Archive | August, 2011

High-Spirited Flashmob Invades S.F. Financial District, Shuts Down Bank

West Coast social justice groups protested Big Finance’s theft of billions of tax dollars, home foreclosures, attacks on unions, and record rates of criminalization of poor and homeless people. After marching on the union-busting Hyatt Hotel and corporate financier Charles Schwab, masses of protesters successfully shut down Wells Fargo bank.

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Historic Hunger Strike Launches a Movement

The strike’s magnitude was historic, with 6,600 prisoners fasting in 13 prisons. Many prisoners around the world, and many people on the outside, fasted in solidarity. The movement to end the tortuous conditions of long-term solitary confinement was revitalized.

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Glimpses of the Spirit – Heroes in Our Midst

Many nonprofit service providers are working to alleviate the ever-worsening symptoms of poverty by meeting the needs for shelter, food and services. But very few go the extra mile to stand up in defense of the human rights of the poor, or to take part in protests against structural injustice.

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Time to Reclaim a Society Ruled by Corporate Greed

People from community organizing and immigrant right communities, from union, homeless, health, and housing groups, are getting together and laying the groundwork so this movement can grow. We will all be marching, dancing, and dropping in to say hello to our “friends” in the financial district.

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Deadly Budget for the Poor and Elderly

Can a civilized nation accept the draconian cutbacks being proposed by the U.S. Congress at this very moment? Can anyone with a spark of humanity support a budget that allows the most destitute to die on the streets all over the nation, rather than helping them?

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CEOs to Workers: Much More for Me, Less for You

It’s no accident that wages are down while corporate profits are at record highs. U.S. wages are at a 50-year low relative to company sales. CEOs make more in a few hours than workers who care for children, the ill and the elderly make in a year.

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WRAP Loses One of Its Founders, Mikey Chapman

You never saw him on television or leading a march or a meeting, but Mikey Chapman did the quiet things that keep the movement running. A memorial tribute to one of the founding warriors of The Western Regional Avocacy Project.

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An Ominous Path to an Orwellian Society

Our society is in a state of constant surveillance. While this may help solve crimes, it interferes with the privacy of individuals. Businesses are hiring private security forces to monitor the public, especially the poor. It can be crazy-making not to know when and if one is being watched.

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When a Great Heart Ceases

I read M.A. Griffiths’ collected poems, “Grasshopper,” from what I believe is a unique perspective, that of a poet who, like Griffiths, was dying over many months, alone, aware that she was close to death. Many of her poems are extremely moving to me, and I feel very close to them.

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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.