Love & Justice in the Streets Art Print
Love and Justice in the Streets (LJIS) works to meet the urgent needs of unhoused people and curbside communities in Oakland. They increase individuals’ capacity by first addressing their basic needs, in order for them to participate in grassroots organizing efforts to bring humane, just, and lasting solutions to the homelessness crisis.
Hugging the globe in bright and bold letters are the words "Love & Justice in the Streets". It is a demand that we as humans have the power and responsibility to treat each other with care and compassion; especially in our efforts to empower and uplift the voices of displaced, marginalized, and unhoused people amidst the exploitative houseless industrial complex of our cruel capitalistic society. Circling the globe in a protective shield are the words "Time to end encampment sweeps". Perhaps the cruelest current tool of state sanctioned violence against the unhoused is the encampment sweeps; where cities across America are wasting millions of dollars on displacing unhoused people instead of pooling the money into long-term permanent housing solutions. The words seeping red, these sweeps being the bloody spoils of a long history of imperial colonialist theft and genocide under the flag of "god-ordained" private property and land ownership.
The globe embraced by these words is Mama Earth viewed from her side where Africa is front and centered. This image is partly offered as a middle finger to our often American/European centric view of the world; but more importantly as a reminder that all humanity has its first roots in African soil before it even was African soil. It is a reminder of a time when land was not owned but cared for, a time when it was commonly understood that the earth is no less a part of us than our arm; cuz Mama Earth is our lifeblood and our family. Her far flung white children have objectified and whored her out, forcing the rest of the world to do so as well. So now people that used to thrive in harmony with her abundance can no longer afford (i.e. are no longer allowed) to live comfortably on her soil; producing streets full of unhoused people that are made the scapegoats of imperial colonialist greed.
Growing out of Mama Earth is the mirrored oak tree symbol of "so-called" Oakland on stolen Ohlone land, representing that this conception of Love & Justice in the Streets was born in Oakland/Ohlone soil. A soil rich with history of radical liberation of oppressed people and land, but a soil still sullied with the toxicity of rape by the state. Children emerged from the earth are embodied by the hands growing from the oak tree branches. Hands from all walks of life, hands that contain multitudes of experience, hands raised in black power fists, hands splitting into peace signs, hands spread with ASL's "I love u", hands bearing water, clothes, and survival supplies for the folkx failed by flawed systems. Hands tearing at the flimsy fear mongering of caution tape. Hands bursting apart cold and heavy chains of oppression. Hands possessed with a love that is not beholden to and will rise up against and above man made laws seeking to marginalize, criminalize, institutionalize, infantilize, genocide, and displace impoverished people. Hands hovered around by a bee blessing us with self-sustainability, a butterfly blessing us with growth through transformation, a hummingbird blessing us with a bridge between the dead and the living, that the struggles of our ancestors may live on in the struggles of our present. Hands blessed by these pollinators whose migrations will spread love & justice in solidarity across Mama Earth. Hands that could be any of our hands, hands reaching out to build a movement that requires all of our hands.
Jaz Colibri is a white bodied, trans femme, genderqueer, pansexual, neurodivergent, unhoused artist and accomplice offering art and mutual aid in solidarity with movements to liberate the people and the land. Jaz lives in a Love & Justice mobile at the Wood Street encampment in "so-called" west Oakland on stolen Ohlone land. This piece is for the organization Love & Justice in the Streets with whom Jaz volunteers mutual aid and sweeps defense support.