Archive | October, 2011

Songs of Social Justice

“It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.” Sam Cooke saw that change coming, and sang it, and wrote it down in indelible words for all of us to see. Nothing can ever erase his voice now. Nothing can stop that change from coming.

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Spare Change Leads to Spiritual Change

Surely, homeless people are entitled to our daily deeds of justice and compassion. Surely, they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. When we respond to that holy call to kindness, we bring blessing into our lives and into the lives of all we touch.

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San Francisco Protesters Show Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

The 99 Percent came to San Francisco’s financial district to call a halt to bank theft and corporate corruption perpetrated by the One Percent – the big bankers hoarding our nation’s wealth and corporate CEOs receiving enormous bonuses while the poor, unemployed, and homeless suffer in the midst of affluence.

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People of Faith Must Hear the Cry of the Poor

“Soup kitchens and hospitality, though wonderful, do not go far enough. There needs to be more advocacy which affects political and societal structures. We need a social movement which incorporates the most prophetic aspects of the Judeo/Christian tradition and other religious traditions to bring homelessness and poverty to an end.”

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Vigil on Golden Gate Bridge Condemns ‘Wars of Greed’

The marchers joined hands on the Golden Gate Bridge, their upraised arms connected by pink ribbons. They faced the ocean, and stood silently mourning victims of U.S. wars. Then each person in the human chain proclaimed, one after another: “These are not our wars. The people demand peace!”

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Eureka Police Viciously Beat Homeless Man, Leave Him to Die in Jail

After the police beat an unarmed homeless man to death, a jury awarded $4,575,000 to his five-year-old daughter and father. Police officers kicked him, battered him with a baton and pepper-sprayed him. They kneed his organs and pounded his skull on the concrete, then refused to give him medical care.

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Police Charged with Murdering Disabled Homeless Man in California

Six police officers beat the homeless man to death. He died from brain injuries and broken bones in his head and ribs, and was shocked repeatedly by police tasers on his head and face. As he died, he cried out in pain-filled pleas: “I’m sorry. I can’t breathe. Help, Dad!”

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We Are the 99 Percent

The message of the demonstrators is populist and passionate: “We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.”

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Rising Hunger and Food Shortages in Desperate Times

Many service providers in Berkeley are reporting increasingly desperate levels of hunger and poverty. Survival for the growing numbers who are homeless or on the edge is very difficult. There is not enough of anything — food, housing, health care or safe places.

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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.”