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Land Back to Tents Back- Palestine to Turtle Island

By tiny, formerly houseless daughter of Dee, mama of Tiburcio aka @povertyskola


“You have five minutes to leave,”


Before the words were out of the LA PoLice officers mouth the two men in fluorescent green vests flanking him were grabbing me and mama’s tent and all the tents set up next to us, subsequently crushing medicine, baby pictures and everything we had to our names, throwing them all violently into the nearby trash truck. To me and mama this was just another day in the struggle to survive while houseless anywhere on Occupied Turtle Island. In the last few weeks when me and the world witnessed all the violent arrests and brutality against student and faculty resistors for Palestine, including the LAPD standing by while zionist terrorists attacked a peaceful tent based resistance to Palestinian genocide at UCLA and then subsequently came in to the camp and tore down the whole UCLA student comeUnity, i was eerily reminded of me and mamas life and how uncomfortable and terrifying the settler colonial connections from Occupied Turtle Island to occupied Palestine really are


“Gazing out at all these beautiful tents in this powerful peaceful movement i can’t help being reminded that when we houseless folks put a tent, a tarp, a sleeping bag or a blanket anywhere in these occupied city streets we risk removal and worse, arrest, I’m asking you to remember those paradoxical connections with love and care in your collective hearts while im also praying for your safety” This was me to the students at UCLA two weeks ago when they launched their peaceful resistance in the main quad of that campus located incidentally on occupied Tovaangar lands in what the settlers call Los Angeles. I also explained that i refuse to use the term “encampment” about the student resistance movements as that word is a Military industrial complex term used as a slur against our houseless bodies when we live, reside, commune or sleep while houseless.


As I witnessed the violent, state sponsored attacks by zionist hate groups that were allowed to continue for hours unchecked on the campus of UCLA , i literary became nauseous, triggered by the odd similarities of the violent attacks on houseless bodies like mine by both PoLice and housed people, if we are seen sitting, standing, leaning, or god forbid, sleeping outside anywhere on Turtle Island. Relatives like Steven Taylor, Mario Gonzales, Luis Gongora Pat killed by classism and racism and PoLice terror and Luis Temaj, burned alive in his sleeping bag in Yelamu for the sole act of not having access to a roof, aka being houseless, or the attacks from the retired fire department chief spraying pepper spray at houseless relatives and then somehow figuring out a way to blame it on the houseless people who were just sleeping. How that blame that is always put on the shoulders of houseless people instead of the system that intentionally is set up to profit off the removal of Black, Brown , working class and disabled bodies, when we no longer serve the purposes of the stolen land “owning class” And similarly , the blaming and mis-leading of the public by CorpRape media of who is “at fault” fault for this genocide on Gaza


Holding onto our belongings, baby pictures, last remnants of clothes and personal effects, our tents, our sleeping bags and our medicine is a never-ending struggle for houseless peoples. In addition when we even try to create outside caring, organized comeUnities like Wood Street (Huchuin aka Oakland) and Aetna street (Tovaangar aka LA) we are targeted for removal, sweeps and other hygenic and dangerous metaphors, equating our bodies and humanity to a used paper plate or plastic fork. ComeUnity after comeUnity, small or large, when we are together we create space of love and interdependence, just like the UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, STANFORD, Humbolt, SJSU, USF, SFSU, Columbia and beyond have done. And isn't it terrifyingly ironic that so many of these spaces were destroyed, smashed, obliterated with the same state-sponsored violence that is paid to destroy houseless comeUnities across Turtle Island.


And then there is the litany of settler colonial pauper (anti-poor people) laws brought here by the settlers to CONtain and incarcerate 1st peoples and Black and Brown, disabled and houseless bodies through to today. From 41:18 code in Tovaangar (LA) to Encampment Bans in Huchiun (Oakland) to the newest LIEsuit (Lawsuit) facing the supreme kkkort which would allow settler towns to essentially "disappear" houseless communities completely, again so terrifyingly similar to the apartheid laws of occupied Palestine from the West Bank to Gaza.


All of these violent connections made with the backdrop of the genocide raining down daily on the heads of babies and mamas and grandmommas in Gaza. More terrifying connections - poLice officers trained in the Israel Defense Force (IDF), and ex-IDF officers perpetrating violence against students, all to the goal of settler colonial lies of private property and land theft.


The facts that this genocide has not only killed and permanently wounded and traumatized thousands of indigenous babies and mamas and families and elders in Palestine, but it has caused the destruction of thousands of homes of poor and working class Gaza residents. Leaving thousands of people homeless and with no place to return to. Because no matter the stated goal, the actual goal has always been removal, just like the genocide and removal projects against the 1st Peoples of Turtle Island.


And then there is the 21st century removal, targeting and removing of our houseless bodies from the streets of Turtle Island because of the “cost” our mere visibility has on “property values”. And then settler colonial soul-ed out politrickster mayors like Karen Bass and London Breed, lining up to engage in “business deals “ with RealEsnakke corpRapeShuns that have “holdings” read: settler land theft in the West Bank, Lennar CorpRapeShun- who “owns” land in the West Bank also “owns” land in the spaces where poor people used to have affordable housing projects like Hunters Point Bayview until they were “raised” to build luxury CONdos, under more violent, benignly named politrickster removal policies like RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) that CONtinues to threaten the housing security of poor people housing complexes across the US like Plaza East right here in San Francisco’s FillNoMore- (home to POOR Magazine povertyskola reporter Queennandi X SHeba who has been dealing with this RAD project harassment for months)


One of the final ironies in this sick moment is when i was in LA teaching poverty scholarship to conscious medical students who invited me in for their structural racism and health equity class at the "David Geffen School of Medicine" i was doxxed, death threatened and harassed for connecting these dots and praying for Palestine and a Free Mama Earth

From my prayer for warrior students at the University of San Francisco (USF) comeUnity last week… “So as we connect all these multiple acts of settler violence in our collective hearts, from Palestine to Turtle Island, I ask all of you warrior students with love and respect to commit to not only the ongoing resistance for LandBack in this terrifying moment but also TentsBack, to commit to redistributing these tents, sleeping bags and surplus resources to the brothers and sisters right down the street who just lost their tent to yet another racist, classist “sweep” of their belongings and shelter, because this US settler society wants houseless people like me disappeared off the face of this earth.. Free Free Palestine Free Free Turtle Island....


PostLoveScript: Please Consider coming to the next session of PeopleSkool (Every January and August) at POOR Magazine to continue your true ComeUnity Learning and heal from this institutional violence


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