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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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.