Archive | November, 2010

Indigenous Triqui Women, Fired Electrical Workers, Live On Mexico City Streets in Protest

Indigenous Triqui women and their children protest against a wave of killing in their home communities in San Juan Copala in Oaxaca. The Triqui protestors are living in tents in the zocalo, the main plaza, in the center of Mexico City, calling the government to act to protect people in Oaxaca. Other Mexico City activists join them. Children play and eat in the tent where they sleep in the zocalo, under the tables where their parents make jewelry they sell in the streets. ©2010 David Bacon

Indigenous Triqui women and their children protested against a wave of killing in their home town, the autonomous community of San Juan Copala in Oaxaca. The Triqui protestors are living in tents in the zocalo, the main plaza in the center of Mexico City, calling on the government to act to protect people in Oaxaca. Other Mexico City activists join them.

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World Homeless Day: Housing Activists Take Over Vacant Hotel in San Francisco

Tommi Avicolli Mecca sang a spirited song of resistance: “Yuppie stole my pad.”

he Leslie Hotel is just one vacant building in a city that has hundreds of abandoned buildings on the streets where thousands of abandoned human beings languish without housing or shelter. While the Leslie Hotel has 60 vacant units that could provide housing to homeless people, the 2009 Census Bureau statistics show that San Francisco has an estimated 36,000 vacant housing units. With 6,000 to 15,000 homeless people on the streets of San Francisco, that seems unfair.

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California’s Perfect Storm of Student Protest

Thousands of students and teachers rallied against state budget cuts on April 21 in front of the State Capitol. Mark Copelan photo

A social movement is now growing across the country to defend public education. California’s perfect storm was at its leading edge, and contributed a new repertoire of strategy and tactics for building it.

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Quality of Life Laws and Broken Windows Theory

Nightsticks and jail time cannot address the lack of housing and services that put millions of people on the streets in the first place. “Bread Line.” Wood engraving by Clare Leighton Courtesy of M. Lee Stone Fine Prints, San Jose

by Paul Boden hat images do the words “quality of life” bring to mind? A peaceful beach? A beautiful park? A farmer’s market full of healthy produce? In the realm of policing, the phrase “quality of life” carries different connotations. It means a veteran getting hauled in for sleeping on the sidewalk, a homeless woman […]

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The Quality of Whose Life? America’s Modern Anti-Poor Movement Brings Back Segregation Era

“Housing Is A Human Right.” Protesters take over a vacant building in San Francisco on Black Friday. Carol Harvey photo

America is building more and more jail cells but fewer and fewer affordable housing units. We now have millions of people without housing, some living on the street, some in cars, some in jails.

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Wall Street Has Already Voted for Rising Inequality

“Everyone has the right to…” suffer from poverty, homelessness and hunger on the city streets. Robert L. Terrell photo

Wall Street plundered your livelihoods, homes and retirement funds — and now they want you to bail them out, again, with your vote.

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Rubicon’s Innovative Aid to Homeless Mentally Disabled

Art by Joy DeStefano

Rubicon is the name of a river which Julius Caesar crossed, and changed his life in the process. It is hoped that the clients of Rubicon can be helped to pass over obstacles in their paths and transform the course of their lives.

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Exploiting Prejudice for Profit

A city’s welcoming attitude toward strangers, travelers and the poor might have its costs. But so does constantly cycling vulnerable people through the courts and jails. I’d rather give a dollar to a stranger than play any role in yet another unconstitutional law.

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Poetry, November 2010

Who Would Believe by Claire J. Baker Who would believe that all week at a slick Senior Center in a comfortable suburban town   seniors line up at 7:30 a.m. for food-and-flower handouts which begin at 9 a.m.?   City Dawning by Claire J. Baker A cold city bird can sit unmolested atop a tower […]

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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.