Evicting Elders for Profit- A San Francisco Tradition

Tiny - Posted on 27 September 2013

Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia

*Co-editors Update: Today, After a beautiful resistance of community and family the elder Lee Family and their disabled adult daughter were evicted from their family home.The San Francisco so-called progressive sheriff never stopped this from happening. 


The Lee Family Eviction

by Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia

As i stood in front of the Lee family eviction protest, cluttered with art, color, life and resistance I reflected on the deja-vu-sorrow of it all. I had been here so many times in my not so long life in the Bay Area. From Grace Wells to Lola McKay, From the I-Hotel to the Fill-No-More from Derek Cato to MamaHouse I & 2. Eviction, to last weeks Urban Green eviction in the Mission of 98 year old Mary Phillips,  displacement, removal and  death clings to the pictureresque skyline of San Francisco like blood dripping from a knife.

As someone who was evicted and made houseless as a child, there is nothing like the terror of eviction on the psyche of a child. For elders that pain means death. There are countless elders us poverty skola revolutionaries at POOR Magazine have advocated, fought for and as well stood along side organizations like the Tenants Union, Just Cause and the Housing Rights Committee to resist their removal. There are countless others who never had the strength to fight back, who like so many families we work with, just end up giving up.With nowhere to go, facing houselessness at 60, 70 and 80, they give up on life itself.

In the case of the Lee family,  like most of the other cases of elder and family evictions, they are a humble family, living as their cultural deep structures dictate, taking care of their disabled adult daughter at home, where she needs to be, where any of us indigenous peoples, not completely colonized into the cult of independence would have our families and loved ones.

But these acts of love and inter-dependence arent quantified into an "investor portfolio", profit margins, tax incentive, right-off  neighborhood "improvement plan"  "clean-up", or just plain wrong-headed real estate snakkking.

Since the days of Justin Herman and his subsequent destruction, devil-opment and removal of working class, communities of color, elders ad families from the now Fil-No-More aka Fillmore district, the removal and evicton of  international Hotel in a once thriving pre-gentriFUKEd Manila-town in the 1970's, the endless redlining, poisoning and po-'lice harassment, murder of black and brown Hunters Point, Bayview and Mission district communities, San Francisco has been removing, evicting and causing the death of elders in exchange for profit for decades.

Throw in the Original eviction, i.e., the genocide of Ohlone 1st Nations peoples and you have a bloody legacy of profit over people in the alledgely beautiful City by the Bay  

There was alot of excitement from activists, organizers and progressives, about the election of Ross Mirakirimi. He was going to be the sheriff who changed things, who upset the set-up.

We at POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE weren't so sure about this promise so we invited him to our indigenous News- making circle, Community Newsroom. Several of us previously evicted, post-gentriFUKEd and already houseless poverty skolaz asked him the hard questions. "Will you stop an eviction," was one plaintive request.

At first he skirted the issue. We pressed on. And then he made a commitment to stand with us all, to not let us down.

This is that moment Ross. Show us if you have a brave heart. Stand up to this endless murder of our peoples, of our elders, of our town. Or perpetuate the legacy of murder that seems to be a permanent fixture in this stolen Ohlone land the original land-stealers/ colonizers called San Francisco.

*The other Huge fight now is for the Urban Greed (Green) Building on Delores Street- for more information on that go to the Facebook Page Eviction Free Summer


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