Protect our Mobile Home Parks – Write City Council Today! / Proteja nuestros parques de casas móviles: ¡escriba hoy al Ayuntamiento!

~Sigue en español

City Council is holding a first reading/vote on mobile home zoning tomorrow (Tuesday). Two options have been proposed. Option A would create strict protections for mobile home parks so that they cannot be developed for other uses and residents cannot be displaced. Option B would allow for the introduction of other types of “affordable housing.” Our fear as an organization, and that of other organizations working directly with park residents, like Mi Voz, is that this will open the door to displacement of mobile home residents and owners. We don’t know if new types of affordable housing will actually be affordable and if undocumented tenants would be eligible for it. It also disrupts the community that has been built in the parks and makes it difficult for displaced owners to regain what they have invested in the purchase of their home.

Our many mobile home parks in Fort Collins remain one of the key forms of stable and affordable housing in the city and in the county, and are more important than ever during this financial crisis that we see lasting well into next year and in a city that has been very pro-development over the years.

You can read more about this issue in this article in the Coloradoan:

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/07/30/fort-collins-nears-finish-line-mobile-home-park-preservation-plan/5535924002/

If you’d like to study the issue just a bit more, you can watch about 20 minutes of this presentation to City Council: https://fortcollinstv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=7ickCok2lL98#

Skip to hour/minute 1:58-2:20 specifically for information on options A and B. 

Fuerza Latina’s position is that we join with Mi Voz and fellow organizations in strongly favoring Option A, which protects the parks from redevelopment. We also support the extension of the moratorium on mobile home park development for an additional several months past its expiration at the end of this month, so that community organizations and park residents have more time to voice their concerns and weigh in on decisions. Timelines for organizing have been delayed due to COVID19.

Help us our and write to City Council before tomorrow’s first reading and let them know you support the moratorium on development and Option A to protect mobile home park residents in our area: cityleaders@fcgov.com

***

El Ayuntamiento de Fort Collins realizará una primera lectura / votación sobre la zonificación de parqueaderos de casas móviles mañana (martes). Se han propuesto dos opciones. La opción A crearía protecciones estrictas para los parques de casas móviles para que no puedan desarrollarse para otros usos y los residentes no puedan ser desplazados. La opción B permitiría la introducción de otros tipos de viviendas. Nuestro temor como organización, y el de otras organizaciones que trabajan directamente con los residentes del parque, como nuestr@s compañer@s en Mi Voz, es que esto abrirá la puerta al desplazamiento de los residentes y propietarios de casas móviles. No sabemos si los nuevos tipos de viviendas asequibles realmente serán asequibles y si los inquilinos indocumentados serían elegibles para alquilarlos. También interrumpe la comunidad que se ha construido en los parques y se hace difícil recuperar lo que los propietarios desplazados han invertido en la compra de su casa móbil.

Nuestros numerosos parqueaderos en Fort Collins son una de las formas clave de viviendas estables y asequibles en la ciudad y en el condado, y son más importantes que nunca durante esta crisis financiera que vemos durar hasta el próximo año en una ciudad que ha sido muy favorable al desarrollo a lo largo de los años.

Puede leer más sobre este tema en este artículo en el periódico el Coloradoan:

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/07/30/fort-collins-nears-finish-line-mobile-home-park-preservation-plan/5535924002/

Si desea estudiar el tema un poco más, puede ver unos 20 minutos de esta presentación al Ayuntamiento: https://fortcollinstv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=7ickCok2lL98#

Pase a la hora / minuto 1: 58-2: 20 específicamente para obtener información sobre las opciones A y B.

La posición de Fuerza Latina es que nos unimos con Mi Voz y otras organizaciones para favorecer fuertemente la Opción A, que protege los parques de la reurbanización. También apoyamos la extensión de la moratoria sobre el desarrollo de los parques de casas móviles por varios meses adicionales después de su vencimiento a fines de este mes, para que las organizaciones comunitarias y los residentes de los parqueaderos tengan más tiempo para expresar sus preocupaciones y opinar sobre las decisiones que les afectan directamente. Los plazos para la organización se han retrasado debido a COVID19.

Ayúdenos y escriba al Ayuntamiento antes de la primera lectura de mañana y hágales saber que apoya la moratoria sobre el desarrollo y la Opción A para proteger a los residentes de parques de casas móviles en nuestra área: cityleaders@fcgov.com

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Healing Justice Offerings: QTBIPOC Meditation Space

“Without community, there is no liberation.” – Audre Lorde

Dear community,

However you are choosing to engage in the uprising to defend Black Indigenous lives and defund the police in the movements to abolish all forms of state-sanctioned brutality – remember that this has been the work of lifetimes, that these are changes that happen on the outside and the inside – and pace yourself.

