Getting off the Google Bus 4 Dummies- A Decolonized Guide for the GentryTechNation
They sat there. Eyes ahead or faced down, digital symbols from phones, I-pads and laptops scrolling across their eyeballs in the tinted light of their luxury transport bus.
It was an “Apple” bus. And it was filled. Every seat occupied by tech employees, the majority of whom were earning anywhere between $80-150,000 per year and up, recent transplants to a town they weren’t born, raised or invested in. and with their very presence, were displacing hundreds or possibly thousands of very poor, working poor, and even middle-class elders, families and children who could never begin to pay the increased rents now being asked, demanded and evicted for by greed-filled, landlords, and real estate spekkkulators.
There are mildly distinct differences for the buses of tech companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo and the Bio Tech giant Genentech. They form a collective of companies providing 21st century carriages to shuttle the too-delicate for public transportation feet of what I am now affectionately calling the gentryTechNation
For the last three weeks activists from many walks of life, including elders, disabled folks, communities of color, working poor and many white middle-class activists have begun stopping the buses at their illegal, non-paid for, “bus” stops, conveniently located in front of coffee houses or near BART stations or just in the neighborhoods they already gentriFUKEd.
But this is where it gets downright surreal. The protests and protestors aren’t abrasive or angry. In fact, they say things like Join Us – Get off the Bus! They are filled with the humble stories of elders and folks who will have nowhere to go once they are evicted, and yet, today in front of a booshie San Francisco coffee shop, in a MUNI bus stop, I witnessed not only complete disinterest from the passengers of the filled to capacity bus, but two more people right in the middle of the protest, pushed past the protestors and… Got On the Bus!…
All of which made me realize I need to write a simple guideline for the gentryTechNation who have obviously been built and made from the deepest message of race and class supremacist values, are so completely engaged in the pursuit of the mighty dolla and the subsequent hegemony of disinterest and the prestige of their trendy tech job that they have become completely bereft of even trace aspects of spirit, empathy, culture and consciousness.
And for this you truly can’t completely blame them. They are told that they have achieved the ultimate in success in the stolen indigenous land called Amerikkka. Most of us are taught at the youngest ages to succeed means to make the most money, by any means necessary, no matter who gets hurt, how it lands on other peoples and who gets left behind. Throw in race and class privilege and unseen, multiple benefits, from this race, class privilege. Fear and hate of everything you don’t know or never knew and lies about security and safety created by the plantation, prisons and po’ lice and you have built a gentrytechnator. Peoples of the US and all of the places we have colonized with our media, wars, land and resource theft are also taught a whole gaggle of lies about the non-profit industrial complex savior complexes (give away some money every year at tax time or volunteer at a soup kitchen over the holidaze, or donate some of your old, broken down laptops or not cool anymore clothes to the Goodwill and you have “given Back”
So for all confused, befuddled, knowing in their gut that this just isn’t right, for all the tech CEO’s who are open to some real decolonization, for all the peoples on those buses who entertained, if even for a minute, that they needed to in fact, Step off the Bus.. here is a short excerpt of Guru Tech-Decolonizers’ guide to Getting off the Google-Bus for Dummies:
1) In a protest, and on any day, Get off the tech Bus- pick up a protest sign and begin saying your humble sorries for your oblivious role in the displacement of so many communities of origin of San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont and San Jose
2) Take public transportation – no matter how “inconvenient” it is
3) Send a text, email, tweet and pinterist, google+ msg and old skool phone call to the company you work for and ask them to stop running the buses.
4) In the same digital streets listed above-ask your company to pay the several million dollars in tax breaks they stole from this city back to the city and that you will even take a $1,000 a year pay cut to support this give-back
5) Spend a large percentage of your hoarded wealth (after you support your own family and parents if they are working class and need your help) to buy back the buildings so many of us poor peoples who have been evicted, so the thousands of elders can slowly be re-housed. Begin with the support and re-housing of Rene Yanez
6) DO NOT MAKE AN APP to do any of this – just do it and tell your friends and family everything you do and ask them to support and join you in this walk of decolonization and change.
7) Get involved yourself with financial support and as well ask your company to financially support the efforts to stop the genocidal Ellis Act.
8) Ask your company to pay the City for the use of the Bus Stop and streets that it colonizes.
9) Buy a Street Sheet or Street Spirit everyday and Read it
10) Give your bottles and cans to houseless peoples and elders who are recycling and ask Safeway to put their recycling centers back in
11) Ask Whole Foods to put in a public recycling center
12) Support the poor people-led, indigenous people-led grassroots media, art, and organizing movements that support the work and resistance of other poor and displaced people below is a short list
-The San Francisco Bay View Newspaper - & their work to ensure that African-American residents of the Bayview are employed in ALL housing construction
-The Kenny Harding Foundation
-Peoples Community Medics
-Manilatown Heritage Foundation and the I-Hotel
-Black Riders Liberation Party - Oakland
-WRAP (Western Regional Advocacy Project)
-The Coalition on Homelessness
-the Brown Berets
-POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE
-Idriss Stelley Foundation
-City College of San Francisco
-Save Sacred Sites
-Longest Walk 4
-Reparations Movement for African Peoples in Diaspora
10) Give Financial Support to landless peoples movements in taking back land locally and globally to house houseless peoples and support poor folks of color
-United Playaz- San Francisco- buy a building for their power-ful youth programs
-Homefulness in Deep East Oakland- build straw bale homes for houseless, poor families in struggle
-ShackDwellers Union in South Africa-
13) Invite the Tech-Decolonizer Guru into your company for some important Tech Decolonization Action Steps
14) GET OFF THE BUS
For a consultation with the Tech Decolonizer guru call 510-435-7500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org