by Tiny Gray-Garcia, Daughter of Dee, Mama of Tiburcio
This poemCast goes out from the UnHoused Nation From Frisco to Winnemucca
And don’t get it twisted –
This isn’t any melting pot domiNATION
This poem goes out from the light-brite daughter
Of a traumatized disabled woman of color
Fuk U wite Bitch
She would scream at me
at least once a week
When the terrors would wake her in her tortured sleep
There are so many reasons our bodies are on the street
A Roof to sleep safely – is only one of them – Best Believe
It’s called Eviction, PoLice Terror, domestic Violence and poverty
I’m screaming from the margins / the street corners / the inside of a needle and the unbelievably cold nights in the doorway of a church steeple
All that you work hard so not to SEE
I’m shouting out
WE a FUKING rainbow on these stolen indigenous streets
“I can’t go back to my family,
Caused too much harm”
Manu, a Tongan elder living in his car
Arrested / Profiled for walking while Black in a walgreens
Whispered Jonny R – a Black Young poverty skola
“No I won’t stay in a shelter, You can’t make me …
They torture you there,”
And then he fell into a stare
Kelly J – a houseless wite disabled woman
Beaten almost to death
“By my ex,” she sez
“It’s why I can’t walk today”
“This was set up as a colony for Homeless Indians – now we are getting evicted,” said a 1st Nations elder leader from Winnemucca Indian Colony
We are not One nation –
Please don’t fetishize our lives
Savior No – u can’t wash the Trauma out our houseless eyes
I come from the UnHoused Nation – we r so many colors and cultures, generations and creations – languages and disabled iterations – alongside my brothers Leroy and Keith in the Krip Hop Nations – We r not one people and this ain’t no Melting Pot Crock
It’s a poor people led movement that clearly states – Krapitalism ain’t a Human way – That private property, hoarding, Evicting and speculating is Violent and isn’t OK
Mama was a (Marcus) Garvey-ite – believed Self-Determination was all that was right – Wite houseless people, poor or not, overstand and claim your wite privilege and the little bit less hate it grants u and then let’s get down to poor people movement business – these are the principals of Homefulness and POOR Magazine – lifting up poverty scholarship informed solutions – not more non-profiting un-Movement
This PoemCast comes from the UnHoused nation and the spirits of my Mama Dee, Luis Gongora and Luis Temaj – silenced voices – tortured choices – all those peoples you threw out – nervously don’t speak about – barely see throughout – criminals you think, call us, pass by us EVERY Fuking day – no doubt.
As krapitalism crumbles – pls listen to our broken mumbles – we r your mamaz, uncles, papas daughters – we r all colors, abilities, genders and cultures – even un-sexy wite – and yea we ain’t user-friendly or cute – rather, we hella CONfusing you
This ain’t a melting pot – More like “Swept into a ditch to rot –
From Eugene to Berkeley, the Evicted and UnHoused Nation comes to you loud and clear – pls listen closely there is a lot to learn here – from the bloody paper trails of Treaties to the So-called Grant Deeds – how does a piece of paper even mean u r safe or own Mama Earth any damn way?
From Frisco to Philly – Winnemucca to Olympia – us poverty skolaz have so much to teach – The Unhoused Nation Speaks …
“For 70 years – since 1951 – this has been home to me,” said Winnemucca elder leader Barbara George Mills.
“A woman claiming to be the chairman of this colony came to our doors with a big ole white man carrying a pistol.”
Barbara went on in her powerful interview with Po Peoples Radio to describe a terrorizing struggle led by a woman from Southern California who suddenly showed up claiming to have legal rights and evicting elders and demolishing the humble trailers they lived in, leaving them houseless, under the standard colonial, classist, racist lie of cleaning up the colony, the same one that is used to “sweep” encampments of houseless disabled elders and folks on every street in Occupied Turtle Island.
The “clean-up” crews of these colonial occupied towns systematically throw tents, sleeping bags, medicine and walkers away from already evicted people sleeping on the streets, leaving people to die in the cold. The “clean-up” crews of Winnemucca have already cut utility lines and removed access to water and electricity for many of the elder residents.
“The elders are re-instating their right to autonomy – and standing in resistance to live their lives as they should in the place they have called home for generations. They currently have been facing forced evictions by bulldozer,” said Jenn BearCat, a water and land protector who has been standing with and praying with the elders in Winnemucca, along with other young Indigenous leaders.
The colony borders the town of Winnemucca and lies within rural Nevada’s Humboldt County. The land for the colony came from two executive orders signed by then-President Wilson in 1917 and 1918. Together, the orders assigned 320 acres to Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone Native Americans without a home or reservation.
After First Peoples moved onto 20 acres of land owned by the Central Pacific Railway, the federal government bought the land and gave it to the colony in 1928. I had the blessing of meeting Jenn and hearing about the resistance at the annual NoThanksNoGiving event hosted by Klee Benally and others from IndigenousAction.org.
“The woman who is harassing us now is the descendent of peoples who left the colony in the ‘70s to move to California for jobs and property that was offered to them. So now she shows up claiming this land as their own, trying to evict everyone on this colony – they have put a chain link fence all around the streets and have bulldozed homes and are trying to evict all of us so she can build apartments to rent to the miners who work near here.
The “clean-up” crews of these colonial occupied towns of San Francisco, Oakland, Denver, Olympia, Bellingham and Eugene systematically throw tents, sleeping bags, medicine and walkers away from already evicted people sleeping on the streets, leaving people to die in the cold. The “clean-up” crews of Winnemucca have already cut utility lines and removed access to water and electricity for many of the elder residents.
In March of 2020, the speculator forces of Winnemucca began an endless assault of demolitions, evictions and so-called clean-ups even when the Centers for Disease Control were mandating shelter in place requirements – just like the mayors of Oakland, San Francisco and more did to houseless peoples living in tents.
Barbara went on to explain that this woman has hired her own judge, lawyer and tribal police. For any readers of POOR Magazine and survivors of Bay Area evictions and homelessness, we know so clearly the violent stories of eviction, homelessness and subsequent death of 100-year-old Iris Canada, 79-year-old Lola McKay, Indigenous, houseless Luis Gongora and Luis Temaj – burned alive for sleeping outside – and of foreclosure and homelessness survivor Kathy Galvez, and my own Mama Dee and me. Black, Brown, Indigenous and poor wite people lose our homes and lives every day behind violent paper trails and eviction notices in this occupied land.
private property is the church you abide by on already stolen land
“No one has title to this land. It was set up by the federal government for homeless Indians,” concluded Barbara. As Barbara spoke, my mind went back to Kathy Galvez, co-founder of Homefulness, who lost her San Francisco home of 40 years even when she supposedly had “the title” in the ways that colonial paper, bankkksters and lawyers steal poor, Black and Brown peoples’ homes every day when private property is the church you abide by on already stolen land.
POOR Magazine houseless, Indigenous youth and elder warriors stand with Winnemucca elders in resistance. The elders are asking for legal help from an attorney that is familiar with tribal law and contracts. Please urgently get in contact. Follow them on Instagram @Manred2014 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you. In addition, you can donate to them on $DefendWinnemucca or on Venmo @simone-arteaga. To listen to the Po Peoples Radio Podcast with Winnemucca elders and Jenn BearCat, click here.
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.