Corporate media monsters, The SF chronicle published a short article in the Sunday edition of January 2, 2005 about the upcoming Kolinization of the Bayview district , i.e., the proposed development of a large chunk of the toxic and dangerous Shipyard. In so doing condensing the blood, sweat and tears of so many folks’ ongoing resistance of the Kolinization into a mere 600 corporate cleansed words.
“Who is going to build, who is going to get hired?”, by quoting
Reverend Calvin Jones from the Providence Baptist Church the
Chronicle gave a mere two-line reference to the huge, meticulously researched and thoroughly investigated resistance effort by local builders, contractors, residents and scientists to SF Redevelopment Agency’s giveaway (read: payoff) to Florida based Lennar Development Corporation for a project which includes building 1600 homes, playgrounds and the like for low-income families on extremely toxic land that the Navy never cleaned up and the city never required them to do. Land that has caused abnormally high mortality rates of babies and cancer in adults. Land that will be seriously harmful for ANY new
residents that move there.
On the front of the same Sunday chronicle there appeared a love piece about Mayor Newsoms’ recent triumphs against the plight of the homeless, once again these statements made in the face of a multitude of valiant and persistent fights to the much touted and very dangerous program called Care Not Cash which activists and residents know as “No Care No Cash” and only adds to the wiping out of poor people who live homelessly in San Francisco.
As the New shiny year of the Rooster approaches those of us in the front-line of struggles against Environmental racism, Civic Classism, Police Brutality, Economic and Media Justice and High speed gentrification and displacement have GOT to take a breather, lick our wounds and recognize our triumphs as little or huge as they may be. Because if we don’t we won’t have the strength to take up the ’05 fights which are already piling up.
“A lot of us are just really tired*” In a conversation with Tiny, one
of my PoorNewsNetwork editors about the writing of this piece, she outlined several of the very successful media organizing campaigns that POOR/PNN has both launched and been a part of in 2004 as well as the triumphant graduation in November of our most recent Digital Resistance program and the creation of POOR’s first short film; A Walk of Resistance Through Poverty, Homelessness and Homicide.. which examines the high rate of death by homicide of Black and Brown youth as well as many other issues related to the lives of poor folks of color trying to survive, but before I could pat her and all of us on our collective backs she continued, ” but then there is all the things we didn’t overcome like this Care Not Cash mess, the ongoing deaths of Black and Brown men like Cammerin Boyd and the kolinization
of the Bayview, tenderloin and West Oakland by any developer with enough cash to make it happen” She went on to outline the
re-organization, downsizing and/or closure of important
organizations like Bay Area Police Watch, The Coalition on
Homelessness, Disabled Advocates of Minorities Organization and our own POOR Magazine Newsroom due to the impossible struggle to get funding in these science fiction times ruled over by the Corporation known as Bush/Cheney Inc. At the end of her sad list her head began to shake back and forth while she repeated, ” I just don’t know”.
Before my conversation with Tiny ended she reminded me of the crucial role that the corporate media plays in all of these well-funded lies, “Newsom couldn’t have won, and Proposition 66 couldn’t have lost, Schwarzenegger, Bush and Cheney couldn’t have successfully stolen their respective elections and Kerry couldn’t have given away our votes” As I walked outside, the fresh winter rain falling on my weary brow, I realized that yes we need to wipe our collective brows and god help us we need to keep fighting but as we fight our respective fights we need to keep fighting to own our stories, our truths and our media.
Clive Whistle is a formerly homeless poverty scholar and graduate of POOR’s New Journalism/Poverty Studies Program For more journalism by very low and no-income folks on the issues that affect them go
on-line to www.poormagazine.org