Archive | April, 2011

Berkeley Merchants Try to Ban Sitting

“Segregation, After Norman Rockwell” Art by Nili Yosha

There is not nearly enough shelter to serve homeless youth in Berkeley. With such a dire shortage, is it fair to fine and arrest the exhausted and, unsurprisingly, sometimes dirty youth sitting on our sidewalks?

Read More Comments Off on Berkeley Merchants Try to Ban Sitting

YEAH! Shelter from the Storm for Street Youth

At Berkeley’s YEAH! program, an adult and a homeless youth walk arm in arm.

Many participants from Berkeley have helped to build YEAH!, tended it, fed the youth, and donated time, energy and money to the endeavor. They bring their warmth, their respect, and their desire to make a difference. The Lutheran Church of the Cross, which houses the shelter, has a commitment to making a difference for people who would otherwise live outside. YEAH! is their commitment.

Read More Comments Off on YEAH! Shelter from the Storm for Street Youth

Building a Budget for Humanity in California

California, #1 in Prisons. From Center for the Study of Political Graphics

Instead of funding affordable homes, we are housing over 160,000 people in over-crowded prisons and jails. Instead of funding In-Home Support Services, we are building prison hospitals. Instead of building community colleges, we are building county jails.

Read More Comments Off on Building a Budget for Humanity in California

New Priorities Seeks End to War, Big Cuts to Pentagon

The two party system “debates” the military budget. Democrats and Republicans are in collusion to give endless billions to the Pentagon. Art by Doug Minkler

Every minute of every day, the U.S. government spends $2.1 million on the military. In 2012, the United States will allocate about 60 percent of its discretionary budget for military spending. This includes $553 billion as the base budget for the Pentagon.

Read More Comments Off on New Priorities Seeks End to War, Big Cuts to Pentagon

House Votes to Terminate Key Foreclosure Program

“Last week, the U.S. told the United Nations that addressing homelessness here at home is a human rights obligation. Cutting vital housing programs gives the lie to those obligations — and damages our credibility as a leader in the world community.” — Maria Foscarinis, NLCHP executive director

Read More Comments Off on House Votes to Terminate Key Foreclosure Program

Defending the Right to Serve Food in Public

Food Not Bombs in Los Angeles provides a free meal, as part of a picnic on Skid Row to defend the right to share food. Photo by Dan Bluemel LA Activist

We believe that sharing food with our brothers and sisters is a fundamental human right, protected under the First Amendment.

Read More Comments Off on Defending the Right to Serve Food in Public

Landlords or Panhandlers: Who Is Really to Blame?

But before Berkeley sends another potentially pointless anti-poor ordinance through the courts, it makes sense to institute a retail vacancy fee on landlords who keep storefront locations empty for years, refusing to acknowledge the recession’s effect on merchants, generally, and the effect of empty storefronts, specifically, on a struggling commercial area.

Read More Comments Off on Landlords or Panhandlers: Who Is Really to Blame?

Obama Pursues the Madness of Nuclear Power

The two party system “debates” the military budget. Democrats and Republicans are in collusion to give endless billions to the Pentagon. Art by Doug Minkler

Nuclear power is a moral crime against future generations. It is up to us to peacefully and insistently shut those plants down.

Read More Comments Off on Obama Pursues the Madness of Nuclear Power

A Nonviolent Path to Peace in the Holy Land

by Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta Ithaca Press Hardback, 528 pages

Increasing numbers of Palestinians and thousands of Israelis see nonviolent action as an effective way to challenge the Israeli military occupation. This excellent book encourages all of us to get beyond the all-too-common division of the world between “us” and “them,” and the need to resort to war and killing as a way of solving problems and achieving security.

Read More Comments Off on A Nonviolent Path to Peace in the Holy Land

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.