In that spirit, we’re excited to invite our fellow Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous , People of Color (QTBIPOC) to our healing justice meditation offerings. These will be by-donation spaces, that happen monthly on the second Sunday of the month, beginning Sunday August 9th from 6:30-7:15pm. You’ll need to register in advance here.

We will make time to be in the spaciousness of our breath, and to ask what our heart wants. We will thank the land and its stewards.

If you are not a QTBIPOC, please continue to plug into spaces to unpack internalized anti-Blackness and transphobia over time, and without shame. If you can’t find a space that resonates with you, consider starting one with your loved ones. This is how we move with integrity and compassion. We are strong, protected, connected and loved. We need each other. We are all still learning. And so it is.

QTBIPOC Meditation

Meditation for Queer and Trans People of Color is a group meditation on Sunday nights, beginning August 9th, led by and for queer and trans people of color. Our time together will be spent in 5-10 minute meditations, sharing readings by rotating queer and trans authors of color, and sharing our reflections, struggles, and strategies for both self and community care. This group is for queer, transgender, and non-binary people of color only space in which to find stillness, solitude, and community during a time when our lives (and particularly the lives of Black and indigenous people) are more overtly in the crosshairs of violence from multiple fronts.

The meditation practice will incorporate space for people to share their struggles and their strategies for self-care and community care, and will facilitate relationship building among people seeking to define “healing” and “wellness” in a context in which true safety is not attainable. The space will use a politic of radical love as a guiding force, and incorporate spiritual teachings from Buddhism, other religious traditions, and QTBIPOC artivists both living and dead. 

Radical Love is amplified in community. Witnessing one another process, transform, emerge is a gift that we nourish and encourage. Where separation and isolation compound traumas, particularly those of oppression and disempowerment, connection and recognition serve to liberate us individually & collectively.

Register for the meditation series here!

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“Cis gay white men aren’t anything but white men with a sprinkle of sugar”– White Supremacy at Pride, Queer History Erasure, and Black Lives Matter (Amir Khadar, 2017)

By Samuel Murray

As more violent Black murders are being shown via the media, and as more Indigenous and brown folx go missing without any coverage it is vital that we all examine our whiteness and what it means to be accountable for how we take action and rest.

As Pride Month comes to an end, we find ourselves once again face to face with both the complexity and polarizing differences within the queer community.  One of these stark differences–always present (especially rearing an ugly head during Pride Month and festivities) is the blatant and excused racism within the white gay community.  

The discussion of racism within the gay community is not new.  For those that do not know, contemporary and “popular” queer culture is laregly influenced by Black and Latinx queer culture that was born, in part, because of racism and exclusion from white gay people and spaces.  Much of what is now considered “gay culture” in the US was birthed from the Ballroom scene, created and embodied by Black queer and trans folk.  Today, new innovations within gay culture are quickly appropriated from queer BIPOC. 

For years, racism within the queer community has been discussed but pushed aside by the dominance of white gays and the commodification of gay culture.  The white gay desire for homonormativity has also served to center privaledged white people in queer rights and further excludes other issues of transphobia, queerphobia, body-shaming, and abilism that queer folks also endure in society and within the LGBTQIA+ community.  

Recently the Black Lives Matter protests, the vigils for murdered Black people, and the calls for Black Trans Lives Matter have been gaining momentum with white liberals.  However, there has been vocal opposition from white gays to these acts of solidarity, claiming that BLM is “taking over Pride.”  Even despite the fact that most Pride events were canceled due to COVID-19, still, many white gay men target these protests as a way to “erase” Pride.  

Many white gay men have taken to twitter to voice their concerns.  Not only exposing their racist beliefs, but also their historically un-informed understandings of the creation of Pride.  Chadwick Moore, a Fox News journalist tweeted: 

Other notable examples of white gay men perpetuating racism include the recent documentaries like Roland Emmerich’s “Stonewall” have explicitly whitewashed the narrative and specifically erased Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, and Stormé DeLarverie, Black and Latinx Trans, queer, and cis lesbian women, who started the riots and are important pillars to the Gay Rights Movements.  Another documentary that is anti-black, is Netflix’s “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” by David France who stole archival footage, voice, and storyline from Tourmaline, a Black Trans filmmaker. 

This openness and confidence for white gay men to be racist is not a new occurance.  Just in the past 5 years, the white gay community has perpetatuted  racist policies and structures by: 

Today, Black Trans Women are disproportionately killed at alarming rates: so far in 2020, 17 Black Trans people have been murdered by racists, cops, and homophobia.  Yet, a large and vocal white gay community still does not see this as a reason to protest or a reason to fight for the “community” they say exists.  These recent examples demonstrate how white gay men claim a sense of ownership over Pride, even though one of the founding Pride movements was a protest against police brutality.  Today, gay white men are able to confidently be as queer as they chose to, because of the history of activism and sacrifices of queer people of color.  

