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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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.