Archive | January, 2012

A Bell Tolls for Countless Deaths on Nameless Streets

The bell tolled for 91 individuals who died on the streets last year in San Francisco, and it tolled for the uncounted thousands of homeless deaths around the nation. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty reported that homeless Americans die, on average, 30 years earlier than those with housing.

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In Memory of All Who Died on Oakland’s Streets

Oakland’s Homeless Memorial was held to honor the lives of those who have suffered hunger, pain, loneliness, and premature deaths outside on the sidewalks. The service was moving, healing, and also inspiring in its ability to remind us of the importance of staying committed to the cause of justice.

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Political Art Keeps the Flame of Justice Burning

From the Great Depression to the present day, many artists have expressed solidarity with the 99% against the monopolized wealth of the ruling elites. Art has been a powerful catalyst for building solidarity with workers and poor people because the artists saw themselves as workers and poor people.

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Nonviolent Resistance and the Occupy Movement: Throwing Out the Master’s Tools and Building a Better House

We have another kind of power, though the term nonviolence only defines what it is not. Some call it people power. It works. It’s powerful. It’s changed and it’s changing the world. We’re unconventionally dangerous, because we’re not threatening physical violence but the transformation of the system (and its violence).

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Nonviolent Direct Action: The Best Map for the Movement

Nonviolent direct action clearly dramatizes the difference between the corrupt values of the system and the values we stand for. Their institutions silence dissent while we value every voice. They employ violence to maintain their system while we counter it with the sheer courage of our presence.

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Stop the Attacks on OccupySF

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee admits that “economic disparity and joblessness” are major problems, so why does he condone the police raids on OccupySF? Squelching legitimate protest is not going to make these problems go away. Only the creation of jobs and better housing will begin to end these ills.

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Homeless Memorials in Seven New Hampshire Cities

“This vigil is our way of strengthening ourselves and strengthening each other and reminding us that ending homelessness is our responsibility. We have to fight this fight. Every life we honor tonight was a blessing, a child born utterly innocent, who suffered a terrible loss of security and well-being.”

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UC Bulldozes Community Garden in People’s Park

Bulldozers destroyed huge numbers of healthy plants and trees at People’s Park in Berkeley on December 18, carrying out the orders of University of California officials. The bulldozers destroyed all the plants and flowers that had been carefully tended for decades by volunteer gardeners, leaving behind stripped earth.

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Keeping Promises, While Remaining Open to the Spirit

My Moslem friends say “Insha’ Allah.” My Jewish and Christian friends say “God willing” or “If the Lord wills.” What is sacred and sagacious in these expressions is the admission that all of our plans and promises are subject to the unexplained, unsolicited and, at times, unwelcome veto of the Almighty.

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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.