I have personally heard many white gays say that talking about the racism within the community only divides–and “isn’t that the opposite of Pride?”  However, one of the largest obstacles that the queer community faces before it can be truly “undivded,” is not only the racism but also the sexism, transphobia internalized queerphobia, body-shaming, and ableism that is rampant within the community. These microaggressions only seeks to divide people further, perpetuate white supremacy, and continued white gay cis dominance.  

However, these protests and murders have not gone unnoticed by many queer people.  And there are currently calls to change the commodified, toxic, and bastardized version of what we see Pride, physically, as today.  Rainbow capitalism, homonormativity, and removal of police presence in Prides and in gay spaces has been spoken about fiercly in the wake of these important times.  

As a white cis gay myself, I am working towards embodying an  anti-racist practice and politics. Clearly, the homophobia that white gays experience, does nothing to sway a majority to be mindful of their privilege or racist behaviors.  White gays need to wake up and realize their dominant privileges, their histories, and the rights that have been fought for them by queer people of color in this country.  White gays need to realize that:

  • Fighting for the rights to be equal to straight people should not be our goal because queer people will never be seen as fully human 
  • Rainbow capitalism and marriage equality are just distractions by corporations from systemic homophobia 
  • Tokenizing is an effort to sway white gays into believing that cops are here to protect them

From my experience explaining these very things to the white gays, they feel like I am downplaying their experiences as queer people in America and in a hetero-dominated society.  I am not, and I share the same experiences of homophobia on a daily basis.  For me, it has been unprofessional to act gay, it has been unacademic to act gay, and I have been internalizing self-hatred for who I am for most of my life now.  The homophobia that I and other white gay men experience is terrible and sometimes it is life threatening–I am not saying that is it not. 

However the disproportionate murders of Black people and Black queer people by cops, racists, and homophobes, cannot be compared to the microaggressions recieved for being a gay white man, especially since gay white men have been using their power and privilege to oppress queer Black people and queer POC.  The systemic oppression that Black people in America face, the disturbing rates of rape and murder of Black trans women, and the appropriation of Ballroom culture are reasons why white gays need to be saying “Black Lives Matter.”  Not only during this Pride Month but every Pride Month after until the queer community is truly undivided and Black Americans are given justice.  Gay liberation in America was led by Black queer people, white gays need to challenge their privaledge and stand in solidarity with queer Black folk. 

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Understanding and Resisting Divide & Conquer Tactics

The act of dividing potential allies and communities who could come together to rise up is one of the oldest and most infuriatingly effective tricks in the book. Too often social justice movements have splintered as a result of not being prepared to counter such moves. A key tool for countering such tactics is learning from the stories of how previous organizations and coalitions have avoided the pitfalls of divide and conquer.

What are we facing?

  • We are witnessing white supremacy re-organize in response to destabilizations in racial capitalism, and to progressive social movement wins.
  • We are witnessing a surge in both right-wing populism and the power-building of an extreme right-wing elite.
  • The center cannot save us.
  • This is not OK, but also nothing new.

Sustain & Evolve

  • Systems of oppression that target our communities are constantly changing shape, strategy and tactic.
  • Our collective capacity for understanding this systemic harm is also always changing.
  • We’ve got to challenge and build our political analysis and approach in an ongoing spirit of emergence and responsiveness.

Defining Divide & Conquer

“Divide and conquer” is a strategy used by elites (often understood as “the oppressors”) to break down the relationships and unity between subjugated (often along racial/class/gender lines) groups struggling for justice, freedom, and liberation, in order to maintain the status quo.

Tactics of Divide & Conquer

  • Creating a narrative that blames each group for the other group’s problems. This works to foster mistrust amongst groups and to obfuscate the systematic inequalities of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy.
  • Bribing some groups with access to some resources (material and psychological). This works to align some groups with the elite over other subjugated groups. The resources offered are never close to the original goals of the movement.
  • Threatening to withdraw resources and/or to enact violence against group(s) if they continue to ally with other subjugated groups. This creates a culture of fear that not only breaks down inter-group relationships but also leads to groups being overall less bold and taking fewer risks in their pursuit of justice, freedom, and liberation.

Historical Lessons/ Examples

Bacon’s Rebellion
In the 1600s, the concept of “race” as we know it today did not yet exist in the British colonies that would come to be called the United States. Rather, Indigenous people, enslaved Africans, and Europeans (active settlers and indentured servants) were categorized by their national and religious backgrounds. European colonial settlements were characterized by brutal work and intense warfare as they sought to hold on to stolen land through enforced labor. In Jamestown, a moment of crisis emerged in 1676, when one settler—Nathanial Bacon—attempted to seize more land by starting a war against both Indigenous peoples and the official colonial government. Enslaved Africans and indentured servants joined together to take advantage of this instability to rebel for their collective freedom. In response, Britain sent the royal navy to disarm the rebels, and hung 23 European and African freedom fighters. Most importantly, the colonial government set in motion a legal system to keep enslaved African and indentured Europeans divided by outlawing African possession of weapons, consolidating the slave system as distinct from (and worst than) indentured servitude, and inventing the privileged status of whiteness. Together, these changes served to have indentured servants identify with the European elites through whiteness, rather than working in solidarity with enslaved Africans.

