Stealing Trees, Stealing Land, Stealing Lives- Un-Tour Stop #1 Stolen Land /Hoarded Resources Thru Occupied Pacific Northwest


Tiny - Posted on 07 June 2021

Above image: Youth and family poverty skolaz/danzantes from Deecolonize Academy/POOR Magazine/Homefulness- Photos by Muteado SIlencio, Tiburcio Garcia-Gray, Amir Cornish, Israel Munoz, Ziair Hughes, Akil Carrillo, Kimo Umu

 

“Caltrans comes and just takes everything you have, “ Pomo Elder Priscilla Hunter was standing next to sacred Pomo rock - they called the Mama Rock - near the shore of a California coastal beach long ago stolen from the Pomo people by the weaponized paper known as contracts. She was speaking and teaching on the colonial removal of her relatives, her ancestors bones, hundreds of years ago and last week to all of us youth and adult poverty skolaz on the 1st stop of our Stolen land Hoarded Resources Un-Tour Across Occupied Pacific Northwest Turtle Island,

 

Priscilla’s words cut me in half. CalTrans, the same forces that perpetrate the violence called Sweeps on houseless peoples bodies like myself and my mama for the years we were houseless in Oakland, SF and Los Angeles. Caltrans the same State-owned entity that “accidentally” killed Shannon Marie Bigly when she was huddled under a cardboard box on the side of the 80 freeway near Fresno because her houseless body and so many thousands more was deemed an act of criminality. Connecting these oppression dots is the work of the Stolen Land/hoarded Resources Tours as well as to lift up and manifest poor and indigenous peoples self-determined solutions and leadership. 

 

Priscilla went on to describe the ongoing violent removal, theft, seizure, of trees, ancestors, land and lives of the Pomo nation by the state who works in collusion with giant corporate entities ( I have re-named them CorpRape) called the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) and the Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC). 

Above image from left: Muteado SIlencio, Amir Cornish, Ziair Hughes and Pomo Elder Priscilla Hunter

Humboldt Redwood Co. (HRC) and Mendocino Redwood Co. (MRC) came to their position as major forest owners in Northern California (400,000+ acres) via different trajectories: MRC owns  227,000 acres in Mendocino County purchased from the multi-national Louisiana-Pacific when they left Calif. after reaping millions, and HRC got what was Maxxam/Pacific Lumber’s ravished land in Humboldt County, minus small but precious protected groves of old growth redwoods surrounded by a sea of clearcuts.

 

Both of these evil desecrators are owned by San Francisco.-based Fishers, owners of retail giants the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy, the Oakland A’s (majority share), as well as HRC and MRC both, positioning the billionaire family as owners of more coastal redwood forest than any other private owner. 

 

But before you sharpen your arrows in the wealth-hoarders direction alone, none of it would be possible without the deep, centuries old collusion of the lead colonizers in charge, aka the State of California operating under the CalTrans and Cal Fire.  

 

“They (Calfire) mark the redwoods, all of which are over 100 years old, with a black  circle when it is time to cut them, they decide “how old” the trees are based on their science of “coring,”  said Andy Wellspring, our docent Un-Tour guide/ ComeUnity reparator and alumni of PeopleSkool at POOR Magazine who had raised ComeUnity Reparations to enable us poverty skolaz to even have the privilege of traveling to this unspeakably beautiful stolen Pomo territory.

 

When I heard the terrifying words, coring, it felt like all the other ways that wite-science, akkkademia and CorpRape entities have always perpetrated violence on Mama Earth, Black, Brown and indigenous peoples, under the benign cover of multiple forms of studying, researching, digging, cleaning, warehousing, developing, building, discovering, buying, protecting, securing, selling and claiming to name a few. These multiple forms of sanctioned violence have meant the perpetration of 528 years of raping, dissecting, murdering, profiling,stealing, removing, gentrifying, dredging, extracting, desecrating and evicting.

 

In addition to private corpRape entities, institutions of so-called higher learning aka the departments of AnthroWrongology and Arkkkeaology as I have re-named them, have been perpetrating this same violence on indigenous peoples bodies, ancestors and land under the guise of “learning” and why I re-named it akkkademia. 

 

It is always about taking apart, figuring out, disconnecting, separating so theft, eviction, removal and desecration  of sacred burial grounds sacred land and ancestors can continue uninterrupted.

The screams of Mama Trees 

This mama, daughter of a houseless, disabled , colonized Afro-Boricua Mama, orphan, tortured, experimented on,  and un-protected and later disabled, held my mamas screams, tears, pain for years, have held countless co-mamaz, poverty skolaz from our POOR Magazine movement in that kind of colonial pain that cant be described, that is unspeakable and shreds your soul. 

 

It was these sounds, these tears that I heard on Stolen Land/Hoarded Resources Un-tour thru Occupied Pacific Northwest Turtle Island Stop #1, when myself and Muteado Silencio, Israel Munoz and 5 youth povertyskolaz from Deecolonize Academy (who like me and Israel, are all formerly houseless) Black and brown and indigenous youth and uncles, walked into the old-growth redwood forest in Pomo territory aka so-called Ft Bragg, to witness, stand with listen to and support a MamaTree, who is one of over 50,000 acres of old growth redwood trees facing clear-cutting by these CorpRapeshuns, CalTrans and CalFire.]

