MG Behind The Lines | Part 3: Eco Means Home

Editor’s note: This is part 3 of a short essays series we are releasing to explore key themes in the North Pole Show Season 2. Each essay is written by an MG collective member. We hope you find them informative and thought provoking. Follow us on social media to add your thoughts to the conversation.

 

“We’re all just animals looking for the right place to call home…and I found mine”
– Benny
The North Pole Show Season 2, Episode 7

By Deseree Fontenot
Read Time: 5 minutes

The ongoing housing crisis is the latest chapter in a long story of forced displacement, land privatization, housing insecurity and market speculation. In the Bay Area, average rents have risen over 50% since 2012 (from $1,952 to $2,950), hundreds of thousands of residents are experiencing gentrification, and the housing stock is being taken over by large corporate landlords at an alarming rate. These trends are increasing in cities and towns across the country and around the globe. Low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities, undocumented people, and seniors are at the frontlines.

 

Source: www.trulia.com (click the chart to read more)
Our lived experience and the data makes it crystal clear that the primary purpose of our extractive housing economy is to maintain the ability of owners and investors to make enormous profit rather than for all people to have dignified, safe, and accessible housing.

The current crisis demands that we put forward alternative visions for housing justice and move more boldly in a direction that shifts our demands from short-term affordable housing to democratized community control of land and housing.

From honoring and expanding Sovereign Indigenous Territories to creating Community Land Trusts to creating permanent housing cooperatives to recognizing the need for land-based reparations. Our movements must amplify interventions and strategies that address the questions of our diverse relationships to land, ownership, stewardship and more, particularly in the context of settler colonialism.

 



Watch Benny’s epic speech in Episode 7 of Season 2 of The North Pole Show (speech starts at 6:27).
 

We know that land and ecology is central for bringing about a Just Transition – as Malcom X reminds us, “All revolution is based on land”. We also know that Eco means home (from the Greek word Oikos) and we know that Eco-nomy means the management of home.

With that in mind, who better to manage your home than you?

As Nina put it in the Season 1 finale, “I say we run our own neighborhoods ourselves… cause if we don’t, tell me what happens when we lose control of our own cities…When they don’t respect us in our own environment?”

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Go Deeper:

Learn about the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and the Shuumi Land Tax as a way to return land to the Ohlone people of the Huichin territory (Oakland).
(Check out this video)

Download our “Eco Means Home” handout in English or Spanish

Join MG’s Justice & Ecology Giving Network
Donate to support MG and our friends fighting for Eco-Justice

Join the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative
(Check out this video)