A Barbeque in resistance: Several hundred poor folks peacefully resist the lies of Care Not Cash

POOR correspondent - Posted on 22 June 2010

Tiny and Joseph Bolden
Friday, June 4, 2004

Over 200 poor people, mostly Black, redlined out of property and business ownership, shot at, harassed and profiled by cops and private security, homeless due to illegal evictions, condo conversions, demolitions, redevelopment and wide-spread gentrification, denied jobs, drug treatment, and mental health services stood together in San Francisco city hall plaza--the first gathering of an all out class war? No. Just a peaceful barbeque.

A barbeque in resistance. In resistance to the implementation of one of the most flagrantly racist and classist legislations to come around in San Francisco for a long time: Care Not Cash, aka Gavin Newsom's platform.

Modeled on the Rudy Giuliani/New York program - which effectively makes it illegal to be without a home and makes you pay for your shelter bed--instituting slave labor programs (i.e. workfare) sanctioned by the Welfare departments which have you work everyday just to make enough to pay for the shelter bed, your food and your "utilities". Care Not Cash lays the groundwork for Homelessness in the 21st century; the privatized, shelter. Government grants, private money and the sweat of the poor mix to create the ultimate cash cow for huge poverty pimps and developers; aka the modern day pauper's prison

"They are trying to starve poor people and people of color out of San Francisco - we got to fight to maintain the Bayview, the Tenderloin, the Fillmore, the Mission, the people who built the wealth of this city.

Listening to the scholarship of Julie Brown a member of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER). I reflected on the almost two years and 200 or more protests, actions, committee meetings, hearings and finally a lawsuit challenging the legality of Care Not Cash, which delayed its implementation for several months. Last week the legal challenge was overturned by another court, giving the go ahead for our new mayor and the Department of Human Services to go forward with this dreaded legislation. Julie continued "We got to take back city Hall from this rich kid. The Getty's don't know what people need."

"If Newsom was homeless he wouldn't do this to his family," Naomi, also from POWER shouted angrily into PNN's mike

On this warm day in May, POOR staff stood in a line with all the other powerful poor folks waiting for our share of a tasty barbeque outside San Francisco City Hall. The event was organized by houseless folks and advocates to once again make it known that we are resisting the lies put out by Department of human Services, the Mayors office and the mainstream media (see SF Chronicle May 4, front page) As we stood there we pondered the concerted effort by Willies' boy Newsom to effectively get all the poor folks out of San Francisco.

"Displacement is a big part of Care not Cash - they are talking about outreach teams. Every mayor for the last twenty years has talked about outreach teams., why should those displace all the people who have followed the rules, worked through the system and are now in line for their housing, which is what this will do, just to make this mayors outreach team idea look good," LS Wilson from the Coalition on Homelessness detailed the specifics of the implementation.

And just as LS stated when this reporter attended the Press conference put on by the mayor's office that same day at the Greystone Hotel. We were told by one of the mayors press folks,
"...'Care Not Cash' will help homeless people because it will make housing available and treatment services in outreach teams"

In fact, as all of us dealing with the shelter system know, this legislation will do nothing to make more housing available, but in fact, just move the same meager homeless funds around, and make life more miserable for folks like Po poet A. Fay Hicks who reports in her last piece of poetryjournalism on poornewsnetwork; Barricades at the Door, with million dollar fingerprint imaging machines installed and complicated registration processes to catch the criminals of poverty if they dare to..?

Later in the day some brave warriors for the cause of economic justice created a civil disobedience in the mayors office demanding real solutions to homelessness rather than fake politician propaganda spins. They were arrested and released, vowing to keep up the fight.

As the sun bore down on our hungry bodies, a tall African descendent man who called himself Kelly, stood behind us in line and summed up our collective frustration "The man was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he hates black folks, poor white folks and all folks don't have money, he's tryin to push everyone away.. and it jus aint right."


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