolen land every fuking day …
Whether you are supposedly “helping” us or hating us with your deadly housed gaze
We are on your street corners
Your side streets, your alleyways.
Our belongings repulse you
Or foster a deadly savior state
Please believe politricksters, housed hater humans and real Esnakkkes
Your profit margins, angry stares and scarcity state drip with houseless humans’ blood
No matter how much u lie to our face
Burned alive for sleeping outside
Sentenced to death for the settler poverty crime
Of being seen while houseless by your housed eyes
“You’ve got to get your shit and move. You have 5 minutes,” a loudspeaker announced into Julio’s tent. He was on the edge of a curb, at the interseYtion of four streets, under two freeways, hiding under a small inconspicuous tent, but somehow according to someone, he was in the way. Julio lost everything he had in the middle of a rainstorm, except one blanket five minutes later.
Julio Z, Mayan born in other destroyed, poisoned and occupied parts of Turtle Island, crossed three colonial borders to get here so he could support his family, “get a better life” and in reality wash dishes and make dinner for extreme wealth-hoarder, gentriFUkers in occupied Yelamu – who never saw him, never knew him, never had to support or love or care for him but now immediately call the kkkops because they are disgusted by the “sight” of him.
Julio – like Luis Gongora Pat, murdered by SF poLice in 2016, and Luis Temaj – burned alive in his last remaining belonging, a sleeping bag, were and are all at the end of that trajectory of the mythic and so fake amerikkklan dream aka the krapitalist success model. And now Julio and before they were killed, Luis Gongora and Luis Temaj were surviving, barely, hiding mostly and cleaning always their tiny remaining belongings on the street.
“They came with no warning, they told me to leave, and I had no time to get my stuff,” Julio concluded looking down.
A RoofLESS radio reporter, Julio’s words and scholarship are available on POOR Magazine’s RoofLESS radio, which like all of POOR Magazine’s work resists the about us without us CorpRape media model and ensures that us people in struggle speak for ourselves.
“I think I knew Luis Temaj. He was Mayan and worked in the kitchens and then ended up losing his job,” Israel Munoz, formerly houseless poverty skola with POOR Magazine and single father from the other side of the false borders recalled his distant memory of Luis Temaj.
Israel, who just moved into his own small studio at Homefulness, struggled with the violence of endless sweeps and poLice harassment before he came to Homefulness. Contrary to popular belief, these endless sweeps, which equate human beings with trash, did not really stop in the Covid pandemic on either side of the Ohlone/Lisjan Bay.
And now that we are on the “opening back up” tip, the sweeps are constant. On both sides of the Bay, DPW, trash trucks, poLice and anti-social workers endlessly harass, steal, remove and throw away everything we have.
Self-determined movements like Homefulness and Cob on Wood have little or no support and continue to grapple with trying to build our own solutions. There are no J.O.B.’s in self-determination. There are no business plans, profit margins or “success stories” in providing rent-free housing like Homefulness operates.
But in reality, while kkkop26 rages on with more useless promises by politricksters to stop the horrible desecration of Mama Earth they have been perpetrating for years, all movements to free, liberate and reclaim struggle to be seen, heard and honored in a stolen land moved and fueled by profits and buying and selling every piece of mama Earth and mama Ocean.
Meanwhile us land liberators continue to do whatever we can to stop the endless removal and desecration. But in reality, there is no long-term workforce development in taking back stolen land so ancestors can be honored and rest free like West Berkeley Shellmound.
There is no Dorm Industrial Complex Dollars in stabilizing mostly disabled elders housing where like 121 Walnut Street – just gentriFUKed by UC Berkeley.
There are no blood-stained dollars in enabling people to sleep peacefully and play in People’s Park, recently stolen by UC Berkeley for so-called transitional housing.
Luis Temaj was burned alive for living outside, for living in plain sight. And we can’t just blame the poltricksters for this endless hate.
Yes, we are outside. Yes, we clutter your weirdly empty starbux-clean street corners. But until you can give us liberated land, please stop kkkop calling, saving, sweeping and desecrating.
Please don’t practice more of what I call HypoKRAZY (hipocracy) and pretend you care about climate change, but then hate the mere sight of houseless people.
These issues are all connected. We cannot care for mama earth and not for her earth’s people. Krapitalism kills everything – people, animals and love.
And Luis Temaj, and Luis Gongora Pat, were indigenous men stuck in this place behind years of working in your kitchens, yards, factories and markets. From our prospective at POOR Magazine, they, like many colonized, stolen peoples are owed reparations for this labor, free land and resources.
This is why we houseless, poor, indigenous peoples launched PeopleSkool, teaching wealth hoarders and land “owners” about the Bank of ComeUnity Reparations, and why we work so hard to build Homefulness and just released a How to Handbook so more poor and houseless people could replicate all of this across Mama Earth.
But even if all of that is too strange, real and radical for you, at the very minimum, stop killing us. Stop kkkop calling on us, stop sweeping us and talking about us without us – and maybe, just maybe, start listening to us.
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.Photos are by Momi Palapaz and Scott Braley. The Homefulness Handbook is available at www.poorpress.net.