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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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.