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.

Read More Comments Off on Ugly Laws, Bum Blockades and Sundown Towns

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?

Read More Comments Off on Confronting the JFK Assassination

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.

Read More Comments Off on Creative Acts of Housing Liberation in San Francisco

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.

Read More Comments Off on The Government’s War on Disabled People

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.

Read More Comments Off on Obama Woos the ‘Economic Royalists’

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.

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow in Santa Maria Orphanage

This amazing priest not only housed 300 orphaned children from the streets of Mexico City, but he also took care of 20 homeless elders in his own house and started a home for children dying of AIDS. Father Norman also ran a soup kitchen that fed many people in the village.