Moms4Housing 4 Mama Earth- Mama Power UnWedgewooding the World


Tiny - Posted on 23 January 2020

 

“When we really needed it, you had our backs, we were able to mobilize over 300 people in 15 minutes, thats power…” When Dominque Walker spoke on MLKday 2020 to tell us that the CorpRape realEsnakes Wedgewood had “agreed” to negotiate a sale of the home with Oakland Land Trust that MOMS4Housing had been fiercely inhabiting for the last two and half months, she began as she always did with several words of gratitude to all of us who stood unfailingly along-side her and the other moms and their babies that made up Moms4Housing. “Thats the people power that made the Mayor and Wedgewood know that housing is a human right,” Dominque concluded. 

 

Dominque was on point as usual. But maybe in a way that some of you hearing Dominque might not have picked up on. People power is not an anamoly. It is not casually attained or recklessly organized. It is an extremely strategic and difficult process to manifest and takes a lot of planning and thinking and then the hardest part, doing. It also means putting aside the multiple “issues” and disagreements that movement folks have with each other and truly committing to doing the love work that is necessary to back up fierce warrior moves like the Moms4Housing walked into reality. 

 

As well, it must be said that the most important movement building must be led by us mamas. Just like poor and houseless people organizing must be led by poor and houseless peoples  From 1st Nations Mama earth protectors who have always been protecting Mama Earth to all of us poor Mamas who have always been protecting our babies. By Any means necessary. Devil-opers and realeSnakkkes get out the way. These fierce mamas are UnWedgeWooding the WORLD B....

 

Me and my houseless, disabled mama were evicted 22 times, sometimes they were violent and forceful evictions due to me and mamas poverty crimes aka “squatting” like the Moms4housing just did. Sometimes because the scam lords perpetrated evil and unlawful harassment and unjust removal and evictions.  Out of those 22 -18 were multi-national corpRAPE realEsnake companies that like Wedgewood bought and sold Mama Earth for profit everyday. 

 

Multi-national predators who like Wedgewood are proud to be known for inhuman acts like “house-flipping” even though that really means family-flipping-family evicting-family destroying-elder and child-abusing and in many cases resulting in elders dying. But these truly dangerous companies are built on the krapitalist lies that profit and private property is more important than life itself and are proud of their violent “work”.  Boastful even. They get national awards from other house-flippers and house-flipping lovers who feed off the scraps of our broken lives as though it was a juicy steak, just waiting for more of us to lose our jobs, miss a rent payment, miss a tax bill, or not able to take care of a “blight” notice, get behind on bankkkster mortgage payment,or god forbid, to get sick or pass away. 

 

For me and mama, engaging with these criminals  meant we were Never safely housed. Which is why when Moms4Housing “Won” the “right” to buy their home on MLK day, I was breathless.

 

It all started in November of 2019 when four fierce mamas and a whole lot of supporters took back one of thousands of stolen and hoarded vacant homes in West Oakland that had been held hostage by these dangerous, yet normalized sanctioned criminal “House-flippers” aka “Wedgwood”. On that first day this poor mama who had been houseless from age 11 to 21, silently cried and screamed for joy, but also became quietly terrorized for the Moms-what would happen to them? When would the stolen land protectors aka poLice and sheriffs march in, like they did every time me and mama would dare to inhabit an “abandoned” home or storefront  when sleeping on the street, on park benches, in bus shelters and the old trans-bay terminal got too cold , too hard or too dangerous. 

 

I call them poverty crimes because we often didn’t have the money to pay the rent or buy the house, we were poverty refugees, members of the Unhoused nation just trying, for a week, a month or a year to be housed, so it was always a matter of time before we were violently evicted. We always knew it going in. We never expected anymore. And one after the other the sheriffs would come. Hefty bags would be collected, personal mementoes and belongings thrown out the back window. And we would go back to the street. Go back to nothing. It is why I have no family pictures, or  mementoes to this day.

 

 As the days and weeks passed of the fierce MOms4housing resistance, the hate speech chatter from all kinds of folks began to fill the digital streets. “Those women are stealing, “they don’t own that house”….”Some idiots even said, “why don’t they just get a job?”.. which was extra-stupid considering they all have more than one job just to keep their babies safe and fed and pay the insane rents charged in the Bay Area now…jobs like all of us houseless and poor folks have notwithstanding the lies that we are lazy, unemployed or “living off the system” and all these tired 1980’s era stereotypes about us poor people, poor mamas, unhoused families and elders. We are ALWAYS working.

 

Me and mama used to work. We worked everyday. We had our own micro-business making and selling art on the street, and starting at age 12, I as working 12-14 hour days to survive, after mama was fired from her anti-social work job for refusing to target and criminalize other poor mamas and children like ourselves. But it was never enough. We could never seem to make enough to cover the rent And the food, the utilities And transportation. The fear of impending doom of homelessness was always on our neck. But scam lords and welfare workers and case manglers ( as I call them) were always there judging. Calling us names. Bums, lazy, shiftless, messy, trash, were the favorites, usually screamed out to us while sheriffs were evicting or locksmiths were lock-changing.  

