Oakland’s Cruel Attack on Homeless Recyclers

Homelessness is a nationwide epidemic, yet Oakland officials are shutting down Alliance Recycling and cruelly depriving poor and homeless recyclers of their livelihood. They are criminalizing an entire class of people by outlawing their profession.

On the Streets, Under the Trees

David Bacon’s photographs of homeless people in cities and rural areas were born out of his commitment to social justice. They capture the uphill struggle for survival faced by millions living in the virtually invisible landscape of poverty.

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No Country for Old People

Market ideology undermines human rights for elders. Old people, children and the disabled are vulnerable in a profit-based economy that ignores the rights to housing, education and health care. Popular struggle is necessary to demand these needs be met. When movements weaken, the safety net is slashed.

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No Alternative But To Keep Working

Workers are aging in the fields. Women especially start to worry after they pass 50. They depend on the fields, but the work is hard and as they get older, it gets harder. Crew leaders won’t hire older people for many jobs. They have to work, because there’s no alternative.

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Oppression After Death: The High Cost of Dying

I guess we all think about death. The popular vision of a line of black cars following a sleek Mercedes stretch hearse. If you are homeless, a garbage truck will probably be your hearse. That’s how I envision it. Be nice if they at least had a long one — painted black.

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Who Will Watch Over the Watchers?

Berkeley’s downtown streets and open spaces are watched over by the DBA and its employees who tear down public posters, physically attack people who don’t comply with their orders, or abuse people who don’t meet their standard of beauty. All too often, DBA ambassadors are abusive and unaccountable.

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Criminalizing Homelessness Cost $20 Million in S.F.

Last year, San Francisco spent more than $20 million policing so-called “quality of life” ordinances for more than 60,000 incidents, nearly all involving homeless people. The City’s Budget and Legislative Analyst concluded that the $20.6 million could be better used to provide housing for its homeless residents.

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KALW covers Street Spirit as part of homeless “media blitz”

Alando Marcell Williams displays the June issue of Street Spirit. Photo and story by KALW

KALW news features two segments on Street Spirit as part of the “#sfhomelessproject” special coverage of homelessness including interviews with Street Spirit Reporter Daniel McMullan, Vendor Alando Marcell Williams, and Editor Terry Messman.

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Oakland Attacks the Poor on Behalf of the Affluent

Oakland adopted “Love Life” as its motto. It is another way of saying “Love thy neighbor” — even if you live in a luxury apartment and your neighbor lives in a homeless encampment.

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Carrying on the Spirit of Peace and Love

Country Joe McDonald has carried on the spirit of the 1960s by singing for peace and justice, speaking against war and environmental damage, and advocating fair treatment for military veterans and homeless people.

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Kayla Moore — Bias Opened the Door

For Kayla Moore, a black, transgender woman struggling with mental illness, contact with the Berkeley police was a death sentence. Within minutes, this charismatic, adventurous woman was suddenly dead.

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Interview with Country Joe McDonald, Part 3

“We’re still struggling as a species with how we can stop war. The families (of Vietnam veterans) were so grateful that anybody would acknowledge their sacrifice. And I don’t mean sacrifice in a clichéd way. The war had reached out and struck their family in a horrible, terrible way.”

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Interview with Country Joe McDonald, Part 4

I knew a lot of the people had to escape or they were killed by the junta in Chile. It was just tragic and terrible. I had grown up with a full knowledge of the viciousness of imperialism from my socialist parents. So I knew that, but I was still shocked.

Freedom Sleepers Anniversary in Santa Cruz

To their great credit, it has been the homeless community itself that has continued to spend their Tuesday nights in front of City Hall regardless of weather and in the face of unabated harassment by law enforcement. July marks the One Year Anniversary of the Freedom Sleepers Sleepouts in Santa Cruz.

Oakland’s Closure of a Recycling Center Destroys an Economic Lifeline

A vocal group of housed residents demanded that the City of Oakland shut down a recycling center. Their emails stated that “those people” walking down “their” streets are a nuisance, a torment with which with they could not live. They succeeded. As of August 2016, that recycling center will close forever.

Youth Spirit Artworks Brings Art to the Streets

The entrepreneurship program began running outdoor sales three years ago by taking tote bags and other products designed by Youth Spirit Artworks to sell in front of the Berkeley Bowl. That turned out to be popular with the shoppers and provided needed income for the young people.

Redemption Rises on the Midnight Streets

Like Ulysses, the homeless wanderers of Dogtown Redemption were exiled for years on journeys through a landscape of deprivation and despair — an Odyssey on the streets of Oakland.

A Parent’s View of Homelessness

My son lives on the streets of Oakland. Legs painful and swollen, health compromised by Hepatitis C and heart damage, he pushes a cart full of other people’s trash in the darkest hours of the night.