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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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.”