By Chief G
The city of Chicago received $35 million from the CARES Act in the Fall of 2020 and $1.3 million from Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness (CFTEH) to kick off the city’s goal to “end homelessness”. The city has used these funds not by giving them directly to the people, but to start a list of bureaucratic programs that do nothing for them.
During one of our outreaches where we were serving the homeless, Black Hammer Chicago saw the city trying to implement one of these programs for the homeless people living in Touhy Park. They had a public meeting to discuss how they wanted the people staying at the park to apply for the “Rapid Re-Housing” Program—which sounded like another attempt by a colonial system to move poor colonized people out of a neighborhood full of colonizers. Several people staying at the park left the meeting skeptical of the city’s intentions.
Our chapter continued to go to the park multiple times per week to give out care packages, homemade food, and to spread the good word of revolution to our people.
And as we had expected, we eventually saw signs of off-street cleaning that was going to happen at the park on Nov. 29th. The people informed us that when the city does those cleanings, they throw out people’s belongings including tents. They were especially worried since the weather is getting really cold now, as low as 7 degrees with 40 mph winds!
Black Hammer understands that our mission is not only to serve colonized people, but also to defend them. So we organized to go to the park from 6 am to 4 pm on the day of the cleaning to ensure our people’s property wasn’t thrown out.
We arrived and stayed on the lookout for the city and the pigs. When people started to wake up, we helped those who needed to store personal items and tents, we passed out breakfast, coffee and donuts, and provided public transit tickets to stay warm with personal items while the cleaning went on. The city first showed up to scout and take pictures of what they wanted to “clean”.
Because they saw us organizing the people to store their items, they came up to us to ask why we were even there. And we explained that because the people have had their tents and personal items thrown out in the past; they denied it.
Then, the Department of Family and Support Services showed up.
They tried to explain that they are required to be there to “protect” the rights of the homeless during cleanings and that the city supposedly only throws out the tents that get a tag for being unused for more than 7 days. But we told them that in the people’s past experiences with the cleanups, ALL tents have been thrown out—even when people were using them every day. They, of course, denied that any of that had ever happened. And they left before any cleaning started! They only proved to our people how incompetent they are and that they don’t care about the people. And, instead, the people saw the Chicago Hammers stay with them united.
The city cleaning had their trucks parked in the outskirts of the park, but didn’t get out of their cars for hours. As soon as we went into the car to briefly warm-up, the city got out of their cars and brought the trash truck into the park. We immediately went back to stand by the people to monitor that no tents were taken away. No tents were taken away!
They wanted to start cleaning without us there because they knew that they were going to throw tents away and that the people and Black Hammer united would not let it happen and call it out for what it is: genocide! They recognized the power of our unity.
This day was an example of the power of Colonized unity to take dictatorship over our lives and resources. The colony is afraid of us being organized and united because they know that makes them the weakest. And it is our goal to continue building that unity amongst Colonized people in Chicago and around the world.
Two of the comrades that live at the park have joined our Chicago chapter because they have been leaders in the park for months and they see the power in the organization and colonized unity. Our goal is to not only continue to defend and unite the homeless at Touhy Park, but also every single Colonized poor and working class person in Chicago.
Serving and defending the people takes more than hard work, it requires resources! Donate and help us continue serving the people by donating to $BlackHammerChi on CashApp or @ChiHammers on Venmo.
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