Archive | January, 2011

The Martyrdom of Malcolm and Martin

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet on March 26, 1964. Both men had come to hear the senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Investigating the assassinations of Martin and Malcolm over the past decade has been a pilgrimage into martyrdom. From that journey, I have learned, first of all, how naïve I was about systemic evil. While there is nothing new about prophets being murdered by the system, I was not aware of how well our own system carries out such murders — and why.

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A Reverence for Life in the Midst of Death

Participants at st. Mary’s memorial put candles around a painting entitled “Heart of All” by artist and community member Leon Kennedy. Mina Gaskell Photo

  by Molly Woodward very winter, when freezing temperatures and wet weather make surviving on the streets even harder, communities across the nation take time to remember the people who died homeless over the past year, and to recommit to the fight for one of the most basic of human rights — the right to […]

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U.S. Mayors Warn of Deadly Rise in Homelessness

A homeless man in San Francisco, hungry and alone on the winter streets, holds up a sign bearing a single poignant word: “Famished.” Robert L. Terrell Photo

Lack of shelter threatens increases in hypothermia and death on the streets by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty “More and more people are experiencing homelessness, and they’re in grave danger with temperatures dropping. This is a wake-up call to stop the funding cuts.” — Maria Foscarinis, National Law Center on Homelessness & […]

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Organizing to Save the California Dream

“I was a client at a homeless shelter. I have been hungry. I have been afraid. I have worked hard to reach the place I am today and I am not going back to the life I used to lead.” — LaTanya Wolf, St. Mary’s Center by Paige Hustead spirited community forum held at St. […]

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Tax Increases for Workers with the Lowest Incomes

by Joan Clair great deal has been written about the tax bill signed into law by President Obama on December 17. “For Many Taxpayers, a Christmas Bonus,” reads the headline of one article about the new law by Stephen Ohlemacher in the West County Times. The article includes a table of “Tax changes by income” […]

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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.