Archive | December, 2011

Oakland Pastor Reflects on the Occupy Movement

We, like 99% of the people marching in Oakland, were unified by the desperate condition of our world, our families and our future. We were the cry of the lost oak trees that once lived here, as well as the moans of the Ohlone people who once thrived here.

Read More Comments Off on Oakland Pastor Reflects on the Occupy Movement

Poor Women Will Be First Victims of State Cutbacks

A powerful spirit was in the air at the Oakland rally, for we came together to speak out for the voiceless, for the children too young to attend, for the seniors who are housebound, for those incapacitated by illness who cannot leave their beds, for disabled people who need in-home attendants

Read More Comments Off on Poor Women Will Be First Victims of State Cutbacks

From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the Neighborhoods

It is a victory that the occupations have led the media to even briefly question America’s economic divisions. Now we need to find creative ways to take the issues of the Occupy movement to every neighborhood, workplace and campus, even those that don’t seem natural hotbeds of change.

Read More Comments Off on From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the Neighborhoods

National Scandal of Using Jails as Psychiatric Wards

The cruelty and medical neglect suffered by poor and homeless people who are incarcerated for being mentally ill is a national disgrace. It is unacceptable that the prison system has displaced the mental health system as the main institution for dealing with poor people with psychiatric disabilities.

Read More Comments Off on National Scandal of Using Jails as Psychiatric Wards

Berkeley May Sell Its Public Housing to a Billionaire

At the same moment when thousands of families in public housing across the nation are living in substandard conditions or are at risk of becoming homeless, the Berkeley Housing Authority has entered into an agreement to sell the city’s occupied public housing units to a billionaire.

Read More Comments Off on Berkeley May Sell Its Public Housing to a Billionaire

Corporate Con Games: Tax Holiday or Gigantic Scam?

Congress already fell for this scam with a tax holiday passed in 2004. But companies didn’t create the jobs or investment they promised — layoffs actually increased. Instead, they boosted CEO pay, stock buybacks and shareholder dividends, and stockpiled even more money offshore to avoid taxes.

Read More Comments Off on Corporate Con Games: Tax Holiday or Gigantic Scam?

The Disservice of Treating Disabled Persons as Children

The belief that disabled people are incapable of surviving in real-life situations is belittling and harmful. Many persons who are mentally disabled can meet the challenges of surviving in society. Treating adults like children only prepares them for a lifetime of dependence and being institutionalized.

Read More Comments Off on The Disservice of Treating Disabled Persons as Children

Surviving Uncaring Board and Care Homes

I have experienced endless abuses in board and care homes, including substandard housing, lack of food and rigid rules that treat adults like children. Even the name “board and care” is a misnomer. All too often, the people who ran these homes couldn’t care less about their residents.

Read More Comments Off on Surviving Uncaring Board and Care Homes

A Modest Proposal to Drive Away the Poor for the Sake of the Tourists

Virtually everything about capitalism says that only the top one percent of upper-income people really count, while the 99% who struggle for everything don’t deserve to even survive. The Occupy movement is trying to point out this flaw in a very concrete way by camping out and protesting.

Read More Comments Off on A Modest Proposal to Drive Away the Poor for the Sake of the Tourists

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.