Post-Katrina New Orleans Labor
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, federal policies were put in place that pitted Black New Orleanians against mostly Latinx immigrant workers. In the first two weeks after the storm, President Bush’s administration suspended a range of labor laws that protected federal disaster workers’ health and prevailing wages to lower the costs of rebuilding. In addition, the Department of Labor suspended its affirmative action and non-discrimination policy that would have required that Black and local contractors be given preference in bidding procedures. Simultaneously, the Department of Homeland Security suspended sanctions against employers who hired individuals without immigration documentation, leading to the active recruitment of undocumented workers. In the words of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, under these policies “African American workers were locked out of the reconstruction while immigrant workers were locked in” which in turn furthered the false racist narratives that Black people don’t want to work and immigrants steal Americans’ jobs.

Ways to Move Forward & Past Divide & Conquer

  1. Prioritize healing.
    Demand reparations for past harm. Practice enthusiastic consent. Create intentional space and time for healing from trauma, and repairing relationships.
  2. Grow and sustain internal transformation (personal and organizational).
    People with access to power, learn to honor the leadership of people who have historically been denied power. Oppressed peoples of the world, determine your destinies & unite.
  3. Respond at the needed speed– As addrienne marie browne says, move at the speed of trust.
  4. Be willing to slow down. We don’t have to move at the pace of urgency. Be willing to be flexible and agile; we might have to rapidly change tactics or quickly forge alliances to meet our given moment.
  5. Practice being powerful.
    Understand losses in relationship to wins. Build organizations to replace the ones that don’t work for us and that we are simultaneously targeting in our organizing campaigns. Practice cooperation and democratic governance. Build a solidarity economy.
  6. Coordinate like you want to win the world.
  7. Refuse to participate in turf battles and pettiness. Share everything. Build authentic alliances through shared agreements and radical honesty. Recognize that dismantling the systems requires us to give up our attachment to them, in all of the ways they enable our survival but nothing beyond.

Reflection Questions

  • Why is it important to you/your organization to challenge the strategy of Divide and Conquer?
  • How does the reconfiguration of white supremacy impact our current work?
  • How do we lift the lessons from past and recent history to resist the system’s divide and conquer tactics?


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Asian American Feminist Antibodies

COVER ART OF FRONTLINE HEALTHCARE WORKERS BY AMIRA LIN (IG: @AMIRA_LJX):
I was born in Shenzhen, China. As an Asian international student, currently, the amount of hatred and discrimination towards Asian people due to coronavirus is a new experience. Most of theChinese international students worry about their families back home and fear being racial attacked. I wish to use art to communicate that our enemy is not a certain region or cultural community. We should try to understand the hardships people are going through.

A new zine from the Asian American Feminist Collective (AAFC) features an amazing collection of essays, resources, and artwork on how to “make meaning of the coronavirus crisis through long-standing practices of care that come out of Asian American histories and politics.”

With permission from the collective, we’ve posted an excerpt from their latest zine below:

With the COVID-19 pandemic neither behind us or solely ahead of us, this zine offers a way to make meaning of the coronavirus crisis through long-standing practices of care that come out of Asian American histories and politics. We bring together first-hand accounts and analyses from our communities, including health and service workers and caregivers on the frontlines, students, people living with chronic illness, journalists, and organizers.

Together, this collection of stories, essays, and artwork shows how we experience, resist, and grapple with a viral outbreak that has been racialized as Asian, is spoken of in the language of contagion and invasion, and reveals the places where our collective social safety net is particularly threadbare.


This moment of precarity and disaster reminds us that we cannot rely on the state for our wellbeing. The legacies of imperialism, capitalism, and patriarchy undergird forms of violence that unevenly expose many in our communities to further risk, rendering people disposable.


Yet, in this moment, we also see how revolutionary love and care can reshape our world. We see the urgency, necessity, and radical possibilities of decarceration, language justice, healthcare and housing access, economic redistribution, and mutual aid.

Our dreams, visions, and desires for an alternative world and future can
be realized. We are made of communities with deep collective knowledge on how to care for each other and the earth around us. Together, we can survive and build interdependent communities.

Download and read  Asian American Feminist Antibodies: Care in the Time of Coronavirus, and also check out this reading list and webinar about Black & Asian-American Feminist Solidarities during COVID19 from AAFC and Black Women Radicals.

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