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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Berkeley shelter closes

The closure of the largest homeless shelter in Berkeley leaves many with nowhere to go

Writing for the Street Spirit: My 17 Year Journey

Writing for Street Spirit has awakened in me a sense of responsibility toward others. Street Spirit is a way for people silenced by big money and big media to have a voice.

Animal Friends: A Saving Grace for Homeless People

“I wrapped her in my jacket and promised I’d never let anybody hurt her again. And that’s my promise to her for the rest of her life. In my mind she’s a little angel that saved me as much as I saved her.”

A Testament to Street Spirit’s Justice Journalism

The game was rigged against the poor, but I will always relish the fact that Street Spirit took on the Oakland mayor and city council for their perverse assault on homeless recyclers. For me, that was hallowed ground. I will never regret the fact that we did not surrender that ground.

Tragic Death of Oakland Tenant Mary Jesus

Being evicted felt like the end of her life. As a disabled woman, she saw nothing ahead but a destitute life on the streets. She told a friend, “If I’m evicted tomorrow, I have no choice but to kill myself. I have no resources, no savings, no money, and nowhere to go.”

They Left Him to Die Like a Tramp on the Street

Life is sacred. It is not just an economic statistic when someone suffers and dies on the streets of our nation. It is some mother’s son, or daughter. It is a human being made in the image of God. It is a desecration of the sacred when that life is torn down.