 

It is our goal as poor and houseless, pan indigenous peoples who launched these tours in 2016 and are currently working so hard to build a self-determined, poor people led solution to homelessness we call Homefulness with spiritual guidance from 1st Nations Ohlone/Lisjan family in Huchuin, Oakland, to lift up indigenous land protectors, houseless poverty skolaz, ancestors and mama earth’s voices struggling with the ongoing, colonial terror, War On the Poor, War on Mama Earth and War on Black, Brown, Indigenous peoples, to intentionally connect these dots, to connect the washing of colonial removal, terror, desecration and eviction. From San Francisco to Sheik Jarrah, From Kashmir to Iris Canada, from West Oakland to West Papua, From Pomo territory to Palestine. 

 

There is no more time for the colonial model of death, destruction and desecration. Of clear-cutting and evicting, removing and sweeping. The lie of public land that has never belonged to the “public” 

 

“They took these lands and made them “public” and removed all of our families multiple times, away from our water-ways, our life-ways, our uncles didnt know any better, and now they are taking all of our trees and our ancestors bones, putting them into places like UC Berkeley” Priscilla continued.

 

For those of you who follow POOR Magazine’s Un-Tours, we went just held a herstoric tour at the department of AnthroWrongology at UC Berkeley and Peoples Park, because UC Berkeley, like so many of these akkkademic institutions hold Ohlone /Lisjan relatives of warrior, co-founder of Homefulness, Corrina Gould, while at the same time evicting houseless people from Peoples Park, elders and long-time tenants from 1921 Walnut street in Berkeley for more of their profit and greed. 

 

“Public land for public good,” said multiple times by Aunti Frances Moore, from the Self-Help Hunger Program and POOR Magazine/Homefulness, about the removal, eviction and poLice terrorizing of poor Black residents of North Oakland from the pocket park that they steward so poor Black elders, who have been evicted from homes in that neighborhood, can actually have a safe place to sit and think and rest. And yet they are criminalized and constantly harassed, because just like Priscilla pointed out , this public land isn’t “public” its just another way for the State to cut deals with huge devil-opers and land stealers like the Fisher family.

 

Tree-sits and the so-called Climate Change movement

For as long as me and my xingon Mama Dee, have been conscious, I have been disturbed by the wite privilege that pervades the so-called climate change movement. So many of the “leaders” are mostly middle-class and trust-fund having wite people that seem to be intentionally disconnected from the centuries of love, care and stewardship of Mama Earth, our tree and plant relatives, four-leggeds and winged ones, that indigenous peoples have been doing, not as part of a “movement” but just as part of their life-ways of mama Earth care and stewardship. 

 

When we were invited in by Andy to come lay down prayers in the old-growth redwoods, we were so happy to see that sisSTAR priscilla Hunter and her xingon partner Polly were teaching, speaking and holding prayer and leadership, in addition at the coast Pomo sisStars Misty and Tina, were also holding up and lifting up the reclamation of a sacred rock back from the so-called State-run control and finally that our docent reparator, Andy and his partner Vicki were very clear whose leadership was being followed in this sacred tree fight. We were happy to see privileged wite people leveraging their race, class and physical body privilege holding down tree sits in those sacred trees, not something everyone can do and what a beautiful act of allyship to 1st peoples protectors. 

Photo of Youth and family poverty skolaz offerring Danza prayer for the Mama trees and Mama Earth and resistance to this CorpRape desecration 

Each Stolen Land Un-Tour presents a series of demands that lift up, support the movements in the occupied and stolen territory.  For Occupied Pomo Territory - these were the demands that we sent up with prayer smoke at the site of the Mama Tree Sit to MRC, HRC and the Logging Industrial Complex, CALfire and CAlTrans:  

-All 48,652 acres of this sacred forest be re-turned to their rightful stewards - the Pomo peoples of this land 

-THAT ALL LOGGING OF THESE SACRED TREES - BE STOPPED

-That in addition to all of their stolen land be re-matriated to original peoples - that the 1st peoples be surported in their own Cultural & Tribal Sovereignty and creation of Unified Ecosystem Restoration Climate Change Mitigation Environmentally Sustainable Economics 

-We also propose that wealth-hoarders and land -stealers who think they “own property” in this stolen Pomo territory return land to 1st peoples steward ship and /or redistribute stolen and hoarded wealth to Pomo peoples so they can “buy” back more of their stolen land and/or come to the next degentriFUKation/Decolonization two day seminar of PeopleSkool to help heal from the diseases of wealth-hoarding and land stealing and begin their journey to ComeUnity Reparations. 

-In addition that land be secured so that houseless peoples can create their own solutions to homelessness like Homefulness. As the violence called sweeps is alive and well in this stolen territory

 

Mother Earth is bleeding and barely breathing as the Rain Forests are cut down from here to the Amazon and up north to Alaska. Climate change is wrecking great damage on our local community with forest fires raging all around us due to drought.  For the health of the forest and the critters within it, for the wellbeing of my people both spiritually and culturally, and for the fresh air and carbon sequestration that large redwoods provide, the coast  redwoods in Jackson Demonstration State Forest should be protected. They should be allowed to grow to become ancient trees, sustained in a family circle of madrone oak trees, pepperwood trees and manzanita and huckleberry bushes. Priscilla Hunter, tribal elder of Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Chairwoman of the Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council consisting of ten local tribes who have purchased 3,900 acres on the Mendocino Lost Coast in order to preserve the forest there and save it from a third clear-cut. Excerpt from a powerfull statement by Pricilla Hunter. To read the whole article - click here  To sign a petition that Priscilla and other tribal members agree doesn’t go far enough can be found on this website 

 

To follow the powerFul Un-Tour on its way to so-called Oregon and Olympia click here or follow @poormagazine on IG and Twitter or PoorNewsNetwork on Facebook or Youtube

 

 

Image of Tree Warriors and POOR Magazine family from all four corners of Mama Earth standing together to Save these Mama Trees 

 

    

 

  

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