 

Of course the reason for the hate chatter about the Moms which I think is important to speak upon, is everyone in krapitalism has been lied to, especially poor and POC people,  and anything done that threatens the status quo, the constant and incessant land-stealing, wealth-hoarding success model, threatens our collective belief system about what success means and looks like, why we risk our babies and our own lives to cross false borders, why we kill each other, even our families, just to “make it” why we fight for years over settler colonizer papers like wills and trusts, grow to “hate” our own elders for not “dying” soon enough so we can “inherit” their stolen land and hoarded resources. Why families fight each other like dogs over access to the families blood-stained paper dollars, sometimes to the death. Why people line up for the violent, murderous workshops masked as “How to become rich though “income property” and how to become a House-flipper and how to make money on old houses and on and on… We are all numbly participating in this murderous activity, so we too can “make it” in a system set up to make us fail. And exploit peoples inability to manage it.

 

But MOMS4Housing and their supporters continued to resist/inhabit/thrive and persevere  in that little house for over two months, notwithstanding a cold-hearted, sick attempt by devil-opers Wedgewood to evict them over Christmas. Around this time I got even more scared for the Moms, imagining in some terrifying detail the very scene that ended up occurring at 4am on the freezing cold and dark morning of Jan 13th when an entire arsenal of stolen land protecting armies that have been stealing, killing and evicting babies, mamas and elders since the genocide called colonization of the 1st peoples of this land  Ohlone/Lisjan nations. On that tragic morning, watching the evil colonial violence un-fold, replete with AR 15 rifles and terminator looking sheriffs, and a friggin tank, I couldn’t speak or function for a whole day. too much trigger pain for me.  

And then when they WON I haven’t stopped smiling. 

On MLK day 2020 Moms4Housing announced that the Oakland Land Trust would negotiate the sale with Wedgewood of the stolen home with some last minute politrickster nudges from Libby Schaaf and Governor Gavin Newsom finally speaking up for the MOMS ( not like they were there all along and so please don’t give them un-deserved credit for finally listening to this serious emergency)

 

There are so many things to say about this “win” which isnt really a win, its just a right, that should have been there in the first place. A right to one of the most basic things humans need, a roof, shelter, a home, warmth, safety. But we live in a place and time when housing is the fight, when space on already poisoned, stolen and hoarded mama earth is seen as not a right but a privilege, only accessible to certain people, not everyone. Where one wrong move can mean you permanently are outside. Where one strike and you out-side. And so the win, of this, the most basic of things was HUGE and beautiful and full and large and should be held in all of our hearts for many days and years to come. And there are lessons. Lessons that need to be understood and overstood clearly so we can continue this momentum. 

 

One of them is, in my humble poverty Skola perspective is, please don’t walk away from this power and depth of organizing with the facile notion that we should all just “squat the world”. The infrastructure, planning, support and people behind the beautiful Moms4Housing moves were large and layered. Every move was strategic and their support networks, media and legal were lined up. Moms4Housing and all of the community and media and folks who stood with them were a sharp contrast to me and mamas multiple and silent evictions which always ended badly or multiple squats that POOR Magazine’s disabled elder uncle Bruce Allison participated in and then was ultimately charged with conspiracy and assessed a $275,000 fine and no-one even heard about it, or my beautiful sisSTAR Laure and her Mama, who just like me and my mama squatted and were violently evicted alone and with no back-up. 

 

Our collective eviction, homelessness and poLice terror trauma of the multiple Wedgewoods, Bankkksters and Politrickster enablers of the world is what drove us poor and houseless folks to manifest the  Homefulness project in the way we did.We believed ( and still do) that the only way to ensure the land-stealers, bankkksters and government gangsters would never take our homeless peoples solution to homelessness away from us with guns and tanks is if we taught ourselves how to navigate their multiple and CONfusing settler colonial lies ( I mean , laws)i.e. raise enough blood-stained dollars to work within their ridiculous system which was never meant for us poor people and attain all their “building permits” and codes, endless requirements, fees, licenses and on and on.

And now, in a classic Catch 22,  the permit gangsters have halted Homefulness construction, saying we took too long to build as poor and homeless builders and we are now fighting just to get the right to keep building homes for houseless families like us. To date we have housed four houseless families with 8 more units to be built and now we are stopped. 

(pls sign the Change.org petition here)

 

Moms4Housing and all the beautiful people from ACCE and APTP and POOR magazine and SURJ and every single human who stood together with the Moms are Sheroes and heroes who manifested something Krapitalism tries very hard to kill. People Power. But they also manifested Mama POWER, which like all of us mamaz and daughters know, can take down a devil-oper or real ESnake any day. 

 

@povertyskola - www.lisatinygraygarcia.com

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