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Poor, homeless and disabled scholars are releasing a book sharing their truly innovative solutions to homelessness and poverty and launch a national theatre production on poverty, homelessness and criminalization of poor people. This book and curriculum release will be accompanied by a series of theatre and poetry workshops in community centers, schools and jails with other homeless and formerly homeless communities.
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.
Tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 11, in Room 400 of City Hall, the SF Planning Commission will be voting on whether to approve an application for the condo conversion of the Fillmore District apartment building from which Iris Canada, a 100-year-old African American woman, was evicted last February. Ms. Canada died in the hospital in March, shortly after that eviction. The item is No. 16 on the agenda. The commission meeting begins at 1 p.m.
The rubber sides of the boat were like arms – thick, round, hard. “These are the boats refugees have to travel in. Men sit on the side, the women, children and elders in the middle, sometimes getting splashed and sick with the leaking gasoline from the engine because they are covering miles of ocean to go from one country to another.” The tour guide from Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, was narrating the “Forced From Home” traveling exhibit of removal, imperialist wars and NGO and government abuse of indigenous bodies across the Global South.
“I was born in 1916,” Iris whispered into the camera in her last hours of life. “Peter, I can’t believe you did me like this.” Her eyes were pools of sacred time. Sacred, like a prayer. Sacred like things you hold lightly to protect and dream about and kneel to. Not evict and harass and drag to court and intrude and disrespect and eventually kill. Iris Canada joined the ancestors on Monday, March 27, one month after being evicted. Iris was murdered by the people and the systems that rule this stolen land. Iris was killed by landlord Peter Owens, the sheriff, the DA, the mayor, the judge and everyone who protects them.
Peter Owens, one of three landlords of Iris Canada, the 100-year-old African American woman evicted from her apartment in the Fillmore area by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy on Feb. 10, has removed Ms. Canada’s possessions from the home she’s lived in since 1965 without notice and while she was in the hospital. Ms. Canada’s niece, Iris Merriouns, her main caretaker, says that Owens’ attorneys have denied her access to the elder woman’s possessions.
Iris Canada, a New Afrikan Queen and one of San Francisco’s few centenarians, has just been evicted from her home of over 60 years on the southern edge of the historic Fillmore district, now “Hayes Valley,” by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy. In a move that can only be construed as Machiavellian, the sheriffs arrived and changed the lock while Mrs. Canada was at her senior program! As of the date of writing it is unclear whether Mrs. Canada is even aware that said eviction occurred.
Poor, unhoused, barely housed, indigenous, Black, Brown and Red people don’t have presidents. We have prison wardens, police, sheriffs, anti-social workers, landlords, judges, bailiffs, poverty pimps, case manglers, ICE agents, CPS workers and debt collectors. Under Clinton, we lost welfare and the criminalization and incarceration of young people was institutionalized. Poor people don’t have presidents or governors or mayors. We have ourselves.
Iris Canada, who just turned 100, was hospitalized early yesterday morning, just a day before the sheriff was set to evict her from the Page Street flat that she has called home for over half a century. She is in guarded condition. Ms. Canada, who made national headlines earlier this year with her fight to keep her home, was rushed to the hospital after seeing the sheriff’s notice warning her that she would be locked out of her place on Wednesday, Sept. 14. We are asking people to send emails urging that Iris be allowed to stay in her home.
The owners are pressing forward with their eviction of Iris Canada, the 99-year-old African American woman in the Fillmore who just turned 100, by asking Superior Court at 400 McAllister on Wednesday, Aug. 10, to grant them an order to throw her out of her home of over 50 years. Come to the courthouse at 400 McAllister at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10, to applaud Iris as she arrives and wish her luck
In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.
Carved into the skin of San Francisco’s Black community is a desecration, a lack of recognition of the sacred. This desecration is being levied upon Iris Canada, a 99-year-old elder who has lived most of her life on Page Street – an elder who is in the fight of her life. She lived a life on Page Street long before condos, con-men and the poison cloud legacy they leave behind from places like New Hampshire – “home” of her landlord, Peter Owens.
This is how bad things are getting: Iris Canada could lose her home of more than 60 years, despite a lifetime lease. CALL TO ACTION: Rally for Iris Canada, a 99-year-old African American woman in the Fillmore threatened with eviction. At a hearing Tuesday, April 19, 8:30 a.m., in the Courthouse, 400 McAllister, San Francisco, her lawyers will argue to make her temporary stay permanent. Join the two-to-three-hour rally outside.