Archive | December, 2010

Ugly Laws, Bum Blockades and Sundown Towns

“The Lord Provides” Lithograph, 1934, by Jacob Burck, courtesy of M. Lee Stone Fine Prints

The Quality of Life ordinances enacted in cities across the nation to outlaw and banish homeless people from certain areas are our contemporary version of the vagrancy laws that have been with us for centuries. In the South, they were used to force freed slaves back to the plantation. In the North, they were used to instill a Protestant work ethic in indigent whites.

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Confronting the JFK Assassination

President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office. Cecil Stoughton, White House photo (public domain)

Where do we find hope when a peacemaking president is assassinated by his own national security state?

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Creative Acts of Housing Liberation in San Francisco

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

Creative Housing Liberation would like to invite “all kinds of folks, including families,” to be involved in future housing occupations. Families are the largest new homeless group, a number that is skyrocketing since the housing foreclosure scandals and the economic crisis began.

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The Government’s War on Disabled People

President Obama was supposed to redistribute the wealth, yet this looks more like stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. Once again, the poor and disabled have been shortchanged.

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Obama Woos the ‘Economic Royalists’

ranklin D. Roosevelt denounced the heartless rich. Art by Victor Arnautoff

The last thing we need is further acquiescence to the economic royalists. What we need is exactly the opposite: leadership to push back against the right-wing ideologues and the forces they represent.

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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.