Im getting weak tiny,” said Ronnie, “ Really not sure how long I will last in this heat. Ronnie X, a long time RoofLESSradio reporter called me from his torn tent pitched on the streets of East Oakland in September of 2020 when the Bay Area was experiencing severe heat wave. The hardest part for me is he refused to tell me where he was, “ I don’t want help, im done. ” and then he hung up.
I went to all the places he normally slept and couldn’t find him. I know his privacy was important, he never wanted to tell his story publicly but was always there for anyone else who needed help. He had lived through a long life of trauma and struggle, like all of us on the streets, was part of our JailsToStreets WeSearch as he had a home until he was profiled for being Black and disabled in amerikkklan. When he got out of the plantation kkkage he couldn’t jump the hoops to get back inside. Like so many of us you see on the street. And then living outside itself killed him.
So many privileged people and non-profiteers make a job and business and lifes work out of the so-called Climate change movement and they NEVER talk about poverty and homelessness - but the reality is as a houseless person I have been learning and humbly living on Mama Earth for years trying to be a good care-taker of her. As the daughter of Taino indigenous, disabled woman I have learned how to walk softly on Mama Earth- Attaabey as Mama Earth is called in Taino and as instructed by my mama have learned and listened to 1st Nations and indigenous elders who have been taking care of Mama Earth for years before wite colonizers stole, desecrated and destroyed so much of it for their own profit and greed.
But like is always the case poor people from the Congo to California we are already and will be continue to be the ones suffering, dying, sickened and destroyed by the destruction of our Mama Earth.
In deference to his need for privacy i didnt speak on Ronnies tragic death until now, inspired by POOR Magazine family and povertyskola Lisa Ganser who told me yesterday about another poverty skola who just died in the heat wave of their stolen territorial home so-called Olympia, Washington - which just experienced a deadly heat wave.
Since 2006 us poverty skolaz have been writing, screaming and telling people about the impact of Mama Earth destruction on our poor and houseless bodies. But really no-one cares about us anyway so why should they care if we die outside from heat or cold exposure, smoke filled air, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. The violent scarcity models already in place causes us to get barely enough food, resources and support to stay alive - and in fact, work to take everything from us. The violence called sweeps continue on our exposed bodies and did all the way through a pandemic and are ramping up to get worse across California .
Once we are in these plantation cages, they let us die there too.
We are building our own solutions with natural, recycled trash and materials and no-one is listening. Cob on Wood, Liveaboard Mariners, Camp Commorant, Poor Peoples Army, Homeless Unions. We are growing our own gardens, building our own housing and deconstructing the lie of ownership - Sogorea Te Land Trust and Planting Justice, Self-Help Hunger Program and Homefulness. Sweeps continue, bulldozers keep bulldozing and permits (For Homefulness) are exorbitant and unaffordable,
"They just came by and literally power-washed us off of Division street- where are we supposed to go, " said Miguel another RoofLEss Radio reporter. This power-washing of humans is nothing new, it used to happen to me and my mama when we were on the street houseless in San Francisco. But with the backdrop of so-called Climate Change, and trying to be "green" its disgusting that these violent sweeps of our houseless bodies use these dangerous chemicals to literally wash us off the street
From West Oakland to the Mission, our poor bodies keep getting moved and evicted. And yet when beautiful solutions like Cob on Wood are created in the middle of recycling lot in West Oakland, the land-stealers and CalTrans and the Mayor endlessly threaten them with removal.
When homeless peoples self-determined movements like Homefulness are created in Oakland, the permit gangsters descend to make it so costly to build houses for fellow houseless folks that we have to stop.
The settler colonial goals are to get rid of us, kill us and/or incarcerate us, so really why would they care if poor, disabled and indigenous people die from the impact of their endless extraction and destruction. IF anything we are just an obstacle, standing in the way of krapitalism, profiting off of mama earth This is why the indigenous resistance movements of Mauna Kea, West Berkeley Shellmound, MamaTreeSits by Pomo Nation, Line 3 pipeline, and Standing Rock are so important.
“We are asking to meet with the Mayor (Of Sausalito) said one of the many houseless disabled elders who faced off bulldozers at “Camp Commorant” , a small encampment of houseless mariners whose boats were crushed before their eyes because the wealth-hoarders and land-stealers of Sausalito didnt like their old boats, and tagged them with the same blight notices they tag old homes in poor and black and brown neighborhoods and RV’s and cars we poor people sleep in when we have been evicted.
In the end as i try to teach to as many wealth-hoarders and land stealers and descendents of that theft and hoarding who want to walk differently in the world, that impacted peoples, disabled, houseless and poor, indigenous and 1st Nations have always been innovators and liberators and should be leading this work on so-called Climate Change,
I also must say again to everyone, even the land-stealers, that Mama Earth is not an infinite resource to be endlessly traded, destroyed and desecrated and if anyone want to learn back the humility that colonial policies and profit margins stole from us - hit this povertyskola up. Come to the next session of PeopleSkool. There is no more space, time or air to continue to hoard and steal and destroy.