Blocking More Evictions from the GentryTechNation

Tiny - Posted on 10 June 2015

Tiny, daughter of Dee/PNN

“Transients and tourists- thats all this town was built for,” my mama said, disgustedly shaking her head at the stream of 20 something white people streaming out of the downtown BART station in San Francisco. I remembered my mamas wise words standing on the steps of 812 Guerrero today to block more evictions by the  21st century colonizers I have affectionately called the gentryTECHnation. Today we are blocking the pending eviction of a disabled elder Becky, yesterday it was limiting thousands of apartments from being turned into an app called Airbnb- the day before it was in North Beach to stop the eviction of 20 elders and tomorrow it will be another 12 in one building. All of these elders, in all this terror, are folks my mama would say walked softly on Mama Earth. The folks who built the City's character but weren't supposed to stay here

When we first came to the Bay area, it was when i was a child of a struggling disabled single mama of color, all beverly hillbillies-style, our belongings piled in and on the car, inching our way up the state from houselessness and poverty in LA to houselessness, poverty and police harassment in the Bay. Our destination was Oakland, a place that my mama held with love in her heart as she had been here as a young person and begun the long journey to her own decolonization at Black Panther Party actions at Laney College.

Tragically, we didn’t know that being poor in the Bay Area was in some ways even harder than being poor in LA, more po”lice harassment, more nimbyism, more weird hypocritical politically conscious people and even less, if any affordable housing. So after launching and working hard in a micro-business that never really supported us, we ended up in and out of houselessness and finally gentriFUKEd out of Oakland in the first dot-com avalanche of evictions for profit, which landed us in San Francisco, of all dangerous places to be.

It was here in gentriFUKation city that my mama became most angry and clear about the fate of poor folks like us. It was here in this side of Ohlone Land that we knew our days were numbered.

“After my wife died, i was unable to keep working, as soon as i was late on my rent the landlord gave me an eviction notice.” said Richard X, African Descendent elder, poverty skola who panhandled right next to our little unlicensed vendor stand in the financial district. All of us Po’ folks existing on the margins of San Francisco’s capitalist dreams would meet on the streets, collaborating against po’Lice calls  knowing even then in 1999 that it was only a matter of time before people like us would be cleansed out of this town.  A town built to resemble European aristocracy with aspirations to become part of the pseudo -fuedal nation. It was in these street workshops that POOR Magazine was born  

So here we are in 21st century SF - governed by a mayor who offers millions of dollars to rich people and corporations to be here while allowing the mass out-migration of its few remaining Black, Brown and working poor residents  and the eviction of elders and children for profit while turning all the rest of its homes into different forms of tourist hotels and temporary rooms, aka airBNB's.

So what of Becky the disabled elder who is being swept out of her home of decades and Mario, the Italian elder who faces eviction from a trumped up owner move-in out of his North Beach home of several decades and  Ron Lickers the 1st Nations elder and Elaine Turner who died shortly after the trauma of eviction on their bodies and souls? all being swept  out of their homes of decades by the evil hand of the gentryTECHNation, their real estate speculators and their wanna-be beneficiaries In the cases of Becky and all the other tenants fighitng the case to live in their homes at 812 Guererro, its courtesy of Google itself- their lawyer, Jack Halperin

“All the folks who are homeless now walking the streets have stories, I don’t want Becky to become another one of those tragic stories, “ said Claudia Tirado, revolutionary teacher, mama and fellow tenant of 812 Guerrero.

We do have stories, stories of tragedy and near death, constant police harassment , anti-poor people-laws and the loss of home, which more often than not kills us. Just because you don’t hear from us once we are evicted it doesn’t mean we fade away , it just means we have become silenced. Our outcome is too impossible for most people to even hear. 

It is why POOR Magazine helped three brave elders launch elder abuse cases against landlords and speculators who evict for profit with the District Attorney on May 8th and are inviting other elders to join us. It is why we keep telling our untold stories. It is why we connect the dots from this 21st century mass displacement to the 19th century removal and genocide of 1st Nations peoples

“The system doesn’t care about us, and that’s why we need to fight,” said Gloria Esteva, indigenous Oaxacena revolutionary and reportera of POOR Magazine’s Voces de immigrantes en resistancia who stood along-side me and dozens of others in the rain at 6am to block the eviction of Becky.

At 10:50 am on Wednesday we finally got word that there would be no sheriff today for Becky. But the intervention was too late for Ron and Elaine and so many more. And what will it take for the tourist stop that is the 21st century San Francisco to become a city again, with apartments, and houses and working peoples and thriving communities of color? This poverty skola hopes that there will be never be a sheriff coming for Becky, or Mary or Theresa, or any of us.



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