Archive | August, 2005

Disturbing the Ghosts of the Albany Landfill

City officials sent bulldozers to remove homeless encampments at the Albany Landfill, a disturbing reminder of an earlier eviction of a homeless village. Lydia Gans photo

Where will the homeless people go? They will blend into the wave of humanity that live under bridges, in abandoned buildings, in doorways; they will sink deeper into invisibility

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The History of Psychiatric Mistreatment, Interview with Robert Whitaker

The New York Times, in reporting on the treatment of Soviet dissidents, said giving these neuroleptic drugs practically makes a person a vegetable. The Times said it was a form of a “spiritual gas chamber.” Then they’ll cover a trial about forced drug treatment of a mentally ill person in the U.S. and report the drugs are known to be widely efficacious.

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Psychiatric Drugs: An Assault on the Human Condition

BobWhitaker

Street Spirit Interview with Robert Whitaker Interview by Terry Messman Investigative reporter Robert Whitaker, author of the groundbreaking book Mad In America, is now pursuing a fascinating line of research into how the mammoth psychiatric drug industry is endangering the American public by covering up the untold cases of suffering, anguish and disease caused by […]

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Mad In America: An Indictment of Psychiatric Abuse and Brain Damage

One lone author bears moral witness to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people abused, tortured and damaged by the psychiatric establishment.

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Electroshock Must Be Banned as Crime Against Humanity

Electroshock is a barbaric, brain-disabling psychiatric procedure that should have been abolished many years ago. Yet its use is on the rise.

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Zyprexa: A Prescription for Diabetes, Disease and Early Death

On June 8, 2005, Eli Lilly & Co. announced that it had agreed to pay $690 million to settle some 8,000 lawsuits filed by people who reported that taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa resulted in unwanted weight gain, diabetes, other metabolic diseases, and death.

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Wellness and Recovery or the Same Old Sickness?

It is clear that for all my compassionate concern about the social injustice that is homelessness, I need to put more focus on my own wellness and recovery — physically, emotionally and mentally. The shift in mental health services delivery is to look more closely at the holistic link between mental, emotional and physical health, with a growing concern about diet, exercise, and the need to address physical ills facing the poor such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma, often linked to issues of environmental racism.

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Oral History from the Seniors of St. Mary’s Center

The following oral histories of seniors Joe Batiste, Darlene Thomas, Milas Hackett, David Fobroy, Henry Thompson, and Richard Mingus were compiled by Trena Cleland to document the inspiring life stories of poor and homeless seniors who have been helped by St. Mary’s Center in downtown Oakland.

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Disabled Bus Rider Faces Many Hardships

by Janny Castillo, BOSS iding the bus is difficult enough if you are able-bodied and healthy; but for our disabled community, limited by mobility problems or utilizing wheelchairs, a bus ride can become a nightmare; so much so, that many disabled persons do not attempt to use public transportation, adding to their isolation and depriving […]

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.