Letters

INEQUALITY

Resources of this earth are here for all life. Nature never intended hoarders to accumulate and keep enough for a thousand lifetimes while others go hungry and unsheltered. Squirrels only put away enough for a year or two. Human toleration of this disease can be short tempered.

This inequality can be very easily corrected at change of generations. All legacies and grants given in anticipation of death that exceed $10 million given to an individual or institution should be taxed 99%. This is fair and just and does not hinder personal initiative. It also spreads the wealth around if they do not wish to pay taxes. Inherited money is not earned by those who receive it. If the accumulator chooses to pay the taxes this is also a fair way to repay the society that granted him this opportunity of success.

If those of great wealth cannot see the justice of this and use their power of money to kill such a just change, this must be dealt with. Many of us do not believe in capital punishment, but we must realistically recognize the lessons of history. Those who refuse to bend to the will of the people often meet with earlier composting. Harsh? Yes, but it does in a small way give them a opportunity to earlier repay nature for the damage that access greed has brought about.

J. Glenn Evans is a novelist, poet and political activist.

 

A LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY

Thank you to all who supported the “Jingle of Hope,” a volunteer clean-up of Olympia’s largest homeless encampment,

I stand on the eve of Jingle of Hope, my stomach in my throat, at the point of no return. I wake nervous about the volunteers who will be showing up soon. It’s too vulnerable for us, this invitation of the housed to our camp. But we’ve passed the point where hiding away can keep us safe; we must risk exposure, must risk the rejection we fear. Evictions we’ve survived, the evictions we expect; the complacency over of our need for knowing our shelter won’t be stolen from us—it instills shame and mistrust. Getting run out of our camps with nowhere to go is persecution and discrimination; an invitation to the housed class is painfully vulnerable.

In all battles there is a cease fire. With that comes change, change on both sides. The winds bite at me telling me that it is gonna hurt. Both sides. Both have to give something now and we must embrace it – too much has been lost. Now is the time to begin knowing how to be Normal like the Housed… not scorned or shamed but able to move without fear. And those who come to our side, able to embrace us with open arms this once, giving from just plain old Love. We’re crying inside, just wanting, holding Hope that we matter, Hope to be seen and to see the lights go on in a person’s face.

With that fear and hope, I have no choice but to persevere and soon the work of volunteers shows itself—areas of trash cleared, the surplus of shopping carts dwindling and my reservations turn to amazement and appreciation. Our security is threatened by the fact that so many are more upset about shopping carts and trash than the fact that so many lack a legal place to stay warm and dry. But the volunteers understand the stakes – that without placating those who don’t value us, we’ll face shelterlessness.

I’ve experienced shelterlessness, lost my tent to the city. Lost my tent, my belongings. Slept under a bridge, woken up wet, aching, never quite sleeping, my mind turning into a fog as I never quite sleep, never quite feel warm, struggling to walk through rain and snow to keep fed. I’ve watched others lose their shelter, seen people cope with the pain and despair with needles; chemicals, seen mental states deteriorate or shatter altogether.

But I’d like to acknowledge those who understand and have done something about it. Thank you for your work, the donations, for bringing carts and tools. Because of their help my homeless family has more security, may be able to live in the Jungle of Hope at least until the rain clears.

Special thanks to: Socialist Party USA –South Sound Organizing Area, Green Party of South Puget Sound, Olympia Industrial Workers of the World, Olympia Democratic Socialists of America, Thurston County Democrats, Oly Embrace, GruB,Thurston County Needle Exchange, Indivisible Thurston

—Phoenix and the Jingle of Hope