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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Street Newspapers and the Legacy of Justice Journalism

Radical and dissenting journalists were part of nearly every social-change movement and populist rebellion in U.S. history. In their day, they were hated by the powerful, and condemned as muckrakers, agitators and disturbers of the piece. Many are now remembered as exemplary models of journalism with a social conscience.

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Oakland Artist’s Statement Piece on Homelessness

This artwork is a reminder of the beauty of humanity that connects all of us, whether housed or not. A real standout in Schuyler’s “Cophinus” were the words the artist chose to place on the cart’s push-handle: “THANK YOU.” Imagine these words facing a homeless person pushing the cart, every day.

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Ode to Mitch Snyder

I am forever grateful that Mitch Snyder gave his life for the poorest of the poor. He created a shelter that provides refuge and meals for two thousand people who otherwise would suffer on the cold streets of Washington, D.C. Near the shelter, they named a street after Mitch Snyder.

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War Is Hell — and So Is the Threat of Extinction

Given technological advances, our warlike tendencies threaten to wipe out all life on our planet. We must shed violence and militarism or suffer the consequences, which could include our extinction. The rest of the creatures on our planet would be innocent victims of the Earth becoming uninhabitable.

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Rainbow-Colored Poems

RAINBOW POEM The rainbow or Pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The many colors represent the many kinds of people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Everybody Is Welcome on Earth. The irreplaceable gift of life. Delicate, sacred, precious life.

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The Essential Role of Bravery

Transgender, gay and lesbian people may experience the danger of physical attacks, and the specter of social rejection. Many involved in the Civil Rights Movement put their lives on the line for the sake of a larger purpose. When bullying takes place, the victim of it exhibits bravery — not the perpetrator.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.