The Desperate Housing Crisis in Berkeley

Every day I hear the desperation of people on the street. I worked as a community organizer for 14 years for BOSS, helping homeless people, but now I am jobless and homeless myself. I see how ineffective our housing policies are. We need a revival of street action and protest in Berkeley.

Youth Spirit Artworks Tries to Save Street Spirit

“We can’t afford to lose this essential platform for human rights and social justice, and we can’t let down the 100-plus vendors for whom this is a literal lifeline.” — Sally Hindman

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Death in the West: Memorial for a Day Laborer

Roberto worked without medical coverage or a living wage. Not a cent went into Social Security for the aging worker. When he died in a doorway of the defunct U-Haul rental shop in at Allston Way and San Pablo in Berkeley, it took a day or so for anyone to notice.

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Miss Raynel’s Shanty

The structure, if you can call it that, is made from heavy plastic tied to a fence facing a field where trains speed by many times a day. Inside the tent, Miss Raynel’s young nieces are under a blanket. There’s nothing behind them but fencing and a wild dog running in the field.

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The U.S. Relationship to Violence in Mexico

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Mexico since former president Felipe Calderón declared a drug war, with U.S. support, in 2007, and another 27,000 disappearances have been reported. The most well-known example is the forced disappearance by police of 43 student teachers in Ayotzinapa in September 2014.

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Oakland Officials Distort the Law to Punish the Poor

What a masterful demolition job. There is nothing like deploying the law to perseucte the poor — to crush them, silence them. You stripped Oakland’s recyclers of the right to their labor, the right to their freedom, and the right to eke out an existence on the margins of society.

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Richmond’s Mayor Does the Bidding of Landlord Lobby

Richmond’s mayor accepted contributions from California Apartment Association (CAA) and then voted against a proposed 45-day urgency moratorium on rent increases and no-cause evictions. The CAA is a wealthy organization representing the interests of landlords, not tenants. They have been spending big money in Richmond to block renter protections.

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Oakland’s Evictions of Encampments Hurts Everyone

Even as Oakland was evicting many of its most vulnerable citizens from homeless encampments, the City declared a shelter crisis. Oakland officials had reports of the severe lack of available beds in homeless shelters, and they knew these displaced people had nowhere to go.

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Making a Home in an Oakland Encampment

It takes creativity to survive on the street and create a home near the freeway. Lance’s belongings are neatly arranged and he clearly takes pride in his abode. A feeling of being at home is a vibe felt at this address, as well as in the neighboring tiny homes or campers.

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Panhandling in a Society That Worships Money, Not People

A panhandler does not get “something for nothing.” Being a beggar is not what I would call enviable. They must endure the danger of being harassed, jailed or beaten by police. They must deal with repeated rejection and insults. They must deal with the elements — hot weather, bitter cold, rain or wind.

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The Guest and The Judge

The guards believed he was either guilty of something very big, or mentally compromised in some way. They transferred John to the locked psychiatric facility at Highland Hospital and put two undercover men in his hospital room who posed as fellow psych patients in legal jeopardy.

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Agnos’s Proposed Shelter Ship Is Full of Leaks

Former Mayor Art Agnos’s idea of putting hundreds of people on a ship offshore is overdue. Just make sure the people on board are the failed leadership robbing poor people of tents and blankets while the city builds luxury hotels. I challenge Agnos to relocate offshore himself, an extremely challenging endeavor.

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The Doors Close Forever at Alliance Recycling

As the door was closing and people drifted away, a crew was taking down the Frog sculpture under the watchful eyes of the man who was buying it. The gorilla also has been sold. Someone commented, “The forces of capitalism won — money, politics, gentrification won out over the needs of the powerless.”

West Oakland Loses Alliance Metals after Nearly 40 Years

Despite our campaign and collective offer to raise the funds, services and volunteers to balance neighborhood complaints and concerns with the basic needs of recyclers to earn a livelihood, Alliance Metals is now closed.

Oakland’s Inhumane “Abatement” of Homeless People

Oakland dehumanizes people by referring to “debris abatement and homeless abatement.” Abatement refers to trash or noise, not people. They are human beings, not debris, and must not be eliminated, or scrubbed away.

S.F. Homeless Project Served Only the Status Quo

A community slowly robbed of spaces to live, places to worship or recreate, let alone places to sleep, has a deep poverty of leadership. The few reporters who notice need to write about that deficit: the real story.

Oakland Robs the Poor of Dignity and Their Daily Bread

Destroying Alliance Recycling is not about compassion, Mayor Schaaf. It is hateful and harmful prejudice masquerading as law. By any definition, the systematic discrimination, incrimination and elimination of a vulnerable population of poor and homeless people is a form of state-sanctioned violence.

Advocacy Journalism and the Movement for Human Rights

What matters in the long run is staying true to the cause of justice. In the end, that is the very meaning of our lives — whether we keep going, and keep working for peace and justice, or give up in despair. It’s the question at the very heart of it all.