Hello, reader. How are you? There was a special place I loved. It started as rent resistance, then eviction defense. Then it grew into something larger–a way to make a better world for all. A few days ago, it was raided by cops and destroyed. I want to write about how special it was. What other ways can we resist?
Ming drove by yesterday and txted me a picture. I was sad to see. Of course the beautiful art is gone.
Where are all the people now, who lived there in community, in tents, a van, and structures? They were vulnerable–crazy like me, poor, disabled, long time homeless. I loved them and brought them food, flowers, and zines.
Are the zines all confiscated as evidence? The outdoor kitchen was beautiful. I’m sorry it’s gone.
Who’s in jail? Were people treated respectfully about their genders? How badly did the cops behave? I heard about a drone.
I’m sorry, wondering how much suffering the raid created. Power-over is ugly. This is what the state does, defending landlords and smashing the dreams of the people.
How much did it cost the government, to protect capitalism at the expense of the poor? There was something so sweet and powerful about the site, where to resist was supported and the norm. Ming and I danced there at an amazing loud concert, celebrated our friend’s birthday, and learned at a disability justice workshop.
The place reminded me of Occupy, which I mostly missed. We can make a better world. Business as usual is destroying Parent Earth. I’m glad some people care.
I’m wondering where to give my energy now, to support places like this, where people deeply resist the entire system of exploitation.
I’d visited just a few days before the raid and whispered prayers in the outdoor kitchen, holding Ming’s hand. I wrote a version of that prayer on a postcard and handed it to the loyal anarchist working the stoop, when we left.
I was less worried about cops the day I wrote that prayer, and more worried that interpersonal dynamics–the everyday struggles of community–would tear it apart. Racism, sexual violence, low communication skills, drug struggles, bad behaviors.
That’s why I was praying for kindness as default and praying for consent. Worrying about cops seemed best left to learned people who strategize about ways to stand up to police violence. I’m more of a heart specialist, lentil cooker, fruit bringer, aftercare comforter.
In a way it seemed doomed. The cops have a buncha weapons, of course. They have millions of dollars at their disposal. It’s a David vs Goliath situation. People had alternate names they used on site and did security culture things. But when you’re up against that much toxic power, the code names seem more of an annoyance.
I heard this area has a history of tree sits that lasted for years. Some people risk a lot to resist development and honor the land and the needs of the plants, animals, people.
So I thought maybe this place I love could last for years too. But it was being run in support of a Black family. Not a lot of white men were heading it. The government did what the government does to people who are less respected.
Thank you for hearing my grief and understanding me. Thank you for the ways you show your love.
I hope the energy of the people of this area will find new ways to manifest and resist. Getting a higher paying job so we can buy more stuff and support the wealth of landlords isn’t what we’re on earth for. We can do so much better than that.
I’m sorry the people who endured that raid and might be in jail now are the most vulnerable. They don’t own homes they slept snug in, or even have a rented room like me and Ming.
It’s sad how those who risk the most are often those who are least equipped to risk, right? They don’t have rich families who will hire powerful lawyers. With a record, they will be more screwed.
So we need to care for them. But so many people need so much care. Bless all of us who are trying to care.