by Tiny of POOR Magazine
“They came by and took our tents, said we had to go and not come back or we would be arrested, you know a sweep” said Johnell, 48 , a black disabled, houseless elder and RoofLESS Radio reporter who lived in a tent at Larkin and Mcallisters streets since April when Covid19 struck. Johnell and his wife both got a tent from POOR Magazine’s radical redistribution /RoofLEss radio cru who distributes masks, hand sanitizers, tents and hot meals to every one who needs it as well as poor people-led, street-based media, like we have been doing since 1996
The lawsuit seeks to compel the City to clear the Tenderloin’s dangerously crowded sidewalks and to provide safe and sanitary shelter for the unhoused people who have been camping there in escalating numbers since the outbreak of COVID-19. The lawsuit was filed after many complaints from community groups and individuals to City officials failed to achieve visible results.
Two weeks ago a “lawsuit” was settled that was brought by UC Hastings- a law school located in the Tenderloin, which basically sued the City for not properly taking care of houseless people in covi19, which they didnt (leaving hundreds of people on the street while hotel rooms sat empty) but also sued houseless people for being houseless with the end result being the violence called sweeps of unhoused people in the Tenderloin.
The violence of this Krapitalist hate and PoLie Terror Un-Packed
First, UC Hastings is a classic example of what i affectionately refer to as akkkademia – a multi-million dollar funded institution who literally “owns” thousands of pieces of Mama Earth aka buildings in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district slated for “The Dorm Industrial Complex” (a multi-billion dollar scam taught to people caught in what i term the “away-nation” the idea that somehow you can do better, be better, get smarter, by leaving your family and ancestors and community and everything that made you to travel thousands of miles away to another city , where you know no-one and then pay thousands of dollars to an insitutional school to “start your krapitalist life- (Things we houseless and formerly houseless poverty skolaz at POOR Magazine teach on in PeopleSkool – the Poverty Scholarship Book and other venues trying to decolonize and de-gentriFUK their lives)
All that said, the “Away-Nation” enables the filling up of these over-priced dorm rooms that add and/or cause massive displacement and evictions of poor and working class people from their long-time neighborhoods -all across this stolen land -from (Occupied Lenape Territory) Philadelphia to LA ( Occupied Tongva) from Temple University to UC Berkeley while filling the pockets of the Insitutions and the devil-opers, real eSNakkes who “build them and charge exorbitant prices for them.
So although the Tenderloin is supposedly a “business district” there are thousands of working class residents, both housed and unhoused in the Tenderloin but they just aren’t the kind of residents UC Hastings wants.
Private Property PoLice harass, move and evict Houseless Black, BRown and Poor people
One after the other since the lawsuit was “settled” UC PoLice and regular SF poLice cars descended on the tenderloin, displacing, evicting, terrorizing, removing tents and houseless communities who had porta potties, hand-washing stations.
Just like all the BbqBecky’Speak that has led to countless poLice terror calls and murders of Black, Brown, disabled and poor people across the US, the lawsuit is peppered with racist, classist words like “scared” and “unsafe” when talking about houseless people, a majority of whom are Black houseless people, who although they only make less than 3% of the San Francisco population, make up over %30 of the houseless population in the Tenderloin.
“If we didn’t agree to leave they told us we would be arrested,” Marvin R, one of POOR Magazine RoofLESS radio reporters reported.
“Before I was houseless i had an apartment in the TL, the rent got too damn high, now im homeless, and no I’m not leaving San Francisco, even though it doesnt seem like any of us are wanted here.” said Roger C, another Black, disabled elder residents of the Tenderloin.
One after the other RoofLESS radio reporters told us they were told they had to go, sometimes they were offerred a hotel room if they agreed to a series of intense surveillance and hoops, or what i call case manglement and anti-social workers demanding paperwork and appointments and on and on.
In this time of poLice terror resistance its so often that houseless people are not seen in this struggle, it is so often that the criminalization of houselessness continues with the insane violence called “sweeps” which happens all the time, and is not viewed as police terror, that poverty, wealth-hoarding and land-stealing are not not seen as crimes, and that these issues are even separate. From Occupied Huchuin where a sweep is being threatened tomorrow in the middle of a pandemic of houseless people from West Oakland to the Tenderloin – houselessness must be connected to this struggle against poLice Terror.
Yes us houseless people are sometimes in struggle with drugs, mental illness and CONfusion. but so do housed people, they just have, as i call it, the privilege of privacy, instead of the violence of exposure.
NO people sleeping in tents isn’t a solution but neither is hoarding and stealing mama earth and hoarding billions of dollars and arresting and sweeping people like we are trash.
And no we are not telling people to perpetrate the violent act of looking away, but we don’t need the criminalization of the Savior Industrial Complex that only wants to make money off of our poverty, but really “See us” like the non-profits and UC hastings “pro-bono” lawyers who backed this lawsuit
So we are asking for Reparations for the Black residents of Occupied Yelamu ,(Bank of ComeUnity Reparations) San Francisco who have been gentriFUKed out of their neighborhoods and streets by institutions like UC Hastings and give back that occupied and hoarded land.
POOR Magazine who has led the Stolen Land /Hoarded Resources Tours since 2016, our demand is for UC Hastings to give back one of those stolen buildings to houseless people so we can build our own solutions like Homefulness- which are poLice Free movements to take back and unSell Mama Earth, and work to heal each other through our own self-determined, poor people-led solutions.
One of my sister-shero, poverty skola and reporter with POOR Magazine Junebug says Poverty is a culture and like i always say, Change Wont Come from a Savior, Pimp or an institution – Change will only come from a Poor People-led Solution…
Join UC Hastings Students, Reclaim SF, POOR Magazine,Coalition on Homelessness, Do No Harm, Solidarity SF, ( some conscious) UC Hastings Students and others as we hold a rally outside of UC hastings- McAllister and Hyde streets at 3pm- to resist this Absolute Violence against houseless San Franciscans
POOR MAGAZINE is an on-line news service dedicated to providing in-depth coverage of issues affecting low and no income communities nationally and internationally.