Archive | October, 2010

As the Economy Unravels, the Poor Are Criminalized

Quality of life laws resurrect a disgraceful tradition of discriminating against poor people. Like Jim Crow laws, these new laws segregate our country by race and class.

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Fighting for the Right to Affordable Housing

The right to affordable housing is a right recognized by the United Nations and several national governments, but not the United States. Photo by Tom Lowe

“There is a human rights crisis in the U.S. that can no longer be ignored… millions of Americans are unable to secure one of their most basic rights — the right to adequate housing.” — UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

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Lessons Learned from The Greening of America

“Peace Is Not A Radical Idea.” Activists confront giant corporations and the war machine. Art by Tiffany Sankary

With hopes for immediate change fading, some have become disenchanted with organizing. Yet, retreating from activism to seek personal liberation leaves us powerless to resist war, economic injustice, and corporate tyranny.

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PETRA Would Eliminate Public Housing and Undo Over 70 Years of Progress in Housing the Nation’s Poor

Art by Tiffany Sankary

by Lynda Carson On Sept. 27, 2010, activists and public housing residents gathered in front of the Los Angeles Housing Authority Commission to protest the agency’s plan to privatize 15 large public housing projects in 2011. In addition, the housing activists protested against the scheme by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) […]

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A Poet’s Deep Compassion for Life

A portrait of Berkeley poet Julia Vinograd painted by her sister Deborah Vinograd

Vinograd’s deep-rooted compassion for life makes her portrayals of suffering, death, and destruction overwhelmingly poignant.

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Short Fiction: The Greek Couple; Turn and Burn

The Greek Couple— Fiction by George Wynn
When Tito came back home to Boston, where his father and mother were dead, he’d always screw up. Nostalgia for his parents drove him to the bottle. He was persona non grata with his two married sisters on the South Shore.

/—/Turn and Burn— Fiction by Joan Clair

“You need to think of it as a business,” one of the property managers said. “It’s not about his humanity or yours, even though, of course, none of us likes to put anyone out on the street.”

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Short Fiction and Poetry – October 2010

“Sacred Heart” Art by Jos Sances, ceramic tile

  REFLECTION by Joan Clair A friend tells me she no longer has much or as much sympathy and compassion for the poor as she once had. For herself? In her 70s, her income hovers under $1,000 monthly with more than half of that going for rent. In another year or so her income may […]

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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.