Archive | July, 2011

An Inside View of a Housing Occupation

On a high-flying journey from the streets to the rooftops, activists in San Francisco carried out their latest direct action campaign by taking over the vacant Sierra Hotel, demanding it be used to house homeless people. VIEW A VIDEO OF THE HOUSING TAKEOVER WITHIN THIS STORY.

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Oakland Coalition Fights State’s Draconian Cutbacks

Oakland protesters rallied against severe cutbacks imposed by the State of California that will imperil low-income families, seniors, the disabled and poor children. Laurie Jones, director of Alameda County Social Services said, “These cuts hurt our families, they hurt our communities, they hurt our children, they hurt our most needy.”

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Young People Lead Protest at Berkeley City Hall

Homeless youth led a colorful protest at Berkeley City Hall, displaying scores of prayer flags in an appeal for compassion for homeless people targeted by a sitting-ban proposal. The Stand Up For The Right To Sit Down coalition scored at least a temporary victory by sending this proposal “to limbo.”

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Glimpses of the Spirit – Mia and the Circle of Kindness

After Dorothy’s pet cats saved her from a fire that destroyed her apartment, the elderly woman paid to have her cats housed even as she was left destitute and homeless. Mia was so moved by Dorothy’s compassion, she gave her the same kindness Dorothy had given to her cats.

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Help us Expose the Corporate Greed of Big Finance

Join social justice groups for a protest tour of the S.F. Financial District. March in the Great American TARP Tour, August 5 at 4 p.m., Union Square, San Francisco. Big Finance has swindled hundreds of billions of dollars by begging for an unconscionable bail-out via the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP.

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Helping Homeless, Jobless Veterans in Oakland

After serving in Vietnam, Alex McElree found out the hard way how many military veterans wind up living on the streets. He began taking homeless veterans into his own house, and then founded the Oakland-based Operation Dignity to help veterans find housing and support services.

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Bring ’em Home

Does the U.S. government “support the troops” when it sends them into battle with inadequate equipment? Does the government “support the troops” when it turns its back on the casualties of war? Does it “support the troops” when it casts countless military veterans onto the streets?

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Another Anti-Homeless Ballot Measure? Really?

Berkeley’s business improvement districts continue to obsessively pursue anti-homeless measures in an attempt to cleanse the downtown sidewalks of homeless people. Yet the last thing Berkeley’s small businesses need is another highly politicized and self-destructive campaign about how terrible it is to shop in Berkeley.

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AARP Sells Out the Elderly, Poor and Disabled

Even as 1.3 million elderly and disabled Californians had their SSI benefits slashed below the federal poverty level, the American Association of Retired Persons made national headlines after it double-crossed the elderly poor by joining right-wing members of Congress in supporting budget cuts to Social Security benefits.

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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”