(Cover art by Linnea Kingbird-Martini)
This issue is the first of its kind. It is a collaboration between two street newspapers—the Street Sheet in San Francisco and the Street Spirit in Berkeley—and the Sogorea Te Land Trust, an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. Within these pages you’ll find stories of displacement and struggle, calls to action, and dreams of a future where decolonization is not merely a metaphor, but instead, a real return of land to those who have always called this place home.
As we fight for safe and permanent housing for all people, we also grapple with what that means on stolen land. The United States is a genocidal project, one built on the colonization of land and people. Colonial capitalism has meant the destruction of cultures, of ecosystems, of lives, all for the sake of profit, and it continues today. Homelessness, too, is born of capitalism, and the idea that housing, like land, is a commodity to be hoarded and owned by those with wealth. In this way, we see the liberation of homeless people to be entwined with the decolonization of these lands.
For this issue, we asked writers and artists to reflect on what it means to struggle and survive on stolen land, and for visions of what it would look like to live in reciprocity with Indigenous lands. In these pages, you’ll find poetry, personal stories, and artwork depicting the hardships imposed by colonization, as well as envisioning a liberated and decolonized future. We hope you enjoy this issue, and as you do, we invite you to reflect on your relationship to this land and how it might evolve to honor the original peoples of this place.