A Right Delayed Is a Right Denied

“We are here to let San Francisco know that we will resist these laws. We will resist any law that criminalizes the bare necessities of life activities and the basic existence of our people!”

My Journey from San Francisco to Selma

Bishop James Pike of Grace Cathedral thundered from the steps of City Hall: “I’ve been there, and friends, we need more bodies down there, more bodies, and especially more white bodies.” In that instant, I knew I would go to Selma.

Recent News

Categories:

The Martin Luther King We Didn’t Know

Sister Eva Lumas teaches the community at St. Mary’s Center about “The Martin We Didn’t Know.” Janny Castillo photo

Martin Luther King believed that the founding principles of the United States required the creation of what he called “the beloved community” — a society that is not driven by making profits, but one that was built by developing relationships of mutual concern and care.

Read More Comments Off

Oakland Celebrates the Radical Political Heritage of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

During the Martin Luther King celebration this year, people in East Oakland’s African American and Latino neighborhoods made the connection between the radical politics of Dr. King and the Black Lives Matter movement in solidarity with the people of Ferguson and all those fighting for social justice.

Read More Comments Off

Why Selma Was a Crucial Turning Point for Democracy

Selmapolice.jpg Police in Selma, Alabama, wait for civil rights marchers as they cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Many former slave-holding states in the South blocked black citizens from voting by requiring literacy tests, exacting poll taxes, and using intimidation to exclude black voters. After one hundred years of struggle, the march in Selma culminated in the effort to overcome this injustice.

Read More Comments Off

Working Hard in America’s Twilight Economy

This hardworking couple pick up a huge amount of recycled material on their travels through the East Bay.

Jamie Dimond, the head of JPMorganChase, made over $9,000 an hour during the time his company committed numerous financial crimes, including stealing people’s homes and wrecking the economy. On a good day, Robert the gleaner, a Gulf War veteran who gets around on an old one-speed bike, makes about eight dollars.

Read More Comments Off

Poor Economy Leaves Millions of Children Needing Food Stamps

“The Children Are Starving.” Art by Kaethe Kollwitz, lithograph, 1924

With one in five children needing food stamps to survive, the recession is far from over, and the federal minimum wage needs to increase to become a living-wage. Instead, Democrats and Republicans are joining together for another attack on the safety net and Social Security, in the name of austerity.

Read More Comments Off

Rx for Shortened Lives, Ruined Health, Damaged Minds

Brain.jpg The serious side-effects of medications over a period of years or decades will often leave a person unable to work in a physical job.

The mental health system has a long history of subjecting mental health consumers to electroshock therapy and antipsychotic drugs that have extremely damaging long-term effects on the mind and body. Every few years, powerful new neuroleptic drugs are prescribed before the full range of their mind-damaging side effects are fully known.

Read More Comments Off

A New Wonder Drug for a Brave New World

The new psychiatric drug would alter the human mind and enable patients to be controlled. Art by MIRKO

The drug company knew about the undesirable side-effects but believed psychiatrists would prescribe the drug anyway, at least to those psychiatric clients who regularly made trouble. Enter Jonathan Baxter, who had gone off his medications several times and had been written up in his medical records as being uncooperative and argumentative.

Read More Comments Off

Lost and Homeless Among the Stars

The knot of hunger in my stomach and the consciousness of doom weighed heavily upon me, and I wished I could go to some other planet.

Short story by Jack Bragen hen I die, or after I die, I want to look back at my life and see that I ate that cookie, I drank that vodka, I made love to that woman. I did not shy away from living because of the petty fear that death might come sooner. Yes, […]

Read More Comments Off

Defending Freedom from Police State Abuses

“Report Police Crimes.” Art by Doug Minkler

When citizens are fed up with errant police behavior to the extent that petitions are circulated for a new police reform act, we could see a change in how people are treated. We need to make the law enforcement branch of government accountable to citizens and to the law.

Read More Comments Off

James Baldwin’s Double

Many veterans return home and end up living on the streets. Robert L. Terrell photo

After the battle, Zane recovered in an Army hospital, but the guilt never left him. In his recurring dreams, a white-haired, bearded prophet denounces him: “That bullet had your name on it.” His life is changed forever and the image of his friend Xavier was always in his mind.

Read More Comments Off

February Poetry of the Streets

Judy Jones took this photograph of Mother Teresa’s Chapel in San Francisco. She writes: “In the picture I took, Angelic Supernatural Light flows from it! Her tiny chapels go beyond race religions age time location ... Unconditional love and Thanksgiving for our breath of life!”

Filing in, one by one,/ as if into an ark/ of loneliness, out of the rain/ the shelter, its gray/ emptiness anchored/ the bottom by green cots/ arranged in rows, boots/ tucked under, men asleep,/ rocked on the surface/ of watery dreams by a/ great storm never to end.

Nonprofit Execs Get Rich Off Homelessness

San Francisco spends tens of millions of tax dollars on high salaries at large charities, yet it builds very little housing for homeless people. The vast majority of money pumped into nonprofits goes not to food, shelter or housing for homeless people, but to the salaries of managers and directors.

Struggling on the Streets Without the Right to Rest

Sleeping Homeless woman Photo by Edal Anton Lefterov

Lucy is 76 years old, and she is way past tired. Years of living on the streets have taken an irreparable toll on her. She slowly walks down a busy downtown street in San Francisco.

Right to Rest Campaign Updates

The Right to Rest Campaign is defending the human rights of homeless people by supporting legislation in California, Colorado and Oregon to decriminalize homelessness. These Bills would protect the rights of homeless people to move freely, rest, eat, and perform religious observations in public space as well as protect their right to occupy a legally parked motor vehicle.

Are Homeless People Beautiful?

We all find sunsets and meadowlarks and fields of flowers beautiful, whether we are rich or poor, housed or homeless. How did beauty become a cudgel to beat people up?

Silicon Valley’s Brilliant Design: Homeless Families in the Rain

Developers and Silicon Valley billionaires are so busy trying to milk profits out of our communities they don’t see the inevitable result of ignoring people’s housing needs: Families in the rain.