Camped at a Park in Eugene ( PNN RoofLESS Radio)--Youth povertySkola reflections

admin_general - Posted on 22 November 2021

Youth povertySkola reflections on an UnTour

By Akil Carrillo /POORMAGAZINE 


Ice shards falling from the sky, ripping through my sleeping flesh. The only thing on my mind is the stories of all the homeless brothers and sisters we met along the trip. “Everything was in my ex’s name, I have no rental history, it’s hard. So, I recently got two jobs, and I'm trying, to not live like this,” said Tanya, who currently was camped at a park in Eugene, Oregon. She goes on and says “And it's not like people don't try, and I can't stand that people think we dont try. ‘Cause we do.” 


Her story was one of many that we heard while on the Homefulness Handbook UnTour. The trip started with us arriving in Bellingham, WA. We started it off with RoofLess Radio in which we walked around the town talking to the homeless people, and listening to their stories. Out here it's constantly raining during winter. There weren't really any encampments because they are constantly attacked with sweeps. “I never set up a camp, I never set up anywhere. It's good to keep moving out here in Bellingham because there are straight killers out there.” These were the words of David, the swamp king. One of the first homeless people we talked to, he explained to us that he never sets up camp because of the hate, harrasment and murder that is experienced as a poor/homeless person.


This made me think about Luis Temaj, who was set on fire while sleeping in his tent in San Francisco. It was clear that our brothers and sisters in struggle were dealing with the same violence in Bellingham. Many people told us about people getting set on fire, almost as a common occurrence. After that we went over to Flow Shala where we did a Po’ poets reading and we also read excerpts of our books, including Poverty Scholarship and the new Homefulness Handbook. 


The next day we went over to Karate Church, where we talked to people with privilege and resources. We heard their stories and taught them what we do. There were many stories that surprised me, people who own companies, people with lots of money and it really opened my eyes to the type of resource hoarding that takes place. It's easy to read about rich people, but it's different when you are in the room with multiple millionaires. 


A couple hours later we did the untour, where we went to multiple clan-marks and learned about their history. Lots of them were big ugly houses built by some colonizer, and/or wealth hoarder. We did danza in the rain, we danced and prayed for that occupied land, for our homeless brothers and sisters, for our confused and resource hoarding brothers and sisters. 


On Sunday, November 14th, 2021, we drove to Bend, OR. It was about a 6-7 hour drive. Once we got there we went straight to another workshop with even more privileged people. Here we read our poems, explained who we are and what we do and read excerpts from our books. They seemed like they really appreciated us. Small towns/cities like these don't get much attention, and our goal is to bring attention to the ignored.


While on this trip we definitely experienced some hate from the wite people that “owned” houses in these towns. Just their looks said enough, we are threats to their comfort. They have gotten so used to living in privilege that giving up a little slice of the millions of dollars they've stolen is so difficult for them. Even though they would be absolutely fine with clothing, food and housing and the money they would redistribute would house, clothed and feed people in need.


One huge detail I noticed while on this trip is that in Bellingham most homeless people were native to that land. About 60% were indegounous people, we met young men dealing with poverty and homelessness and many were native mixed. This isn't a coincidence, there is a reason why most white people have resources while black and brown people don't. Colonization is real and still goes on today. Hopefully we get a piece of land out in Bellingham cause there were many leaders, builders, thinkers, teachers, creators and liberators out there. All who have been colonized, harassed, shut down and told that they are worthless. They are us, we are them. We are proof that we aren’t stupid, dumb, wothless, we are poverty skolars.



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